Jon Stewart on this week’s Newsweek cover featuring Michele Bachmann
Newsweek featured Michele Bachmann in this week’s issue and put, how shall we say, a rather unflattering photo of her on its cover.
Her supporters, unsurprisingly, lashed out but even many of her opponents are calling foul with Terry O’Neill, president of National Organization for Women telling the Daily Caller that the cover’s blatantly sexist because a man would never receive such treatment.
Elsewhere, at Salon, Joan Walsh says the cover’s not sexist, writing:
[Newsweek editor Tina] Brown has nothing to apologize for. Newsweek picked a striking photo that distilled Bachmann to her newsworthy essence. It’s also simply true that Bachmann does something very interesting with her eyes when there’s a camera in her sights. Sometimes she’s looking at something off camera, as she did when she delivered the Tea Party rebuttal to the State of the Union, which makes her seem distracted and/or demented. Often she just keeps them open impossibly wide and unblinking, which led Chris Matthews to ask her memorably if she was hypnotized on Election Night 2010.
There is nothing remotely unfair about making a strong visual statement about a profile subject if that graphic treatment harmonizes with the copy… The transgression comes only when the editor pretends—as Brown has with the Bachmann and Diana covers—that she wasn’t playing let’s-goose-the-public with sensationalist images. Obvious lies, such as Brown’s about merely trying to convey “intensity” with the Bachmann portrait, end up conveying contempt for the reader. And that’s not a pretty picture.