Controversial Anti-Obama Newsweek Issue Selling Like Hotcakes
Is it selling because it’s controversial? Or selling because people have lost hope in the President’s “hope and change.”
Hard to say, but for what it’s worth:
Newsweek received withering and widespread criticism over its “Hit the Road, Barack” cover story by Niall Ferguson. The magazine had become “an august publication letting itself be used to misinform readers,” critics said, “stumbling down the road toward Irrelevance Blvd.” The “Hit the Road” piece itself was “a fantasy world of incorrect and tendentious facts” and “completely incoherent” as well as “absurd propaganda, not journalism.”
But it turns out the cover may have also been a newsstand hit.
The Aug. 27 issue urging a Romney victory “may have just knocked one out of the park on newsstand sales,” according to the Magazine Information Network, or MagNet, which tracks magazine sales.
The early read on sales suggests the issue could double Newsweek’s newsstand average, MagNet said. It’s also on track to land among the title’s top three newsstand sellers since 2010, according to MagNet data.
A big part of this, I believe, is that (short of stories about scandals) we usually don’t see something so overtly critical of the policy track record of a high-profile Democrat politician in a mainstream, popular publication like Newsweek. People flock to it because it’s a curiosity, I think. Much like Fox News dominates cable news because of it’s uniquely rightward cant, and just like the Wall Street Journal remains one of the only profitable newspaper enterprises in a dying industry, Newsweek appealed to an undeserved constituency – those looking for fair criticism of a liberal politician – and sold a lot of issues.Tags: Barack Obama, election 2012, media bias, newsweek