How To Sell Magazines: Cover Warz

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09/16/2008 11:00 AM |

So, when photographer Jill Greenberg shot John McCain for this month’s Atlantic cover, she purposefully tried to make him look like a hideously old man with extra-long jowels. Then, she posted doctored images of McCain on her web site — taken from the cover shoot. Here, he’s a bloodthirsty shark vampire! In the image at right, it looks like McCain is about to get snipered in the face.

Jeffrey Goldberg, who penned the cover story, posted about the controversy on the Atlantic‘s site yesterday, calling Greenberg’s art “juvenile, and on occasion repulsive.” The editor of the Atlantic, James Bennet, has gone on record to say he feels Greenberg behaved improperly. He’s drafting a letter of apology to McCain (awkwaaard!), and is considering a lawsuit against. Too bad he didn’t vet her before the assignment — trust no one, dudes. Greenberg is only sort of sorry — in so far as having gotten the Atlantic in trubs, though not so much for the images themselves. In fact, she’d like to sell some of the more provactive pictures to another magazine. For now, you can view them all here.

But cover is out and hey, wouldn’t you know! Bennet is pleased with the final product. According to Fox News:

Greenberg said that the cover shot for The Atlantic article was
manipulated to leave McCain’s eyes red and skin looking bad. But Bennet
said the magazine stands by the picture that made the front cover. He
said the artwork went through editors’ hands before going to print, and
it is accompanied by "a terrific story" that is a comprehensive look at
McCain’s foreign policy.

"I think the cover shot is very respectful of John McCain. I think
it’s a good picture. People have to judge it for themselves," Bennet
said, adding that he rejects Greenberg’s characterizations of the shot.

"One of the nice things about this situation is people can look at
the cover shot and make their own determination about whether or not it
is fair to John McCain. I believe very strongly that it is," Bennet

Yes, she may have been terribly naughty and improper, but what wonderful timing! Please, do look and click and buy, and maybe this issue will sell almost as many copies as their Britney cover this past spring. Or that New Yorker cover of Barack and Michelle Obama. Or, hell, that Miley Cyrus cover. Reach for the stars.

[Via Fox News, Radar, Gawker, Post]