Posts tagged with ‘Tina Brown’

Meme 1, Newsweek 0
Tina Brown’s latest Newsweek cover does what a Tina Brown cover does best: combine provocative imagery with an inflammatory title that gets people talking about the magazine.
In this case, “MUSLIM RAGE” screams the headline with two intense men wailing in protest underneath.
The cover itself is meta, playing on the “Why do they hate us?” meme that runs through the American press. Glenn Greenwald, writing in The Guardian, captures the absurdity of the premise:

One prominent strain shaping American reaction to the protests in the Muslim world is bafflement, and even anger, that those Muslims are not more grateful to the US. After all, goes this thinking, the US bestowed them with the gifts of freedom and democracy – the very rights they are now exercising – so how could they possibly be anything other than thankful? Under this worldview, it is especially confounding that the US, their savior and freedom-provider, would be the target of their rage…
…On Thursday night, NBC News published a nine-minute report on Brian Williams’ “Rock Center” program featuring its foreign correspondent, Richard Engel, reporting on the demonstrations in Cairo, which sounded exactly the same theme. Standing in front of protesting Egyptians in Tahrir Square, Engel informed viewers that this was all so very baffling because it was taking place “in Cairo, where the US turned its back on its old friend Hosni Mubarak”, and then added:

"It is somewhat ironic with American diplomats inside the embassy who helped to give these demonstrators, these protesters, a voice, and allowed them to actually carry out these anti-American clashes that we’re seeing right now."

That it was the US who freed Egyptians and “allowed them” the right to protest would undoubtedly come as a great surprise to many Egyptians. That is the case even beyond the decades of arming, funding and general support from the US for their hated dictator.

So, Newsweek is playing the ahistorical questions running through traditional media channels and while doing so, asks readers to chime in on Twitter with their thoughts using the #MuslimRage hashtag.
And that’s when, the Internet being the Internet, things got fun and users wrestled back the narrative:
"Lost your kid Jihad at the airport. Can’t yell for him. #MuslimRage" — @LSal92.
"I’m having such a good hair day. No one even knows. #MuslimRage" — @LibertyLibya.
"So you’re telling me that in this entire sporting goods store you don’t have a single ski turban? #muslimrage" — @TomGara.
"Ramadan in Iceland when days are 23 hours long. #muslimrage" — @iron_emu.
Coincidently, Michael Wolff recently wrote about Tina Brown and the challenges she faces with Newsweek from his new column at USA Today:

The most famous magazine editor of her generation is engaged in a desperate and operatic struggle, which almost no one anywhere believes has any chance of success, to reinvent Newsweek as a sustainable business proposition. In this, she is arguably no different from anybody else with a venerable media brand, except that Newsweek is in more dire extremis and her notoriety personalizes the fight…
…The issue was starkly simple: Could a traditional brand be reinvented in what is called a “digital first” context — and soon migrate entirely to digital — and, even more challenging, could it be reinvented by a traditional editor?

This week’s answer to that question is a clumsy MUSLIM RAGE cover with two stand-ins representing a billion-plus people. It’s analog link bait, a purposeful troll.
Yet, in a digital world where people can talk back and wrestle premises away from brands and organizations, the audience is mocking it. — Michael.
Image: Muslim Rave, via @max_read.

Meme 1, Newsweek 0

Tina Brown’s latest Newsweek cover does what a Tina Brown cover does best: combine provocative imagery with an inflammatory title that gets people talking about the magazine.

In this case, “MUSLIM RAGE” screams the headline with two intense men wailing in protest underneath.

The cover itself is meta, playing on the “Why do they hate us?” meme that runs through the American press. Glenn Greenwald, writing in The Guardian, captures the absurdity of the premise:

One prominent strain shaping American reaction to the protests in the Muslim world is bafflement, and even anger, that those Muslims are not more grateful to the US. After all, goes this thinking, the US bestowed them with the gifts of freedom and democracy – the very rights they are now exercising – so how could they possibly be anything other than thankful? Under this worldview, it is especially confounding that the US, their savior and freedom-provider, would be the target of their rage…

…On Thursday night, NBC News published a nine-minute report on Brian Williams’ “Rock Center” program featuring its foreign correspondent, Richard Engel, reporting on the demonstrations in Cairo, which sounded exactly the same theme. Standing in front of protesting Egyptians in Tahrir Square, Engel informed viewers that this was all so very baffling because it was taking place “in Cairo, where the US turned its back on its old friend Hosni Mubarak”, and then added:

"It is somewhat ironic with American diplomats inside the embassy who helped to give these demonstrators, these protesters, a voice, and allowed them to actually carry out these anti-American clashes that we’re seeing right now."

That it was the US who freed Egyptians and “allowed them” the right to protest would undoubtedly come as a great surprise to many Egyptians. That is the case even beyond the decades of arming, funding and general support from the US for their hated dictator.

