Here is TIME magazine’s ever so classy cover for tomorrow’s edition.
Former TIME political editor Karen Tumulty calls it “lazy” and “stupid,” but she’s wrong on both counts. Clearly, TIME is not suggesting that Chris Christie is fat just because they’re using the GOP’s mascot in the headline to remind readers of his weight. That’s your filthy imagination.
They’re really just suggesting that he’s Alfred Hitchcock. Or something.
The Christie cover is neither lazy nor stupid. It’s deliberate and it’s timely. The Republican just won a landslide in a blue state, something Democrats and their media allies can only dream about reciprocating in, say, Texas.
The mainstream media has a history of tricky use of covers and photos to attack Republicans as they rise to threaten Democrats’ grip on power. Christie just painted blue New Jersey red. So he must be killed off by a thousand media cuts and there is no time to waist. I mean waste.
This isn’t new. There was the Newsweek cover depicting Michele Bachmann as too crazy for Cocoa Puffs.
Newsweek invented a whole fake science just to whack Sarah Palin.
Newsweek went out of business pulling stunts like this. TIME should learn a lesson from it.
But they won’t. And then when called on it, they”ll do what Obama has done this week and accuse you of misunderstanding them even though you understood them perfectly well. “If you think putting ‘elephant’ over a fat guy on our cover was meant to remind you that he’s fat, that’s on you, not us.”
Sometimes the trick isn’t what’s on the cover, but what’s not on the cover but should be. There’s another trick they pull — the New York Times is especially good at this one but others have learned it too — where they take a great but inconvenient story that ought to lead the front page and they bury it in the 20th paragraph in an obscure story on page six. Then when you bug them about not covering the story, they whip out that paragraph and say, “But we did cover it! See! Right here!” Right, you covered it, you just deep-sixed it in the Marianas Trench when you did.
I never went to J-school so I don’t know if they teach this stuff there, or if it’s more of an on-the-job training sort of thing.