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June 28, 2011

Tina Brown's Pretty Sure She Knows How To Make Newsweek Relevant and Respected

Mickey Kaus had a little neeneeneenee psychic vibe about Tina Brown's Newsweek:

Tina Brown’s Newsweek has a bold new business plan for reining in losses from publishing: Stop! It will skip four issues this summer. Only 48 more to go. … Why does this approach remind my of Bob Newhart’s theraputic technique … Newsweek, however, promised readers they will get an actual magazine “each and every time there is a royal wedding.” …

Hm, an actual magazine each and every time there is a royal wedding?

Well, geeze, those don't come up very often.

What about royal birthdays? What about catching up with the most popular royal of all? And seeing what she's up to, what charities she's involved in, what celebrities she might be twittering to?

Well that could be interesting.

And if the popular royal in question has been dead for ten years, no problem, we'll just do a ghouish "But maybe if she were... a zombie?" Marvel Comics What If episode.

In honor of Princess Diana’s would-be 50th birthday (if not for, you know, her death) Tina Brown wrote an article called, “Diana at 50: Chilling with the Middletons. Tweeting from Davos. And still the people’s princess. If not for that tragic night, what her life might look like now.” And yeah, that about sums it up.


For me, the pictures are what makes the article the creepiest. Almost every news outlet that covered the royal wedding posed the inevitable “what would it be like if Diana were here” question. But they didn’t create a hologram of her to include her in the proceedings. The cover image of Diana and Kate Middleton really is impressive photoshopping, but I almost expect Diana to have white zombie-esque eyes.

Similarly, photos of her with an iPhone are borderline disturbing. You can almost imagine the Newsweek people contemplating whether they should try to digitally age her to make the article more real. Oh, but according to Brown, Diana would have kept herself up: “Fashionwise, Diana would have gone the J.Crew and Galliano route à la Michelle Obama, always knowing how to mix the casual with the glam. There is no doubt she would have kept her chin taut with strategic Botox shots and her bare arms buff from the gym.”

That’s probably the worst part of the article, which generally speculates the direction Diana’s life would have headed in if not for the car crash. Brown thinks that Diana would have married again twice, that she would have continued her charity work and that she would have whole heartedly embraced the Middletons, although she would have been just a little bit jealous of Kate.

Tina Brown is generally created as some kind of magazine superstar. Why, she revitalized the moribund New Yorker.

Yeah, and since then, what's the score? I seem to hear about a lot of Tina Brown magazines (Talk) and TV shows (Topic A) debuting.

How can she keep debuting new things and keep on taking on new editor-in-chief positions when she's got all these other projects which are big money-makers?

Oh right, they're not, they all failed.

And Newsweek, which had been a laughingstock, is now an even worse laughingstock.

By the way, check out Kaus' disclosure of a conflict of interest in making fun of Newsweek, here.

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posted by Ace at 03:44 PM

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