TINA BROWN’s latest cover is causing media critics to gasp yet again. It’s becoming a ritual. That’s because our media has a very high opinion of itself, never mind they haven’t earned it and don’t deserve it. “Food porn” is a big seller and should be applauded for its capitalistic value, but sexual innuendo is “bad.”
Politico.com is so aghast at Tina Brown’s Newsweek food cover they won’t even show the whole thing. Oh, the airs of the editorial crew over there thinking they’re above showing a picture of a woman about to eat two rigid stalks of perfectly formed asparagus.
Cue heavy breathing and the R rating and for God’s sake hide the children!
Dylan Byers, who opines about the “bad” cover while explaining what it means, laments the food porn possibilities that were missed:
Wonders of stock PG-13 sex photography aside, Brown missed the obvious opportunity to sell the magazine by tapping into the widely desired reservoir of real food porn — which, like real estate porn and travel porn, gives readers the promise of indulging in what they are unlikely to obtain (but just might!) in real life.
Food porn — especially in the summer days of barbecue and cobbler — is big business. According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, which released its data for the first half of 2012 today, Food Network Magazine and Real Simple (leaders in the genre) are among the Top 25 U.S. magazines flying off the rack in the checkout aisle these days. Newsweek is not.
Has he ever read the magazines he’s weirdly comparing to Newsweek, which are larger, stronger and don’t cover politics? Byers must have forgotten the cover contortions of Jon Meacham, which couldn’t save Newsweek either and ended up with Meacham out and Brown in.
Brown announced that the print edition of Newsweek could end production. People stopped buying the print version of Newsweek a long time before Tina Brown showed up with her unique provocative penchant for sexual innuendo.
FAIR, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, is similarly shocked or disappointed or… something.
In the new media age, who isn’t surprised that Newsweek and Time magazine are still around?
This story is unimportant, but it serves as an example of the puritanical paranoia that drives the media in this country and keeps us all hooked on a forced morality that no longer exists and cannot be dragged back into relevancy.