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The Decline of Time and Newsweek

John on May 18, 2009 at 8:01 am

It’s not just newspapers that are feeling the crunch. News weeklies are feeling it too. The Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz notes that Time has gone from 4 million circulation down to 3 million while Newsweek is going from 3 million down to (they hope) 1.5 million.

Kurtz makes these observations about the two premiere weeklies:

The ideas that Newsweek is promoting are mainly left-of-center. The cover story in today’s issue is a generally sympathetic interview with President Obama, written by Meacham, that describes Obama “moving as he wishes to move, and the world bending to him.” An accompanying piece by Tina Brown on Nancy Pelosi — who’s just endured her worst week as House speaker over the waterboarding controversy — calls her “fast-talking, formidable, high-energy and supremely self-confident.”

Earlier, in Newsweek’s 100-day assessment of the new president, liberal columnist Jonathan Alter wrote, “Barack Obama has put more points on the board than any president since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933.” Allison Samuels wrote this month: “I knew that Michelle Obama was already changing the way we see ourselves as African-American women. . . . What’s remarkable now . . . is how quickly and decisively Michelle has taken on the issues that matter most to us.”

When Newsweek put a conservative’s essay on the cover, it was by David Frum, assailing Rush Limbaugh under the headline “Why Rush Is Wrong.” And when Newsweek took on Obama, it did so from the left, in a piece built around New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and his criticism of the president’s economic policies.

Meacham sees only a perception problem. “In making arguments,” he says, “we have to make sure people don’t believe we’re partisan.” (Time, for its part, has also been sympathetic to Obama, and this month ran a cover story calling the Republican Party an “endangered species” pushing a “hard-right agenda” that is “shamelessly hypocritical” and “over the top.”)

In short, both magazines are reliably, almost exclusively left. Does that have anything to do with the drop in circulation? Of course not.

[HT: Hot Air headlines]

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Category: MSM & Bias |

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