So, Newsweek is playing the ahistorical questions running through traditional media channels and while doing so, asks readers to chime in on Twitter with their thoughts using the #MuslimRage hashtag.

And that’s when, the Internet being the Internet, things got fun and users wrestled back the narrative:

  • "Lost your kid Jihad at the airport. Can’t yell for him. #MuslimRage" — @LSal92.
  • "I’m having such a good hair day. No one even knows. #MuslimRage" — @LibertyLibya.
  • "So you’re telling me that in this entire sporting goods store you don’t have a single ski turban? #muslimrage" — @TomGara.
  • "Ramadan in Iceland when days are 23 hours long. #muslimrage" — @iron_emu.

Coincidently, Michael Wolff recently wrote about Tina Brown and the challenges she faces with Newsweek from his new column at USA Today:

The most famous magazine editor of her generation is engaged in a desperate and operatic struggle, which almost no one anywhere believes has any chance of success, to reinvent Newsweek as a sustainable business proposition. In this, she is arguably no different from anybody else with a venerable media brand, except that Newsweek is in more dire extremis and her notoriety personalizes the fight…

…The issue was starkly simple: Could a traditional brand be reinvented in what is called a “digital first” context — and soon migrate entirely to digital — and, even more challenging, could it be reinvented by a traditional editor?

This week’s answer to that question is a clumsy MUSLIM RAGE cover with two stand-ins representing a billion-plus people. It’s analog link bait, a purposeful troll.

Yet, in a digital world where people can talk back and wrestle premises away from brands and organizations, the audience is mocking it. — Michael.

Image: Muslim Rave, via @max_read.

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.

Slate’s Jack Schafer has a different take. He supports Brown’s decision to run the image, but chastises her for pretending to be innocent of stirring up the pot:

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.

For more, New York Times Caucus blog covers the back and forth over whether the cover’s sexist. 

But what thinks you: Is the cover fair game or sexist?

The "Diana at 50" issue is, on the one hand, a heck of an attention-getting stunt for the struggling weekly, and a chance at last to show off some of that vintage Tina Brown shamelessness that’s been so restrained since she took over as editor in March. On the other hand, when you’re a magazine with the word “news” in your name, devoting a cover story to an elaborate piece of fanfic doesn’t exactly spell “journalistic credibility.” Come with Newsweek, won’t you, on a journey to alterna-2011, a place where a princess emerged unscathed from a Paris tunnel in 1997, and Helen Mirren surely does not have an Academy Award. On the magazine’s cover, a Diana with dark lines on her face to signify the cruel passage of time is disastrously Photoshopped next to the newlywed Duchess of Cambridge, while inside, the magazine imagines her gamely clutching an iPhone – the better to tweet from.

Mary Elizabeth WIlliams, Salon, Newsweek digs up Princess Diana.

We’re partial to Vanity Fair’s Exhumed Royalty Watch: James II at 310.

In her introductory note, [Tina Brown] writes that the new Newsweek will be “about filling the gaps left when a story has seemingly passed, or resetting the agenda, or coming up with an insight or synthesis that connects the crackling, confusing digital dots.” Having read the new issue front-to-back, I can report that the gaps remain, the agenda has not shifted, and the crackling, confusing digital dots are still scattered at random on the floor.
In securing Brown as editor, Harman is now entering Stage 2 of the seven stages through which all vanity press moguls pass after buying a faltering magazine or newspaper: The owner replaces the editor with a journalistic star, redesigns the publication, expands budgets, moves to better quarters, and thinks about turning the publication into a media empire. (Harman completed Stage 1 when he bought Newsweek, announcing that quality, not profits, are the immediate goal.) Stage 3 is always the hiring of big-name writers, which I’m sure Brown is doing at this exact minute. Stage 4 is grumbles from moguls, in this case Harman and IAC’s Barry Diller—owner of the Beast and now Harman’s 50-50 partner in the Newsweek Daily Beast Company. They complain that the magazine is not a charity and order cutbacks. In Stages 5, 6, and 7, the star editor gets sacked, a pushover is hired as replacement, the moguls strip the publication down to its chassis and wheels, and they look for a new sucker to buy the publication.

— Jack Shafer, Slate. Unsolicited Advice for Tina Brown.

(Source: Slate)

Newsbeast or Beastweek? →

A Newsweek-Daily Beast partnership joins three outsize personalities: Sidney Harman, the 92-year-old stereo mogul who recently bought Newsweek for $1; Barry Diller, the media magnate who finances The Daily Beast and a host of other Web properties; and Ms. Brown, whose various stints as a high-flying — and high-spending — editor over three decades have always drawn intense curiosity from the media business. One person who was involved in the deal said both publications would retain their separate identities. The arrangement is in many ways a win-win for both sides, with Mr. Harman getting a respected editor who will generate buzz around a magazine that many in the publishing world had left for dead, and Ms. Brown gaining an editing job back in a well-known publication.

Update

HuffPo illustrates: