Wednesday, November 18, 2009

NEWSWEEK, Sarah Palin and the tendency of magazines to go for the "gotcha" photo.

Here's a link to Evan Thomas' NEWSWEEK article about Sarah Palin; Thomas pines for a legislative environment where "moderate" Republicanism rules over the visceral, primeval don't-think-it's-bad-for-you ethos of Ms. Palin and her acolytes:
And Thomas also engages in more dumb revisionism where Ronald Reagan is now considered a "great" President.

But, Thomas (plus the more intelligent Christopher Hitchens article undone when Hitchens lurches for his trademark bellicose atheism at the close) gets undone by Jon Meacham and NEWSWEEK's choice for a cover photo.

As for the controversial cover (which was from a photo shoot for a fitness magazine), it shouldn't be surprising that magazines still desire the "gotcha" cover--a practice that hasn't really changed since TIME's infamous darkening of O.J. Simpson's photo a decade and a half ago.

And here's NEWSWEEK justifying the choice:

To me, the really offensive photo is in the print edition of the magazine--and it's more due to the context which the magazine intended.

There's a shot of Ms. Palin giving a campaign-trail speech in October of 2008--but all you see are the back of her legs and her high-heeled shoes and two young male volunteers gazing up at her.

And NEWSWEEK, given the Palin-as-substance-free-beauty nudge-nudge of the cover photo, seems to want readers to think of the two male supporters as staring at a woman onstage in a strip club.

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