On the Cover of Newsweek

As usual, I'm a day late and a dollar short.

This has been reported in numerous places yesterday, but I thought I'd throw it up here too, if just to give my take on it.

The reason for the changed cover in America is the super market check out line. People who have subscriptions to Newsweek have already paid for their issue and the cover with the Afghanistani man with the RPG would have made no difference. It's the impulse buy at the check out line where Annie Leibovitz and her dealings with movie stars become a better draw than a failed American Policy.

[Note: I have nothing against Annie Leibovitz and have nothing against a piece on her in Newsweek. I don't even have anything against her appearing on the cover of Newsweek. If anything, I think it's a good thing. While our nation drifts away from art in both everyday life and in education, any article that exposes people to artists is a good thing - even if they have to use celebrities to sell it.]

This isn't about media companies sterilizing news for the benefit of the Bush Administration. (I hope.) This is about the consumer. This is about Americans not wanting to read about their own failures - a sort of self censorship.

I don't know how long Americans can go without acknowledging that they voted into office (at least once) an administration that has utterly failed at everything it's attempted except lowering taxes and gutting environmental laws. Can Americans continue to take a 'head in the sand' attitude about this forever? When Americans do wake up to a world they don't recognize anymore, will there be consequences? Will it sour Americans to all politics? Only Republicans? Will Rove manage to get people to blame this on Hillary Clinton? (She is Lucifer...)

The point here is not that American media companies don't want to report news, it's that American consumers don't want to read it. Think about it: There are plenty of serious, in-depth news publications. They have low circulation numbers. Then there's Time and Newsweek.

As bloggers and blog-readers, we are some of the most informed and most demanding media consumers. We take our news and our information very seriously. But we're a minority. Until the rest of the country wants to read about our failures, nothing will change.

No comments: