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Newsweek’s Jon Meacham Just Doesn’t Get It

How about showing a little leg, Jon?

Newsweek editor John Meacham has released an “official statement” defending the Sarah Palin cover:

“We chose the most interesting image available to us to illustrate the theme of the cover, which is what we always try to do,” Meacham said. “We apply the same test to photographs of any public figure, male or female: does the image convey what we are saying? That is a gender-neutral standard.”

And what is the “theme” of the cover? Is this what he means?

“How do you solve a problem like Sarah? She’s bad news for the GOP–and for everybody else too.”

Can someone find a Newsweek cover photo of male a politician in a skimpy running outfit? Jon Meacham just doesn’t get it if the thinks the decision to publish this cover was “gender-neutral.” Give me a break!

This is an open thread.

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108 Responses

  1. How did that nerdy dipsh#t get to be editor of a news magazine anyway?

    • Don’t know about nerdy, but dipsh#1 is a requirement for the job.

      Another episode of simple answers to simple questions.

    • I don’t care for Palin’s Politics. I don’t give a snot about whether she will have a “Cup of coffee” with Hillary or not. ( although, I would like to be a fly on the wall )

      But,

      I respect her for being a strong woman in what is perceived to be a man’s world……Politics.

      My take on the cover is…..Sex sells and she is a good looking woman. They used that picture to sell mags. I think this is what makes her detractors in the Repugnican Party insane with rage!

      • wow… way to miss the point

        • Did I miss the point?

          Oh well…It was my take and if I missed the point….my bad.

        • By the way….

          Here’s what Palin had to say about this cover….

          The choice of photo for the cover of this week’s Newsweek is unfortunate. When it comes to Sarah Palin, this “news” magazine has relished focusing on the irrelevant rather than the relevant. The Runner’s World magazine one-page profile for which this photo was taken was all about health and fitness – a subject to which I am devoted and which is critically important to this nation. The out-of-context Newsweek approach is sexist and oh-so-expected by now. If anyone can learn anything from it: it shows why you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, gender, or color of skin. The media will do anything to draw attention – even if out of context. – Sarah Palin

          Just in case anyone was interested.

          • She makes our case! Glad to see those words – SOMEONE had to speak up about it. Probably best that it is her.

    • Newsweek’s publisher Conde Nast could lose $1B in ad revenues this year. I hope they have to stop publishing Newsweek.

      • They should get rid of Vanity Fair and Newsweek and bring back Gourmet and Metropolitan Home. They can’t embarass themselves too badly in those areas. Stick to cookin’ and prettifyin’, Boys of Conde Nast.

  2. Their point was to illustrate that SP is a bimbo, and just a sexual object.

    Give the guy credit. He is slimy, but honest.

    Why have I gotten to the point that the left leave me nauseated?

    • Oh….now I get it! Is that the theme of the cover?

    • you are at the same point I am. I said many years ago on dkos that liberal men are as sexist if not more so than conservative men. They don’t get it… there were howls of derision… and yet it is true. I realized that at about the same time that I realized that the democratic party really is full of out of touch elitists. They don’t even respect the people who put them in power.
      There are two reasons I remain a democrat.
      1. the majority of democrats voted for Hillary in the primaries.
      2. When I go to the polls to vote for republican women I want to show up as a democratic women doing it.

      • You made a similar observation in the last post comparing the conservative male and (so-called) progressive male that I thought was very accurate in my experience too.

        I think the conservative men mostly think they are the leaders of women by Biblical assignment.

        I think the “so-called progressives” don’t use religious views as the basis because they are so very “rational”. Instead they use demonizing language to place each “devisive” woman beneath them and justify their rude/sexist behavior.

        • divisive…and polarizing!

        • What about those who are conservative but not really religious. There are still a lot of economic conservatives in the grass roots.

          • I think much of the tone in terms of the treatment of women is set by the religious conservatives, even for those who aren’t particularly religious.

