Newsweek cover to Obama "Hit the road Barack"

Newsweek created controversy Monday with their cover story- Photo: Screenshot Newsweek

Why does Paul Ryan scare the president so much? Because Obama has broken his promises, and it’s clear that the GOP ticket’s path to prosperity is our only hope… 

Yet the question confronting the country nearly four years later is not who was the better candidate four years ago. It is whether the winner has delivered on his promises. And the sad truth is that he has not… 

…We are becoming the 50–50 nation—half of us paying the taxes, the other half receiving the benefits.” (Niall Ferguson/Newsweek) 

CHICAGO, August 21, 2012— Newsweek columnist and Harvard professor, Niall Ferguson wrote a damning editorial about President Obama. It is this week’s cover story. Since its release Monday, the magazine cover created controversy and raised hackles. It generated heated debate and discussion.

That is what good journalism is supposed to do. 

Newsweek put out a video explaining the back-story and why they chose to run this opinion piece on the cover. 

It took a certain amount of fearlessness and courage to run that cover. Kudos to Newsweek. The story is generating criticism and debate, which is what opinion pieces are for. The decision to run Ferguson’s piece as a cover story is being attacked and praised. 

The establishment media regularly defends and enables this administration. What little criticism they publish is laced with generous benefit of the doubt. It is also buried in sections few people read.

The media enabling this president is not only unethical and unprofessional, it is damaging. The media are becoming just as responsible as the president for the sorry state of the nation. Enabling failure generates more failure. 

Newsweek broke from the liberal media herd mentality by running this editorial as a cover piece. 

It is inconceivable a publication like Newsweek would allow such a biting editorial to be a cover story. It was improbable the cover caption would proclaim, “HIT THE ROAD BARACK WHY WE NEED A NEW PRESIDENT”.

Liberals were snickering when Newsweek’s cover proclaimed Romney a wimp a few weeks ago. They were laughing uproariously when Newsweek’s cover portrayed Michelle Bachman in an unflattering light. The jury is still out over the cover portraying Obama with a rainbow halo calling him the first gay president. 

It is surprising no one is calling Newsweek racist yet. That is inevitable. There must be some racial coding on that cover. When the race code cryptologists make something up there will be headlines and exploding heads. 

Where is Toure Neblett when you need him? 

Newsweek/Daily Beast editor Tina Brown is no stranger to controversial publication. She revels in it. Controversy is what made her award-winning career as an editor so successful. She knows she must appeal to a diverse group of readers to survive. Controversy generates readership and revenue. She knows journalism is first and foremost a business. 

Economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman complained bitterly about the Ferguson’s article in his blog. He called the piece unethical. The New York Times is not exactly a paragon of ethics. A paragon of propaganda is a more apt description 

There are calls for Ferguson to put under review or be fired from his post at Harvard. Some of those are from a few Harvard alumni in the media.

They feel he is embarrassing the institution.   

In the New America people are not allowed freedom of speech, expression, or the press unless they tow the progressive line. They and the entities that publish them must be punished, destroyed, and denied existence. Progressives love pogroms. 

Why would Newsweek publish such a cover story?  Media entities are hurting financially. Advertising and circulation rates are down. Even major media’s online publications are taking a financial hit. 

If Newsweek can appeal to conservative readers, they increase their exposure. They increase their readership. It is simple arithmetic, more readers=more money. No liberal complex intellectual math is needed to explain that. 

Newsweek’s editor, Tina Brown, is being roundly criticized in the media and by left wingnuts for using this piece as a controversial ploy to sell magazines. If so, she should be congratulated. She is in the magazine business. She is supposed to sell magazines. 

Ideologues and media personnel seem to forget journalism is a business. They sell things. That is how they make money. If they cannot sell they go broke. Then scribblers and well coifed script readers get unemployed. Those who believe the media is a noble ethical profession should get a grip on reality. It is a business. It always was a business. 

Whatever the reason for the cover piece and caption, Newsweek provides a refreshing departure from the regular Pabulum propaganda the rest of the establishment media puts out. It also puts the rest of them on notice.

There are other voices people want to hear. If the rest do not appeal to them Newsweek will. 

There is a reason why Conservative media is successful. There are millions of consumers who are willing to buy, subscribe, read, watch, or listen. The marketplace is for ideas not propaganda. People want choices. Journalism lost the trust of the American public when their narrow minded views became more important than the consumer. It is why journalism, as a sector, going broke. It is also why journalists and media are viewed as negatively as lawyers, Congress, and used car salesmen. 

If institutional media wants to sustain itself and stay viable they must recognize that the population is not all progressive, leftwing, or liberal. The media needs to broaden its appeal. If they do not more people will enter the market. They will succeed while the establishment dies. 

The mainstream media is modeling failure. If they want to stay competitive they should model success. That means giving the public what it wants and needs. It is all about the consumer not them. 

This cover piece proves there might be a glimmer of hope that the media will change. Whether they will take off their blinders and stop pulling this administration’s manure cart remains to be seen. 

Peter V. Bella is a retired Chicago Police Officer, freelance journalist and photojournalist, cook, and raconteur.  He likes to be the irreverent sharp stick that pokes, prods, and annoys.  His opinions are his and his alone. Mr. Bella is a member of the National Press Photographers Association and the Society for Professional Journalists. 

pvbella@gmail.com 

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Peter Bella

Peter Bella is a retired Chicago Police Officer, freelance photographer, freelance writer, budding videographer, and passionate cook.  He aims to be the sharp stick that pokes and annoys.  The Middle Class Guy is a political column written from a center-right point of view.  While concentrating mainly on politics he will stray into culture, entertainment, sports, cooking, and humor from time to time, along with Memories of things Pabst.  All from a middle class perspective.

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