Sunday, September 20, 2009

Hate versus just clownin' around: a tale of two covers

The latest cover of New York gives Obama a makeover...

...while Time's cover gives Beck some tongue.

Racist haters or silly billies?

There appears to be a slight blip between viewpoints when you compare the latest covers of Time and New York magazines, perhaps the result of increased media fragmentation and the need to "comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comforted" to attract a niche, but regular stable of readers.

(Remember: part of Newsweek's latest strategy is to attract fewer readers, which I wrote about here.)

Personally, I find it hard to downplay Obama posters featuring Hitler mustaches, swastikas, and whiteface as "just clowning around," but Time prefers to look on the sunny side of life by writing a virtual love letter to conservative commentator Glenn Beck - the guy, you'll recall, who calls Obama a racist.

Time Magazine does call Beck a "pudgy" and "weeping" phenomenon, but only as a lead in to compare him to Oprah and Dr. Phil and to congratulate him on being a "gifted entrepreneur."

"Time" for a change

Regardless of what one might think of the content, the article is a path well trodden for Time magazine. "Is Glenn Beck bad for America?" it asks.
  • Or when it gave Ann Coulter the cover in April, 2005, and called her "Ms. Right."
  • Or in December 1995 when it gave Newt Gingrich the cover as "Man of the Year."
Here, Glenn Beck gives himself credit for predicting the 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City - and preparing his family for when it happens again:

"Gifted entrepreneur" or "the enduring rot in American politics?" Hmmmm....tough call!


  1. I've been a Glen Beck fan for a long time. Not because I agree with him, but because I think that he is entertaining. The same kind of entertaining as Bill O'Reilly.

    I used to watch Glen everynight when he was on Headline Prime right after Lou Dobbs. Which I still think is the strangest back-to-back lineup ever.

    "Is Glen Beck Dangerous for America?"
    He is about as dangerous as Bill or Keith Olberman or Rachael Madow or the women on The View. They all reach a huge audience, but I don't think their impact is strong enough to "rock the boat".

    Since moving to Fox News Beck has gotten a lot more right wing and has been very careless with his words. He was never this intense when he was on Headline Prime

  2. Interesting take on Glenn Beck. The View scares me too!

  3. Glenn Beck was influential enough to make a White House advisor resign for some stupid stuff he did in his past. Pair that kind of power with some of his wackier statements about politics and society, and you've got a recipe for disaster.

  4. Glen Beck is hilarious. If I didn't know better I would swear he was the most genious comedian since Andy Kaufman. He is a screamingly ridiculous parody of himself, and the fact that people take him seriously makes him even funnier.
    That being said, the fact that people take him seriously also scares me half to death.
    There will always be raving lunatics, but only in a world where they are given this kind of airtime can we really be sure of what kind of trouble we are in...


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