            I am by no means suggesting that I think it is good, just a bit easier to cope with since they are certain that God made them to lead women – so maybe it isn’t as intimidating or something? I don’t know, I’m not a psychologist, but the conservative men I know aren’t freaked out by women holding elected office or being in leadership roles and are amused when they are of the butt-kicking type female.

            That amusement is not extended to Hillary Clinton – they think she really did all the stuff of right-wing meme.

  3. John Meacham’s statement in a word: weak.

  4. What’s worse is the number of Democrats who believe she posed for this cover. “Why did she pose for the cover?”

    Are you FREAKING kidding me? These are our future leaders, rejoice.

  5. It is incredible to me that anyone reads those news magazines. In the time of instantaneousness, the articles are like history lite. I love how they post-date the date on the cover to make the rehashed, People-est content seem cutting edge. I don’t even read them in the doctor’s office anymore. Newsweek will do what it will do and sensible people will ignore them.

    Of course, I totally agree that he is full of crap. It is hard to believe there are no women in the magazine that have the brains to tell them that they are embarrassing themselves. Too bad women don’t have lobbyist.

  6. And why does Meacham get to decide if Palin is “bad news for everyone?” Who the hell is he–guardian of the people? We can make our own decisions asshat.

    The articles I have read this week–particularly from the “enlightened left” just drip with condescension and self-importance. They are repulsive, and transparent in their insular arrogance. It makes me want to cheer Palin on all the more, despite her conservative politics. I am truly disgusted by these people, men and women alike. It reminds me so much of the tone with which they attacked Hillary and all the “stupid red necks” who supported her. When did this country become ruled by such snobs?

    • Digby posted a weak defense of Palin today, but the more I read of it, the weaker it got–till I quit reading mid-sentence. Don’t these “prog” women realize they could very well be getting the same treatment if they risked running for office or tried to get into a position of real power?

      • How can you say that? Don’t you know that the boys love them because they’re special and different?

        /sarcasm off

      • Don’t these “prog” women realize they could very well be getting the same treatment if they risked running for office or tried to get into a position of real power?

        no no no!!! It’s Christmas, New Years, and Hanukkah all rolled into one for Dem wimmens.

      • Digby posted a truely disgusting comment regarding Levi’s comments previously. It left me outraged.

        29 October 2009

        So Palin is hitting back at Levi Johnston in the press for saying that she refers to little Trig as retarded.

        We have purposefully ignored the mean spirited, malicious and untrue attacks on our family. We, like many, are appalled at the inflammatory statements being made or implied. Trig is our ‘blessed little angel’ who knows it and is lovingly called that every day of his life. Even the thought that anyone would refer to Trig by any disparaging name is sickening and sad. CBS should be ashamed for continually providing a forum to propagate lies.

        Notice she doesn’t exactly deny it. Just because he’s called their blessed little angel doesn’t mean they also don’t refer to him as retarded. In fact, it seems perfectly believable to me that they would without realizing that it’s no longer considered acceptable.

        But what’s really notable about her comments is the last sentence. She’s right. It is irresponsible to provide a forum to propagate lies. Imagine if there existed a whole network that gave liars their own shows where they could lie every single night and even organize political activists based upon them. I certainly think that would be shameful.

        • digby should know. she promoted enough lies during the campaign and it would seem she’s still doing it. sorry chickenshit!

        • yeah MSNBC is irresponsible. They didn’t teabag, but there were on air tingles. That channel was campaigning for Obama and everyone knew it.

          So is Fox irresponsible, and so is CNN of Donna Brazile fame.

          The only thing CNN has going for it is Christiane Amanpour and a couple other of its foreign correspondents. the rest of their coverage is mostly trash and belongs in a celebrity magazine.

        • Digby’s commenters hate MSNBC? Huh.

        • Wow, Digby is being incredibly disingenuous but, the thing that really got me was that most of the comments were outrageous nonsense.

        • I’m glad Digby realizes that MSNBC is full of liars. Meanwhile, her saying “…it seems perfectly believable to me…” is evidence of what? How does what seems believable to Digby evidence of anything?

          I can’t believe I used to think she was brilliant. I’m ashamed I ever thought that of her.

