NEWSWEEK’s Controversial New Romney Cover

Although NEWSWEEK will be ending their print version of the 79 year old magazine at some point, the magazine is still managing to make parting shot news with more controversial covers. The latest seems like a terrible personal swipe at presidential candidate Mitt Romney, where the magazine calls him a “wimp” and even suggests that the candidate is too psychology “insecure” to be president. This seems like an outrageous cover that lacks basic respect for a strong contender for public office, even if the candidate seems to have some personal flaws.

In the last few days, candidate Romney has embarked on a foreign trip meant to introduce him to foreign leaders as a possible future president as well as to display some ability on his part that he could possibly be capable of managing foreign policy. The general public had a real interest in seeing this foreign trip go well because Romney runs just about even if not ahead in some some polls with the president. Yet, nearly each day the Romney campaign had to go into damage control mode over some gaffe because of some statement that either Romney or a key aide would make.

Further, on the campaign trail the candidate has been prone to a sort of nervous reaction to make contradictory promises on a number of issues, reminding some of the nervous liar character from the car ads, “Joe Isuzu”. That’s very unfortunate, because in real life Mitt Romney is much more relaxed and fun than his stressed-out public perception would seem to indicate. In high school and college he was known for pranks, although sometimes these pranks did take a mean-spirited or outrageous turn. But, the real life everyday Romney is a far better person than his sometimes nervous public image would suggest.

Romney’s father, George Romney, was an amazing man. Born in Mexico to a parents who were part of a Mormon sect than once practice polygamy, young George Romney came to America at about 5 or 6, while his family moved from state to state. Yet, this didn’t prevent Romney from becoming the head of the new American Motors Corporation, formed from the 1954 merger of Nash and Hudson companies. At the time this was the largest corporate merger in the world. Romney made this company profitable and strong before he left to run for gpvernor of Michigan as a moderate republican in a largely democratic state. President Nixon asked Romney to become his Housing Secretary, but Nixon often bucked Romney’s proposals to build more income housing, so Romney eventually left the Nixon Administration.

Hopefully, the young Romney is something of a chip off the old block. He’s certainly an accomplished business leader and a politician. His role at Bain Capital was good for jobs for the most part. He took the one business location Staples office supply store and made it into a national chain for example, compared to very few businesses that Bain had closed. Mitt Romney was also elected a republican governor of perhaps the most democratic state in the country, Massachusetts, and ruled as something of a moderate.

Yet, Romney manages to raise concerns about himself on his own. His reputation as a moderate republican contrasts with his current pandering efforts to appear as a conservative and he seems to oppose the very things he once endorsed as governor not that very long ago such as health care reform legislation solely for partisan political purposes. Certainly, the NEWSWEEK cover is unfair and outrageous. But, there is some truth that this candidate is flawed. He just doesn’t do well under stress, and that part should concern the public about how would he manage a severe international crisis.

Americans expect their president to be the most calm under stress of anyone in the room. But, Romney isn’t. Yet, the public should be a little angry at NEWSWEEK for a cover that goes way too far, and just doesn’t treat a major contender for public office with more respect than this.

Romney is far from the perfect man to be president. Yet, he’s still a better man than this NEWSWEEK cover might suggest. You have to ask what’s wrong at NEWSWEEK that someone there doesn’t seem to realize that some journalism is just wrong.

It would be very hard to imagine that many medical waiting rooms would want to display a magazine with a cover like this. Romney may create a few problems for himself by his own hand, but so has NEWSWEEK. Far from just reporting news, NEWSWEEK put up a major character attack on a top political contender and tried to pass this off as news.

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  • “You have to ask what’s wrong at NEWSWEEK that someone there doesn’t seem to realize that some journalism is just wrong”

    They’re not looking at the bottom line and seeing financially solvency as being important (IE making a profit and keeping the lights on) – they’re looking at the bottom line and measuring it against an ideologically correct yardstick. THAT is what’s more important to them – how far they can go in the PC direction their instincts incline them towards.

    That they’re going under because they’re not selling just proves to them (in a rather masochistic way) that they’re doing the right thing.

    It’d be rather like you gladly going out of business because you’re refusing to stock what your customers want to buy. As a businessman, you know it makes no sense. As an ideologue, it makes perfect sense to dump the meat and milk, flour and sugar, for the ‘proper’ alternatives that would be ‘better’ for your customers – despite the fact they don’t want them and won’t buy them.

    Newsweek’s in the same position – they’re killing themselves, and doing it happily.

  • Paul Hooson

    Hello JL. I was absolutely outraged at this cover. It was the most unfair character attack that that I’ve ever seen on a major candidate for public office. It was wrong journalism of the worst variety. Jl, Your thoughts are right here as well. You have what’s wrong here in a nutshell.