Just to follow up on our previous post about Scott Ott’s new gig, the difficult challenge of any satirist (as Malcolm Muggeridge noted nearly half a century ago) is improving upon real life for its pure absurdity. I swear, when I first saw it, I thought this latest Newsweek cover was some sort of quicky mashup produced by a mischievous blogger using Photoshop–but apparently, it’s quite real.
Of course, with Newsweek, who can tell these days? In any case, the current cover makes quite an interesting companion piece to this 2005 cover on an international edition of Newsweek. (See photo on right.)
As Newsweek’s own Howard Fineman noted in early 2005:
A political party is dying before our eyes — and I don’t mean the Democrats. I’m talking about the “mainstream media,” which is being destroyed by the opposition (or worse, the casual disdain) of George Bush’s Republican Party; by competition from other news outlets (led by the internet and Fox’s canny Roger Ailes); and by its own fraying journalistic standards.
Exactly. And this latest cover is proof that Newsweek’s rapidly shrinking audience isn’t becoming smaller; it’s merely becoming more selective, as I wrote in December. And it’s a two-way street: call all your readers socialists, and only socialists will read your magazine.
Related: “Our journalists know that good men are often despised by the mob; it just never seems to occur to them that they might be the mob themselves.”