          • I especially enjoy how the enlightened elect postulate that “those people,” are too stupid to comprehend social mores and the boundaries of social discourse. You’d think even if they were stuck in a time warp and clueless and backward, they’d do a bit of basic research on their own child’s condition, but not those people! They don’t read, they don’t get the news. They need to be smedumacated by the same cretins who wrote beyond disgusting things about the child. Lead by example on what’s considered acceptable. Those Failbot boundaries.

      • chickensh#t indeed!

        She described herself very well.

    • fif, I am at the same place you are.

      I can barely stand the smug condescension with which “progressives” sneer at regular people and make all kinds of uninformed judgments. I have one friend who can’t even say the word ‘Alaska’ without screwing up his face and snorting. At a dinner party some friends were discussing an acquaintance who works for an oil company. One of them quipped that he was “good folk except for that.” I asked her if she’d stopped driving her car or heating her house and the whole table fell silent. Then she looked so confused and finally said “good point.”

      I’m getting to the point where I can barely take it anymore, especially combined with the ignorance about B0s politics and selling out of women and gays, to name a few. Still he is fawned over.

      I don’t even know what to say to these people who think they’re so smart and really they are condescending and uninformed.

      • Yeah, it’s like the Dunning-Kruger effect… The obot idiots who for some reason think they are informed.

        The beautiful dark-haired boy who often shows up in my icon is 1/2 Native Alaskan. So anyone who cringes at the word “Alaska” is worse than uninformed in my book.

  7. I have seen jon meachump interviewed any number of times. He is the epitome of an elitist asshole. His religious zealotry is annoying too. He tries to pretend that he is so civil and righteous and logical and in reality he is a pompous twit with as much sense as 0bama and GW Bush put together. And we have to listen to him explain why an embassingly sexist cover of his stupid Newsweek magazine is not sexist. What a deluded pretentious little boy!

  8. yeah, and when they nominate Obama Time’s man of the year, they’ll be sure to use the shirtless photo in the ocean right there too … with the quote.. he’s bad news for the democrats and bad news for every one too

  9. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that Newsweek held Dan Quayle in the same contempt that it holds Palin (not saying that they did, of course, since Quayle actually had a penis). Where is the cover of Quayle in a Speedo? Hell, where’s the cover of Quayle in an open-collar golf shirt, for crying out loud!?!

    Gender neutral, my a$$!

    (haven’t commented in ages–hello everybody!)

    • Hi there!

    • hi Nell, glad to see you.
      I just went and commented on the defense of the cover. I was glad to see lots of people there telling Meacham he was full of shit. Unfortunately the republican women don’t seem to get that many of the remarks in support of Palin were from liberal women and many decided to go on a anti liberal rant.
      When are women going to realize we are all or should all be on the same side?

      • not necessarily all on the same side, but when it comes to the village hating along gender lines, it would be a breath of fresh air to hear some real solidarity amongst women along nonpartisan lines. It’s not just about the bias against liberal women or the bias against conservative women. There is a larger bias in American politics to-date that damns all women, not for the content or context of our opinions, but for getting “too political” and not staying in line with the agenda set by men for men– and this bias damns us whether we are liberal, conservative, old, young, experienced, fresh face, politician, voter, etc.

        • I think this is all part of some powers that be plan. Keeping women divided against each other by throwing one potentially divisive women’s issue after another at us at a fast and furious rate. Abortion, Palin, mammography’s, keeping us off balance, ducking and weaving and diluting our ability to respond effectively. Also, they can judge how cohesive women are right now and how far they can go in further disempowering us. It reminds me of the divide and conquer techniques used in the 2008 primaries and general election. And women are playing right into it again, lining up on both sides of an issue, instead of seeing the common sexist enemy in all of this and banding together in solidarity to combat that.

    • Hello, Nell.

