Monday, October 22, 2012

The Five Worst Newsweek Pieces—Of the Last Seven Months!

Posted By on Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 11:30 AM

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"It is not an editorial problem,” Fareed Zakaria, a former editor of Newsweek International, told the Times last week, for an article about Newsweek's decision to abandon print and go all-digital. “It is a larger business problem.” I'd argue it's both. I subscribed to the venerable newsweekly in March, curious about what new editor Tina Brown had done to revive the moribund property. My first issue was the talked-about Mad Men issue, with its retro ads and art design—which I liked! And I was impressed by the expose about aging Boeing jets. But my opinion of the magazine soon soured. Here's five examples of why—and I won't even mention the asparagus fellatio cover, Obama with a rainbow halo, or MUSLIM RAGE.

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How about, for starters, Christopher Dickey's masturbatory profile of NYPD chief Ray Kelly? I don't like Kelly—the way his department treats every person of color in the city as a criminal, the way he arrests journalists—but I guess I could see how somebody might. Dickey, however, whitewashes the very real criticisms of Kelly, turning out an absurdly glowing profile.. "The record... is hard to argue with: at least 14 full-blown terrorist attacks have been prevented or failed on Kelly’s watch," he writes. Actually, that's quite easy to argue with.

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We could have a mature discussion about sexuality and power. This cover is not the first step in doing so—it's regressive and insulting in its insinuation that women in power secretly want guys to overpower them!

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When reading this rundown of the Scott Brown-Elizabeth Warren Senate race this morning, I was a little taken aback when the writer referred to the incumbent as "the manliest man in the Senate," but I figured she was just talking about his reputation, not her personal feelings. But then a little farther down she writes, "He’s like your favorite coach from high school—only way hotter." Get a hold of yourself!

Nothing makes your dick bigger than shooting an elephant
  • Nothing makes your dick bigger than shooting an elephant
You know what else is really manly? Killing animals! From a Rebecca Dana column that explores why so many manly rich men are so interested in killing big game (and reads like a Burger King commercial):

“There’s something very basic, particularly in the masculine psyche, that requires the killing of large animals,” says [Teddy] Roosevelt biographer Edmund Morris. There have been other iconic hunters through history—Britain’s King George V, notably—but none has captured the masculine imagination quite like Roosevelt. This is partly because the president, who was sickly as a child, transformed himself into a strapping outdoorsman through sheer force of will. “Of course this is catnip to most men,” Morris says.

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HARD-HITTING JOURNALISM!

Follow Henry Stewart on Twitter @henrycstewart

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