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Glenn Halbrooks

Is Newsweek Cover Biased Against Michele Bachmann?

By August 22, 2011

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If there's no such thing as bad publicity, Newsweek has finally gotten the attention it needs under new editor Tina Brown. Otherwise, the struggling magazine that's being blasted for a cover photo of Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann has suffered a crushing blow to its credibility.

A photo of Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann
Does Newsweek owe it to Michele Bachmann to use a flattering photo of her on its cover?
Photo © Getty Images
The cover photo shows Bachmann with a somewhat crazed stare, accompanied by the headline "The Queen of Rage." That's prompted USA Today founder Al Neuharth to slam Newsweek as "an inaccurate and unfair left-wing propaganda machine."

Others ask whether the cover is sexist. That's an interesting claim, since Newsweek editor Tina Brown is a woman.

Newsweek has defended itself by showing other photos that it says displays Bachmann's intense gaze. Appearing on MSNBC, Brown said she didn't have sales figures for the Bachmann issue of the magazine but expected sales to reflect interest.

Brown, who is one of the 11 media people to watch in 2011, needs to boost sales and advertising revenue. While she's made a positive start, we'll see in the weeks to come if the Bachmann photo decision was brilliant or boneheaded.

What do you think -- is an unflattering but undoctored photo fair game to put on a magazine cover?

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August 24, 2011 at 12:02 pm
(1) Susan says:

I subscribe to Newsweek, and I don’t find it biased toward the left. As for the picture, if you peruse photos of Bachmann, you will often see this expression on her face.

August 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm
(2) Sukhmandir Kaur says:

I’d much rather see a real picture of someone than a media pose, Kudos to NW.

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