    • Hi

  10. John Meacham is a misogynist moron but he fits right in at Newsweek and MSNBC. We don’t have to subscribe to Newsweek but unfortunately we have to subsidize MSNBC and NBCs other networks every time we pay our basic cable bill. If you would like to change this and have Cable Choice check out this website. http://www.parentstv.org/PTC/cable/main.asp. Parents Television Council has a law suit working it’s way through the courts to force the concept of Cable Choice. Yes the PTC is run by actual Republicans, but it is about time feminists learn to colabrorate with people who are not ideologically pure in order to accomplish important goals. While you are at that site you might check out their recent study on violence against women as entertainment. Yes while Liberal Democrats were busy practicing their special brand of “comical misogyny” this Republican group was studying where women stand in media. Think about it.

    • I see the PTC as the type of organisation which would use you for their ends so long as you were useful and then stab you in the back and dispose of the corpse once it was obvious you were unwilling to go any further with their agenda. It is one thing to get one’s hands dirty; it is quite another to don a bathing suit and dive into a septic tank.

      • That works both ways. Once you get Cable Choice, you drop off PTC’s radar. They don’t have a collar on you.

        It’s the same way with any other coalition. So long as you are helpful to each other, work together. When you are not, don’t.

        This is not rocket science past the age of about 14.

  11. Did TIME or NEWSWEEK ever feature that famous photo of topless Obama frolicking in the surf on their respective covers?
    If not, why not?

  12. Hey! Why don’t some of you guys who are great with the photo shopping put JMs head on a hot bod and put it up for us to mock? Sounds like fun to me! I am not sure if it would be funnier on a male hot bod or a female hot bod. Because I am not sure what the liberals find so mock-worthy, the femaleness or the sexuality.

  13. Stop the presses! More people think Hillary Clinton is qualified to be President than think Palin is qualified.

    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2009/11/whos-more-qualified-to-be-president-more-people-say-clinton-not-palin/1

    Do these morons ever actually report like….news?

    • More people saw Hillary as qualified to be president than they saw anybody else (Biden, Romney, Huckabee, Palin) in that poll. See that’s the thing, they whine about Palin not being qualified to be president or vice president, but the one who was the most qualified, the Obama media said she wasn’t good enough either.

  14. Well, regarding the last sentence about any other politician they’ve done a cover like that of, I can’t think of any other politician that posed for a cover like that, and Palin posed like that for Runners world.

    • I’ve seen photos of Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, and George H.W. Bush in running shorts, but not on the cover of Newsweek.

      Palin posed for an article about fitness and exercise for Runner’s World. Runner’s World isn’t a news magazine.

      • Sarah should never have posed for that picture because she looks sexually attractive.

        “Everybody knows” that sexually attractive wimmens are stoopid bimbos.

        Sarah should put on weight and have a plastic surgeon uglify her so people will take her seriously.

        • Yeah, and then it would be, “Put a bag over your head, you fat, ugly b—-. We can’t take you seriously looking like that!”

        • Palin looks sexually attractive whether she’s in running gear, or glammed up in a dress, or in a suit, or jeans, or bundled up for a sled race. Boy do I thank my lucky stars I don’t have that problem…..

    • Yes, and it would be at home in Runner’s World. But not on a national “news” magazine!

    • How about Mitt Romney doing a shirtless running ad to appeal to female voters?

      • More than likely to gay men, if he were younger, more sculptured, and cuter.

        • Well, yeah, I’m sure it didn’t actually appeal to female voters, but that was their intent. 🙂 any female pol who had commercials with her running in a half shirt to appeal to male voters would be a brainless bimbo; when a male pol does it, fine for him and it’s assumed the female voters are brainless bimbos.

  15. Echidne of the Snakes:

    The list of explosive topics for feminist bloggers is slightly different than for, say, progressive bloggers in general. And no, I’m not going to give you the list because that would get the yelling started. But one of those topics certainly is the way Sarah Palin is treated in the political media and on various political blogs. The debate on her is predictable: Some (poor dear) feminist blogger points out that her treatment contains large chunks of sexist smearing. Then others note that Sarah is trading on her sexuality so she deserves the sexualized responses. Or that she’s too stoopid for words and has such horrible politics that we really should dump everything possible on her head. Including misogyny, whenever appropriate.

