Ed Driscoll

Newsweek Meets Muggeridge's Law

As I mentioned in a very early post back in 2002, Malcolm Muggeridge postulated in the early ’60s that there’s simply way no way that a satirist can compete with real life for its pure absurdity. In their latest issue, National Review parodies Newsweek’s bottomless crush on President Obama with a Tiger Beat-style parody cover, complete with a groupie’s fawning lipstick on his cheek:


But as we’ll see in a bit, in real life, Newsweek’s love that dare not speak its name, unless it’s accompanied by a cover photo and 5,000 word article, is actually of a much higher calling. Like the above parody cover, in 2004, Newsweek’s Evan Thomas was perfectly prepared to compare John Kerry and John Edwards to the second coming of David Cassidy and Bobby Sherman:

On Inside Washington, a weekend discussion show taped at and run by the Gannett-owned CBS affiliate in Washington, DC, WUSA-TV, and carried by many PBS stations across the country, Thomas pointed out the boost to the Kerry/Edwards ticket provided by the press corps:

“There’s one other base here: the media. Let’s talk a little media bias here. The media, I think, wants Kerry to win. And I think they’re going to portray Kerry and Edwards — I’m talking about the establishment media, not Fox, but — they’re going to portray Kerry and Edwards as being young and dynamic and optimistic and all, there’s going to be this glow about them that some, is going to be worth, collectively, the two of them, that’s going to be worth maybe 15 points.”

The week’s Newsweek, dated July 19, certainly backs up Thomas’ contention. Over a smiling picture on the cover of Kerry and Edwards, Newsweek ever hopefully asks: “The Sunshine Boys?”

Deep down inside though, Thomas and the rest of the media always knew in 2004 that the slightly stiff Kerry was, well, a stiff. But now with a truly charismatic far left candidate and now president to support, the real second coming has arrived, and Evan  is certainly no doubting Thomas:

Obama is ‘we are above that now.’ We’re not just parochial, we’re not just chauvinistic, we’re not just provincial. We stand for something – I mean in a way Obama’s standing above the country, above – above the world, he’s sort of God.

Confusing your nation’s leader with God, and conflating politics with religion — well, hasn’t that been tried a few times already, with, to be charitable, rather less than optimal results?

And how will comedian Stephen Colbert, hired to be Newsweek’s stunt editor for an upcoming issue, parody a magazine that already is officially a parody of itself?

(Via Power Line.)

Related: Also on the NR parody cover is a blurb for “Bo’s Amazing Adventures, as told to Jon Meacham.” See also, this real life photo taken by CBS’s Mark Knoller from earlier this week, which sums up the current dog’s life state of the legacy media rather nicely:


And of course, Newsweek isn’t the only MSM publication that’s become an unwitting self-parody; U.S. News & World Report, which earlier this week was attempting to justify Playboy’s “Hate-F***” article, is also happy to carry water for President Obama’s equivocations and obfuscations as well: “Obama’s Flip-Flops for the Public Good.”

Update: “I’ve always told you they thought Obama a godling. Now, they’ve admitted it.” Don’t miss the Anchoress’ take on “The Suckling Press.”