What a strange illusion it is to suppose that beauty is goodness.
- Leo Tolstoy, Russian Novelist and Philosopher (1828-1910)
Founded in 1933 by a former Time magazine editor, I’ve been told Newsweek began as a pretty good journalistic publication until it was purchased by The Washington Post Company in 1961. It was with WaPo’s acquisition that the magazine’s began an unrepentant path towards a new hard partisan left-wing agenda wrapped under the guise of “news.” Newsweek prospered for a while, but the undeniable bias eventually began to take it’s toll in the magazine’s credibility and circulation in the years to follow. This disease of activism under the pretense of journalism is now wisespread all across the mainstream media, with the results being a dwindling of circulation, readership and viewership with every year that passes.
Newsweek’s extreme partisanship plunged the magazine lower and lower to the point that when an offer was finally made to save the magazine, it came in the form of Sidney Harman buying the publication for exactly one dollar in exchange for assumming the massive liability and debt Newsweek had accumulated over the years.
When you sell your entire publication for the some of one measly one dollar, you don’t need a doctor to tell you your days are numbered. Sure enough, the ultimate result of Newsweek’s abandonment of journalism for activism has ended in a magazine that will disappear from newsstands by the end of 2012.
Ah, Newsweek – what can you say about a weekly American “news” magazine that made a conscious decision to abandon all pretenses of journalism, choosing instead to become a dedicated propagandist publication in the old tradition of Soviets and their state-controlled mouthpieces in newspapers such as Pravda and Tass?
What can you say about a Newsweek who buried Michael Isikoff’s stroies on both Paula Jones and Monica Leweinsky, trying to shield their beloved President Clinton as a philanderer and a man who repeatedly perjured himself in front of a grand jury? Thank goodness for the rise of the New Media and the Drudge Report forcing the stories and sordid details into the national conversation.
What can you say about a Newsweek with the blood on their hands of riots and seventeen deaths across the Muslim world for running a bogus story of Korans being flushed down toilets at Guantanomo Bay (a ridiculous assertion considering the fact that size of the Korans given to the prisoners simply don’t fit down toilets at Guantanomo Bay.)
Worst of all, what can you say of a Newsweek publication which repeatedly used it’s covers for misogynist attacks against Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin, using it’s covers twice trying to paint a WII fighter pilot and war hero George H.W. Bush and a successful businessman Romney as “wimps?” What can you say about a magazine featuring covers which seriously ask such things as “Why Obama’s Critics are So Dumb,” claim that Obama’s the “God of All Things” and even goes so far as to photoshop halos over Obama’s head?
Even beyond the propagandist covers, Newsweek, never ceases to humiliate itself with it’s obvious commentary presented as “news” with a straight face, commentary that weaves its way through with every line written and seeps its way insidiously even more so between the written lines. Newsweek is an abomination to every journalistic principle of objectivity that journalism students were supposed to hold as sacred upon graduating.
I will not shed a single tear when Newsweek disappears from our newsstands and the tables at the doctor’s offices.
But an interesting thing often happens when a person (or in this case, a magazine) winds up on their deathbed. In their final days, they are given a chance to look back at their lives behind them on Earth and begin to feel a compulsion to confess the burdens they have carried for all the wrongs and injustices they have inflicted upon the world around them.
Special thanks to Monika for passing along this article / deathbed confession from Newsweek.
I Too Have Become Disillusioned.
By Matt Patterson (Newsweek columnist – opinion writer)
Years from now, historians may regard the 2008 election of Barack Obama as an inscrutable and disturbing phenomenon, the result of a baffling breed of mass hysteria akin perhaps to the witch craze of the Middle Ages. How, they will wonder, did a man so devoid of professional accomplishment beguile so many into thinking he could manage the world’s largest economy, direct the world’s most powerful military, execute the world’s most consequential job?
