At least they're smart enough to figure out that the "unbiased" plea is not gonna play in front of the judge of public opinion. So Newsweek has decided to create a newsmagazine for what editor Jon Meacham calls "his base", with a heavy emphasis on politics and public policy.
Hmmm..so who exactly is his base? Perhaps Newsweek's recent writing style and editorial selection can enlighten us..from the Washington Post:
The ideas that Newsweek is promoting are mainly left-of-center. The cover story in today's issue is a generally sympathetic interview with President Obama, written by Meacham, that describes Obama "moving as he wishes to move, and the world bending to him." An accompanying piece by Tina Brown on Nancy Pelosi -- who's just endured her worst week as House speaker over the waterboarding controversy -- calls her "fast-talking, formidable, high-energy and supremely self-confident."
Earlier, in Newsweek's 100-day assessment of the new president, liberal columnist Jonathan Alter wrote, "Barack Obama has put more points on the board than any president since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933." Allison Samuels wrote this month: "I knew that Michelle Obama was already changing the way we see ourselves as African-American women. . . . What's remarkable now . . . is how quickly and decisively Michelle has taken on the issues that matter most to us."
When Newsweek put a conservative's essay on the cover, it was by David Frum, assailing Rush Limbaugh under the headline "Why Rush Is Wrong." And when Newsweek took on Obama, it did so from the left, in a piece built around New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and his criticism of the president's economic policies.
Honesty from the WaPo, although the story's original headline - "Newsweek Targets a Smaller, More Elite Audience" - probably hit too close to home. I nteresting to see what happens to Newsweek as they style themselves strictly for whom they consider "elites" - East/West coast liberals, government employees, and Beltway hanger-ons.
Expect declining revenue to match declining readership, while whatever nonsense it prints will still be loudly hailed by its remaining customers - the op-ed page writers of the NYT and the WaPo.
Even elites need reassurance....