If you ever needed a reason for why news magazines are starving for attention and consumer dollars, just stroll down the aisle of your favorite supermarket and you can judge this industry by its cover(s) alone. They’re pathetic. They continually fight against their very core to deliver cutting-edge journalism that compiles the top stories of the week, and instead look increasingly like their neighboring world wrestling federation pubs.
I couldn’t believe what I saw last night while in my area bookstore. I had heard about Newsweek’s controversial cover of Governor Mitt Romney and a colleague remarking how “tasteless” it was, but it didn’t hit home until I actually saw it.
There on the cover I saw some gangly body with the head of Mitt Romney photo-shopped on top. The idea was to borrow a theme from the Broadway musical “The Book of Mormon” and affix some political twist with a back-handed compliment that all those darn Mormons are just so successful these days… What gives?? As if anyone outside of Manhattan would pick up on such stupidity.
This is beyond poor taste or junior varsity decision-making by Newsweek’s editors. They were clearly trying to make a statement – to mock the Republican’s presidential front-runner and remind everyone who didn’t already know that Mitt Romney was some “crazy” Mormon.
Why is it that Newsweek and other mainstream media publications can feign outrage and trot out all sorts of “isms” when it suits their agendas, yet it’s perfectly acceptable mock others as they deem? Will Newsweek’s editors next run a photo of Rick Santorum on a Catholic cross with some cute headline of his messianic drive toward the White House? Where is the line? And who at Newsweek gets to decide?
The sad commentary here is that Newsweek is now notorious for such infantile moves. And their chief target during the past few years has been Sarah Palin. The magazine’s disdain for the Alaskan governor is palpable. On its Oct. 13, 2008 issue, Newsweek ran an extreme close-up shot of Palin on its cover. Only that one was not photo-shopped, revealing less-than-flattering views of her deep pores, stray facial hair and other blemishes a woman would never want shared. Ever see that with Hillary Clinton when she was running? Let’s put it this way, if the same photo was taken of Vice President Joe Biden, we could probably count the number of ear hairs the man had, as well as how many of his teeth were beginning to yellow.