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The Rosett Report

Browsing the Magazine Stands at O’Hare – the Spin Continues

September 7th, 2008 - 4:35 pm

I was doing some traveling over the weekend, with connecting flights through Chicago’s O’Hare, and during what seems to be the routinely scheduled five-hour O’Hare delay, decided to kill some time browsing the magazine racks – with their displays replicated in one terminal after another of this major hub of American airborne gridlock. Looking out from row upon row of the racks were covers devoted to the two women most prominent in the presidential campaign, now that Hillary, with a salute to the pantsuit set, has left the stage to the ladies in heels.

Here’s what jumped out:

There were two covers showing Sarah Palin. One was Time, “The Education of Sarah Palin.” The other was the already much-commented upon cover of Us, showing Palin holding her newborn son, stamped with the headline: “Babies, Lies and Scandal.”

That second Palin cover was paired in main displays with OK magazine’s cover showing Michelle and Barack Obama and their two daughters, a happy frolicking family; headline: “Life With My Girls.”

There were another four covers showing Michelle Obama. On the cover of “Upscale” (which has as its slogan, “Living the Affluent Lifestyle), with a story about Michelle as a powerful force who will never lie to her husband. On the cover of ”Ladies Home Journal” hugging Barack, headlined: “Barack and Michelle Obama/Why he calls her his chief adviser and what jolts him awake at 3 A.M.” On the cover of Ebony, headlined ”The Real Michelle Obama. The First Lady Hopeful Talks Family, Fidelity & the Future of America.” On the cover of Essence, yet another in the series of magazine stories on the idyll: “At Home With the Obama Family.”

There’s no law — nor should there be — that says magazines have to be fair. But there’s also no law that says anyone has to buy this stuff. My advice, if transit O’Hare you must: bring a book.

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