    And that’s where things get ugly. It’s nearly impossible to separate Sarah-Palin-hating from Sarah-Palin-as-female-hating, and that offers a nice opening for any closeted misogynist to exercise his or her inner demons without getting caught doing it. Ultimately the whole topic turns into free-for-all about tits and power and shit, and the only valid conclusion is that we are far from an equal world when it comes to getting and using political power.

    • Actually, no. That should be a topic for progressive bloggers, as well. If Newsweek ran a racist cover of Obama, the RNC would be expected to repudiate it. Why can’t the party that benefits from women’s votes put principle over partisanship? Why can’t they do the right thing and the smart thing instead of continuing to press their luck?

    • Wasn’t that the same for Hillary Clinton? The media beat up on the Clintons, and especially Hillary for being so smart and confident (but not a “People Mag” concept of beauty). How dare she think she could even run for President!

      Now Sarah, same story, but she is a looker, therefore, they have to attack her on other fronts.

      I wonder if Sarah Palin is on to the fact that she is really really scary to the Corporatist/Lobbyist cabal that passes at the U. S. government. Populism has to be squashed at all costs, esp. with corporate/financial industry bailouts, decreasing jobs, lower standard of living, debt servitude, etc., etc. What if the people really had a people’s President, not a phony stooge?

      • She knows. I read the interview she did with Limbaugh where she said for those who thought of politics as a business she would never be one of them or accepted by them.

        She said she hoped the country took a more independent direction, but was definitely still a conservative republican.

  16. Democratic strategist Steve McMahon:

    “This is a woman who is basically the Tonya Harding of authors. She came out and kneecapped every single person who helped her along the way. And she’s making millions of dollars for it. She has no right to complain, she has no reason to complain. She can complain all the way to the bank.”

    IOW – The b*tch asked for it

    • Oh this brings back memories. “Kneecapping your allies is bad–we love Obama!”

      The cognitive dissonance–I’d forgotten.. .

    • McMahon is an asshole and I’ve thought that for years.

    • Sounds to me like he is a little peevish over the fact that Palin’s book is selling like gangbusters. The public has been TOLD they are supposed to hate this woman, and her critics are coming unglued that people aren’t listening.

      • They’ve been peevish ever since they ordered us to love Obama and loathe Hillary and they couldn’t enforce compliance.

  17. John Mecham lives inside a 19th century novel with himself cast as the noble observer. Kind of a St. John of the news business.

  18. According to a comment on Hot Air, Runners World has stated that they did not give permission for the photo to be used.

    • If so, look for Newsweek to play the free speech martyr card. “We shouldn’t have to follow the law–we’re sexists!”

  19. Sarah Palin was on the Rush Limbaugh show today.
    While she gave the same tired republican bromides for the problems facing the United States she did it clearly and concisely. She comes across as forthright compared to the weasel words that seem to be Obama’s, Pelosi’s, Reid’s and ect. stock and trade.
    I know she scored points with Rush’s listeners and that those listeners go to the polls in the off year elections.
    What do you think the percentage of O-bot voters that showed up at the polls two weeks ago was?

    • Pretty low I imagine. I don’t mind a politician I disagree with, so long as I know where they stand and can trust them on it.

      I would rather have that than some weasel who says he agrees with me, then stabs me in the back.

    • actually the percentage of his supporters that showed up at polls was high. problem for 0bamafools is that the percentage of people who are his supporters has fallen big time. Hence the big time losses. The real reason they hate Palin so much isthat she shows up teh one.

  20. Why does he look like Jim Carey in the role of a sleaze rag editor?

  21. RD has a great essay/rant a week or two ago which compared the hard right and the nut-so radical left in their similar dogmatic religious fervor. Because it is some sort of religious insanity that both extremes are suffering from — although the left wouldn’t claim the religious part of their insanity.

