"I've heard that Miranda Priestly is just a teddy bear compared to Anna Wintour," Safer said.
"It was entertainment. It was not a true rendition of what happens within this magazine," she replied.
"I understand that. But where people made comparisons with you - that coldness, that Anna must not be spoken to when she's on the elevator," Safer pointed out.
"Oh yeah. I heard that. You're not allowed to get in the elevator with me," Wintour said laughing.
"Well, you can get on, but just keep your mouth shut?" Safer asked, laughing.
"That's an exaggeration. I guess in response, I can only say that. I have so many people here, Morley, that have worked with me for 15, 20 years, and, you know, if I'm such a bitch, they must they must really be a glutton for punishment because they're still here," Wintour said.
"Well, I wouldn't use the word 'bitch.' I would say a certain coldness," Safer remarked.
"Well, we're here to work. There's on duty time and off duty time and we're drawn together by our passion for the magazine. If one comes across sometimes as being cold or brusque, it's simply because I'm striving for the best," she explained.
"It's not like a tea party here. We work very hard," Vogue's editor-at-large Andre Leon Talley told Safer.
He has worked with Anna for decades. Asked what kind of boss she is, Talley told Safer, "Let's say that Anna can be intimidating. I think that's her armor, to intimidate. To give the people the sense that she is in charge."
"She is not a person who's going to show you her emotions ever. She's like a doctor, when she's looking at your work, it's like a medical analysis," Talley added. "Some of us can't cope with that, we need to be loved."
Fat chance of that, says Vogue Creative Director Grace Coddington, another veteran colleague. "I think she enjoys not being completely approachable, you know. Just her office is very intimidating, right? You have to walk about a mile into the office before you get to her desk and I'm sure it's intentional," Coddington said.
She told Safer she had never seen Wintour looking less than perfect.
"That must take terrific discipline," Safer remarked.
"I think she's a very disciplined woman," Coddington agreed.
She is also a very pampered one: Conde Nast, her publisher, picks up the bill for her hair and makeup every day of the week, and her rumored $200,000 a year clothing allowance.
"You made yourself the personification of Vogue. I mean, look at you. Not a hair out of place. Do you feel that that's your mission in life? To appear perfect?" Safer asked.
"It's very important to me that I look good when I go out publicly. I like looking at my clothes rack in the morning and deciding what to pick out. I enjoy fashion. Morley I mean, I wouldn't be in this job if I didn't," she explained.