Green Room

The Economist Obama and Bush Covers

posted at 12:34 pm on January 20, 2010 by

Lose the people, keep the press?

I’m not entirely sure which loss would irritate President Obama more – although I suspect that the withdrawal of his daily worship fix from the MSM would have more impact on his impenetrable self-belief than the protesting howls of the masses – but we could soon find out: the public is deserting the 44th president, and certain brave enclaves of the MSM might just follow.  Not TIME or Newsweek, of course – their oaths of fealty bound generations to come – but The Economist, perhaps?

Whereas Newsweek has published 30 Obama covers, and TIME’s racked up 28, The Economist has only booked The One for a desultory 18 cover-shots so far (click the pic):

20090117issuecovUS400

That’s against 50 covers that featured, or headlined, President Bush:

20040403issuecovUS400

(There are almost certainly more Dubya covers, but The Economist’s online archive only stretches back as far as 2001. )

Unlike TIME and Newsweek, which are happily drooling into each other’s ears about their bottomless love for Obama, The Economist’s covers are not uniformly nauseating – they are generally optimistic, but that merely reflects The Economist’s soft-Left leanings and, at least until recently, the sentiments of a large swathe of the American populace.

If the MSM wants to revive its moribund circulation, one way that this might be accomplished (if it’s even still possible at this late stage) would be through providing coverage that at least aspires to be a little more even-handed.

And should that ever come to pass, then we won’t have to speculate: for President Obama will have lost both the people and the press.

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If the MSM wants to revive its moribund circulation, one way that this might be accomplished (if it’s even still possible at this late stage) would be through providing coverage that at least aspires to be a little more even-handed.

It is not a matter of being “even-handed”, it is a matter of being honest even if honesty forces one toward one sid or the other. For example, consider the Mid-East coverage where “even-handedness” means pretending that the terrorists have a “case”.

sabbahillel on January 20, 2010 at 1:10 PM

sabbahillel – agreed. But honesty in their reporting is even less likely to occur than even-handedness. Aim for one, but settle for the other?

Track-A-'Crat on January 20, 2010 at 1:16 PM

You all are missing the problem. The MSM is calcified. For example look at the main editorial writers for the NYT, WaPo and LA Times. They are the same guys year after year with only occasional changes. I assume they are honestly telling us their opinions. The MSM needs more varied voices on the editorial page and back where the editors sit. Left winging it doesn’t cut it. Nor would relentless right winging it either.

richardb on January 20, 2010 at 2:10 PM

richardb – calcified’s a great way of putting it. Honesty, even-handedness, variety – they’re all ways to redress a common malaise. Trying to attract a broader range of readers through offering more varied viewpoints would undoubtedly be beneficial and could be a good way to force out the purists who resist, too…

Track-A-'Crat on January 20, 2010 at 3:36 PM

Here’s a better cover: Following Latest Polls on Obama’s Handling of Economy, Newsweek Revises Obama “44″ Election Cover http://optoons.blogspot.com/2010/01/following-latest-polls-on-obamas.html

Mervis Winter on January 20, 2010 at 4:12 PM

Heh, thanks for the link, Mervis. Gonna have to learn me some photoshop skills…

Track-A-'Crat on January 20, 2010 at 4:15 PM

The Economist used to be cool.

GW_SS-Delta on January 21, 2010 at 6:15 PM

I like how the Economist is all worried about Big Giv’t now, after pumping for Obama and spending the last 5 years telling us that gov’t needed to control every aspect of economies to save the planet.

It was a decent pub years ago, but drifted left pretty fast.

Clark1 on January 25, 2010 at 12:33 PM