    Both of the extremes share their hatred of women. If that ratf&cker Meacham doesn’t see what the issue is — well that just does not surprise me. The extremes misogynists don’t force women into shrouds like the Islamic fundamentalists do — but they have other methods of keeping we women in our place. And when caught — they have that dumb look on their face just like the one Meacham has in the photo at the top.

    Also — yes I have noticed the way the Palin (and women haters in general) screw up their face when they say her name. They simply cannot hide their contempt for Palin — and with that look — their contempt for all women.

    We have a major problem and it is a very old culturally induced hatred of women. This is learned behavior — and the media is so damned busy reinforcing the woman as b*tch/w*tch that give this crap another 10 years and we could see a revival of the Salem w*tch trails or the garbage that happened in the 1400s in Europe to women.

    Really — how darn we women think that we are humans? The men will take care of us — why are we fussing anyway? Be good girls and support the men.

    On the BBC website there is an article about Viagra for women — the last statement by one of the discoverers of this female Viagra was what use was this drug anyway — it won’t help her clean the house any better.

    • Meacham is not on the left, based on what I’ve heard from him in TV discussions. He’s pretty conservative.

      • But Jon Me a chump pretends he is liberal…just like 0bama. Evidence to the contrary…and the MSM happily promotes the insanity.

  22. here’s the quote and the link:

    “This research is really quite exciting for women with loving partners whose loss of libido is a physical thing. But it is not going to fix a broken relationship or help with looking after the kids or cleaning the house.”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8363743.stm

    • I think he might be trying to say that loss of libido can result from the stress of trying to do too much without help, and there’s no magic pill that can make your relationship equal if it isn’t. But it’s kind of unclear.

      • Sorry, I meant ‘she’ not ‘he’ (the quote’s from Paula Hill from this relationship counseling business in the UK).

  23. Sam Stein serves weak tea at Huff&Puff:

    Inside the magazine, Palin’s reaction was expected. But the charges seem to miss the point. The cover was meant to convey a larger point — expanded upon within the magazine — that the problems the former vice presidential candidate poses for the GOP are, at once, institutional (see the special election in New York’s 23rd District), substantive (see the death panels smear) and image-based (the tea party protests that Palin flames).

    Uh, how does that picture convey that point?

    Sam serves dessert:

    Finally, as for the issue of whether the image is sexist, a source at Newsweek relays that the art and photo directors responsible for the cover (which was decided upon last Thursday) are both women.

    Oh, well nevermind then. It’s all good!

  24. Media heads are exploding all over the place because:

    Palin has over 1,000,000 followers of her Facebook page,

    Palin’s book is #1 on several best seller lists and is already going into a second printing,

    Palin’s book doesn’t have an index, so the media mutts actually have to READ it in order to find out if she mentions them anywhere,

    Palin had the nerve to tell Oprah(!) that not being invited on her show during the 2008 campaign was no big deal because Oprah wasn’t the center of the universe (bet Oprah doesn’t hear that often… she’s probably mainlining Haagen-Daaz right now),

    The media is obsessed with Palin, but she doesn’t return their ardor:
    http://www.northstarnational.com/2009/11/17/poor-media-love-sarah-palin/
    and
    http://spectator.org/archives/2009/11/17/palins-popularity-vs-media-man

    and YES, because Palin looks better in shorts than Barry or MEchelle.

  25. I jumped to the end here to comment. Watching Morning Joe, they showed the line of folks waiting for a chance to buy Palin’s book on the first day. The line was about 1500 people! They were just waiting to get a placement for the actual line later when Palin appears. Looking at that crowd must be making the media “elite” a little nervous. As they knock her, they’re knocking the folks at home that the advertizers need and want. I expect to see some of these pundits muzzled as the holidayz approach and the networks compete for those advertizer dollars.
    BTW, I’m just watching the show lately to see how petty they will get. NBC and MSNBC are banned in my home ( this is an exception).

  26. He gets it, he’s just lying.

  27. Newsweek told so many lies about Hillary, that I shall never ever purchase a copy again.

    They even denied that she was a coal miner’s grand-daughter.

    They continually published pics of her supporters as grey haired screaming harridans.

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