Archive for ‘newsweek’

July 28, 2009

Headline of the Year

Newsweek’s Obama Correspondent
Joins Administration

First thing Daren Briscoe did? Collect his back pay.

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June 5, 2009

Colbert editing Newsweek

by Smitty (h/t Rhetorican)

  I can nearly get into the idea of Stephen Colbert editing Newsweak. As much as I enjoyed his wonderfully titled I Am America (And So Can You!), I look forward to not reading this with added pleasure.
While I don’t advocate wanton cruelty to people, saying “Newsweak, I hope you die in a fire” types quite comfortably.

May 18, 2009

Newsweek: ‘Counterintuitive’Is the New Stupid

The Washington Post‘s Howard Kurtz reports on the new “strategery” at sister publication Newsweek:

Jon Meacham admits it is hard to explain, even to his own people, why chopping Newsweek’s circulation in half is a good thing.
“It’s hugely counterintuitive,” the magazine’s editor says. “The staff doesn’t understand it.” . . .
Newsweek, owned by The Washington Post Co. . . . is bleeding red ink, losing nearly $20 million in the first quarter. Newsweek, whose circulation was as high as 3.1 million in recent years, plans to cut that to 1.5 million by the beginning of 2010, in part by discouraging renewals. The magazine will begin charging the average subscriber about 90 cents an issue, nearly double the current rate.
“If we can’t convince a million and a half people we’re worth less than a dollar a week, the market will have spoken,” Meacham says. The newsstand price will also jump from $4.95 to $5.95, a buck more than Time.

(Hat-tip: Hot Air Headlines.) Raise the price and discourage subscriptions? Brilliant! And check out their “innovative” idea for revamping content:

Meacham, an admirer of the Economist, is fashioning a serious magazine for what he calls his base, with a heavy emphasis on politics and public policy.

Right. You’re going to turn a mass-circulation news magazine into some sort of highbrow policy journal . . . weekly! And then watch the money roll in! If this isn’t the stupidest business strategy in the history of journalism — that’s a pretty tough competition — it’s certainly in the Top Five.

Notice that Meacham’s idea is to publish a magazine resembling a magazine that he likes to read. Call it the Narcissus Reflecting Pool Theory of journalism: If the top editor admires a certain publication, then trying to imitate that publication must be a good business strategy. What you are doing, therefore, is producing a publication for your own editors, rather than for the readers.

This is all very good if the editor is a visionary with a sense of what the reading public wants. But if your editor is a clueless dingbat like Jon Meacham, you’re screwed.

My advice to Newsweek staffers: Update your resumes.

UPDATE: Welcome, fellow AOSHQ Morons! You might also enjoy my take on MoDoGate, and my most recent American Spectator column, “The Republicans Who Really Matter.”

UPDATE II: Allahpundit loves me again!

It smells like they’re trying to remake themselves into a lefty rag like the American Prospect albeit with a bit more populist appeal and investigative journalism. Not quite as highbrow as TNR, not quite as lowbrow as MSNBC, but extra “serious” and willing to charge a bit more for their new supposed prestige.

Now if I can just get him to front-page my Green Room post about the cowardice of the elite . . .

UPDATE III: Welcome NRO readers! Perhaps you’d like to sample some delicious lesbian cookies?

March 22, 2009

Obama Ethics Rules: Bug or Feature?

by Smitty

Newsweak, by way of the Puffington Host, is aflutter because the Obama Administration has

hundreds of top government posts stand empty. One reason: over-the-top ethics rules are disqualifying or driving away some of the best and the brightest

Are we allowed to float the question of whether setting over-the-top ethics rules might, itself, be unethical because it leaves positions unstaffed, and could lead to impropriety?

It’s the old law of unintended consequences: in order to satisfy a public desire for squeaky-clean government, elected officials have put at risk a more critical goal: dealing expeditiously with the financial crisis.

Couple of questions for the poor, victimized Administration:

  1. Does anyone, anyone, think that government is, was or will ever be “squeaky clean”?
  2. Does the person in the vegetative state you found in the previous question think that the 111th Congress or the Treasury has been dealing ethically with any of this?

Towards the end of the article we get another taste of “That Darn Technology Done Me Wrong Blues”:

Times have changed, of course. There was no cable TV in the 1930s, and government is much more transparent today—not a bad thing. The Obama team has become more than a little sensitive to criticism. “The idea that government is at a total standstill is just ridiculous,” says a White House aid speaking under the usual rules of anonymity. “We deserve some credit for what we’ve gotten done in the little time we’ve been here, especially considering the environment we’re in.”

Deserve? Only the Almighty knows what you or the Administration’s members deserve, buddy. That the scope of my judgement is limited to the ballot box is surely a feature.