The brand-new, completely redesigned Newsweek is … a mouthpiece of liberal propaganda. What a surprise! How innovative!

Laura Wood writes:

TINA BROWN has unveiled her first issue of a redesigned Newsweek with a breathless celebration of global feminism. Women, women, women. The world over, women are doing amazing, earth-shattering, unprecedented things. And, with such humility …

And who is on the cover of the issue? Hillary Clinton.

I sent this comment to The Thinking Housewife:

In her earlier career as a magazine editor Tina Brown was famous for always being on the cutting edge. Now she takes over Newsweek and devotes the entire first issue to one of the most familiar and trumpeted themes in our culture, a theme already blasting from every media organ, every institution, every TV ad—women’s empowerment. This suggests complete exhaustion on her part.
Jim C. writes:

Brown is an unimaginative, overrated editor, so it is no surprise that her “new idea” is hackneyed. Newsweek got what it paid for.

LA replies:

I thought Brown’s editing of Vanity Fair back in the ’80s, with its long, absorbing celebrity profiles, was brilliant, though the magazine as a whole was also lavishly decadent. When she became editor of The New Yorker, and began allowing the “F” word to be casually used in its pages, even in letters to the editor, and generally made the magazine another instrument of the prevailing cultural barbarism (for example, a “diversity” cover with a cartoon of a Hasidic man kissing a black woman), I stopped reading that magazine and wrote her off.

Now one could say that her famous “cutting edge” editing was in reality obvious and hackneyed, as in the New Yorker cover I just described. It’s as though she said to her colleagues, “Let’s think of some obviously transgressive and offensive image that will raise people’s hackles and put it on the cover. I’ve got it! A traditional Orthodox Jew kissing a black woman!” So my point (she’s cutting edge) and your point (she’s hackneyed) are not in contradiction, but are the same.

Which, by the way, is really the nature of modern liberalism, isn’t it? Liberalism, long after it has become the total ruling force of society, still thinks of itself as breaking down barriers, overcoming oppression, liberating forbidden instincts—all of which have already been broken down, overcome, and liberated ad nauseam. In its own self-image, liberalism must always be overthrowing the past. But since the past has already been overthrown, liberalism must keep presenting as cutting edge that which in reality is boringly establishmentarian.

Laura Wood writes:

Jack Shafer at Slate said of Brown’s first Newsweek, “Where’s the gusto? Where’s the transgression?”

To be transgressive, Brown would have to … become a traditionalist. Imagine an issue of Newsweek that openly lampooned the feminist establishment. That would be cutting-edge.

Jim C. writes:

I was prejudiced against her because I just loathed the visual elements of VF, remembering how brilliant they were in its heyday. What particularly repulses me about Brown is that she doesn’t know anything about discovering talent. Case in point: when she gave Avedon that sinecure at the New Yorker I knew that she really is just a typical clueless editor who knows how to schmooze and throw a good party. Have you noticed how the NY Observer is turning into a “high-class” gossip rag? Thank you Andy Warhol and Tina Brown!

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 10, 2011 08:43 AM | Send

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