I’ve been reading Newsweek magazine for as long as I can remember. It’s always been, to my mind, a fairly accurate read. It has a bit of a leftish slant, but the editors always seemed to be aware of this bias and actively working to compensate.
Well, at least that’s how it used to be. Something seems to have changed - apparently they’ve given up on compensating.
In recent issues Newsweek has become little more than an unapologetic appendage of the Kerry campaign. Every mention of Bush has been negative, every mention of Kerry has been positive or negative-spun-as-positive, and major electoral issues like the Swift Boat Vets have been relegated to the cartoons page, where the vets are portrayed as lackeys, liars, and babies.
Let’s check out the cover of the latest issue. ‘The Virtues and Vices’… well, that’s fair. You’ve got to take the good with the bad, right? But what’s this? ‘Stubborn Resolve’? Warning, danger Will Robinson! Stubborn is an inherently pejorative term. They don’t call Bush insistent, they don’t call him steadfast, they don’t say he sticks to his guns, they choose to employ an adjective that gets most of its work referring to mules.
And the big type, the major headline, the main event? ‘No Excuses’.
I just don’t get it. What needs to be excused? An excuse is an explanation for a misdeed or a faux pas… The headline carries within it not only the accusation of some sort of evil, but the conviction of the unspecified act as well. This sort of headline might have been appropriate if printed in reference to Richard Nixon or Bill Clinton, but to paste this slander in 160-point Helvetica above a president who has only been accused of misdeeds by a disingenuous filmmaker is beyond irresponsible.
And don’t even get me started on the scribblings above the masthead! ‘Why are we still in Vietnam’? We’re in Vietnam because John Kerry took us there! His Vietnam service has been the centerpeice of his campaign, and it seems to be the only point on which he wishes to differentiate himself from the incumbent. Making this campaign about Vietnam was solidly Kerry’s choice. Just as it was Kerry’s choice to testify before congress about supposedly witnessing atrocities in Vietnam, just as it was Kerry’s choice to lie about being in Cambodia, just as it was Kerry’s choice to claim to possess medals that don’t even exist!
So anyway, long story short, I don’t think I’ll be reading Newsweek anymore. I get more accurate and more up-to-date information from the Internet anyway.