Newsweek's 'Muslim Rage' cover coincides with critique of Tina Brown

USA Today

USA Today columnist Michael Wolff, a big name brought in to stoke much-needed buzz at a legacy publication trumpeting its reinvention as an Internet-age news organization, slams Newsweek Editor Tina Brown for bringing in big names and trying to stoke much-needed buzz at the legacy publication she's trying to reinvent as an Internet-age news organization.

She is, in a sink hole of cost, trying to use old-media tricks to meld The Daily Beast and Newsweek into the kind of zeitgeist-shaping, buzz-creating, cocktail-party-fueling package that the media has, for so long, been built around -- part craft, part culture, part snobbery.

As if on cue, Newsweek announced its new print cover Monday, one that fronts a story by Ayaan Hirsi Ali with the coverline "Muslim Rage." (Ali, I guess I should note, is married to Niall Ferguson, author of Newsweek's most recent cover controversy.)

Wolff writes with some sympathy toward Brown, who he says is competing in a field where "much of the content is at a subsistence level, a patchwork of the borrowed, stolen, hurried and amateur that has neither captured reader loyalty nor advertisers' imaginations."

It's certainly a place where reaction, something Tina Brown openly courts, thrives. Jillian C. York has compiled a Storify showing how readers are reacting to the cover, as well as another one showing how journalists are reacting:

Related: Newsweek’s asparagus cover the latest recycling for magazine | Newsweek’s gay-marriage cover is a flag in the ground for print journalism | Tina Brown’s Newsweek covers have featured women 6 of 14 weeks

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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