August 8, 2012

Eater | Politico

This cover photo has been used as a stock image for several years; Eater traced its origins to a shoot for Harper’s Bazaar six years ago.

Newsweek’s cover image showing two asparagus stalks pointed at a woman’s upturned mouth ran in Harper’s Bazaar in 2006, Raphael Brion writes in Eater. On Tuesday, Brion found the same image on a 2008 cover of Observer Food Monthly in Great Britain. Newsweek’s PR directed Politico reporter Dylan Byers to a tweet giving the Observer’s food mag credit and apologizing for the “crudite.” Newsweek also points out that it ran a similar cover in 2003.

File Asparagus-gate under unintentional recycling, but one (not me, of course) could construct a narrative based on other recent stops the magazine’s taken on the Wayback Machine after bringing on Tina Brown as editor.

But that’s ignoring at least one instance in which the magazine’s flagrant buzz-hunting worked: Its cover calling the first black president the first gay president, an audacious tactic that caused print copies of the magazine to fly off newsstands. Sustaining that kind of effective buzz is a 2012 problem.

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Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City…
Andrew Beaujon

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