Newsweek's new marketing scheme

Friday, August 24, 2012
Russ Jones (

One media analysis expert maintains the recent "Hit the road, Barack" cover story published by a magazine that typically swings to the left is not a sign of more similar stories to come.

The Newsweek feature, "Obama's Gotta Go," argues that the president has broken his 2008 campaign promises. Rich Noyes, research director at the Media Research Center (MRC), reports that Harvard professor Niall Ferguson, author of the article, has spent recent days defending his claims about Obama's record.

"A couple of weeks ago, [Newsweek] had a cover story where they called Mitt Romney a wimp and said he was dealing with a 'wimp factor.' That struck a lot of people as an outrageous charge and something that was a low blow in campaign rhetoric," Noyes notes. "This may be their way of just trying to even the score up a little bit. It may be that someone over there actually cares a little bit about fairness and balance. I doubt it."

Noyes, Rich (MRC)Noyes suggests it is more likely that the cover feature is a marketing scheme to entice conservative readers.

"The rest of the liberal media out there are trying to get the business of people who like Barack Obama; they fill their magazines and their TV shows with pro-Obama discussion," the MRC research director observes. "Well, there's a whole market out there of people who actually don't think this president's done a good job. It's about a 50-50 country, according to the polls. What they really are trying to do at Newsweek is tap into the market of people who are dissatisfied with this president."

New York Times blogger Paul Krugman has been one of the fiercest critics of Ferguson's article. "There are multiple errors and misrepresentations … I guess they don't do fact checking," he posed about Newsweek.

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