A number of critics, including Sarah Palin herself, are going after Newsweek for running a cover shot of her in a sexy running outfit. Palin calls it “sexist.”
I can’t get too worked up about it. Palin, after all, posed for the shot, which was originally intended for Runner’s World. (At Beat the Press, Ralph Ranalli writes that Newsweek may have violated Runner’s World’s exclusivity deal with the freelance photographer.)
But Palin and other critics have a legitimate complaint about Newsweek’s inside photos. I haven’t picked up a Newsweek in many months, but Media Matters has the pictures — a back-to image of Palin’s shapely legs, something she most definitely did not pose for; and a photo of what Media Matters accurately describes as a “Sarah Palin-as-a-slutty-schoolgirl doll.” The latter was used to illustrate a piece by Christopher Hitchens, who is almost as overexposed as Palin herself.
The treatment is further evidence of Newsweek’s plunge into irrelevance. The New York Times this week described the magazine as repositioning itself for a smaller, more intelligent news audience.
But with garbage like this, and with recent cover headlines like “Is Your Baby Racist?”, the only thing editor Jon Meacham seems to be repositioning his magazine for is rack space next to People and Us.