Imagine a future historian examining Obama’s pre-presidential life: ushered into and through the Ivy League, despite unremarkable grades and test scores along the way; a cushy non-job as a “community organizer;” a brief career as a state legislator devoid of legislative achievement (and in fact nearly devoid of his attention, so often did he vote “present”); and finally an unaccomplished single term in the United States Senate, the entirety of which was devoted to his presidential ambitions.
He left no academic legacy in academia, authored no signature legislation as a legislator. And then there is the matter of his troubling associations: the white-hating, America-loathing preacher who for decades served as Obama’s “spiritual mentor”; a real-life, actual terrorist who served as Obama’s colleague and political sponsor. It is easy to imagine a future historian looking at it all and asking: how on Earth was such a man elected president?
Not content to wait for history, the incomparable Norman Podhoretz addressed the question recently in the Wall Street Journal: To be sure, no white candidate who had close associations with an outspoken hater of America like Jeremiah Wright and an unrepentant terrorist like Bill Ayers, would have lasted a single day. But because Mr. Obama was black, and therefore entitled in the eyes of liberal Dom to have hung out with protesters against various American injustices, even if they were a bit extreme, he was given a pass. Let that sink in: Obama was given a pass – held to a lower standard – because of the color of his skin.
Podhoretz continues: And in any case, what did such ancient history matter when he was also so articulate and elegant and (as he himself had said) “non-threatening,” all of which gave him a fighting chance to become the first black president and thereby to lay the curse of racism to rest?
Podhoretz puts his finger, I think, on the animating pulse of the Obama phenomenon – affirmative action. Not in the legal sense, of course. But certainly in the motivating sentiment behind all affirmative action laws and regulations, which are designed primarily to make white people, and especially white liberals, feel good about themselves.
Unfortunately, minorities often suffer so that whites can pat themselves on the back. Liberals routinely admit minorities to schools for which they are not qualified, yet take no responsibility for the inevitable poor performance and high drop-out rates which follow. Liberals don’t care if these minority students fail; liberals aren’t around to witness the emotional devastation and deflated self-esteem resulting from the racist policy that is affirmative action. Yes, racist. Holding someone to a separate standard merely because of the color of his skin – that’s affirmative action in a nutshell, and if that isn’t racism, then nothing is.
And that is what America did to Obama. True, Obama himself was never troubled by his lack of achievements, but why would he be? As many have noted, Obama was told he was good enough for Columbia despite undistinguished grades at Occidental; he was told he was good enough for the US Senate despite a mediocre record in Illinois; he was told he was good enough to be president despite no record at all in the Senate. All his life, every step of the way, Obama was told he was good enough for the next step, in spite of ample evidence to the contrary.
What could this breed if not the sort of empty narcissism on display every time Obama speaks? In 2008, many who agreed that he lacked executive qualifications nonetheless raved about Obama’s oratory skills, intellect, and cool character. Those people – conservatives included – ought now to be deeply embarrassed.
The man thinks and speaks in the hoariest of clichés, and that’s when he has his Teleprompters in front of him; when the prompter is absent he can barely think or speak at all. Not one original idea has ever issued from his mouth – it’s all warmed-over Marxism of the kind that has failed over and over again for 100 years. (An example is his 2012 campaign speeches which are almost word for word his 2008 speeches)
And what about his character? Obama is constantly blaming anything and everything else for his troubles. Bush did it; it was bad luck; I inherited this mess. Remember, he wanted the job, campaigned for the task. It is embarrassing to see a president so willing to advertise his own powerlessness, so comfortable with his own incompetence. (The other day he actually came out and said no one could have done anything to get our economy and country back on track.) But really, what were we to expect? The man has never been responsible for anything, so how do we expect him to act responsibly?
In short: our president is a small-minded man, with neither the temperament nor the intellect to handle his job. When you understand that, and only when you understand that, will the current erosion of liberty and prosperity make sense. It could not have gone otherwise with such a man in the Oval Office.