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Roger L. Simon

How much for Newsweek?

May 5th, 2010 - 10:14 pm

Newsweek’s for sale.  What would you pay for it?

I’ll tell you what I would pay. Nada. Rien. Gor nichtMitte midagi.  (That last is “nothing” in Estonian.)

In fact, worse than that.  The Washington Post would have to pay me to take Newsweek off its hands – and a substantial sum, in the neighborhood of sixty million.  You figure it out. In 2008, the magazine lost $16.1 million; in 2009, that went to $29.3 million.  Not a promising proposition.

And what is Newsweek anyway?  In recent years it’s been nothing more than a semi-leftwing propaganda rag for Upper West Side dentists – chock full of the kind of opinion you can get for nothing on the Huffington Post or even the Daily Kos. Newsweek is slightly better written, I admit.  But if you’re looking for English prose, I suggest The New Statesman or an old paperback of E. B. White.

The magazine doesn’t offer much in the way of hard news either, at least news you’ve haven’t seen or heard days earlier in a variety of online or television venues.  And when it does venture into the realm of the breaking, you get embarrassing disinfo like the supposed flushing of Korans down Guantanamo toilets by our military. For that one, Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff, avid for an anti-American scoop, didn’t even bother to find out if they even had flush toilets in Gitmo. They didn’t.  Before long the tawdry reporting had led to Muslim rioting. (And they say blogs are sloppy.)

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