Sunday, October 01, 2006

On Second Thought

Here's some follow-up on last week's post about the two Newsweek covers. A wise reader has an alternate explanation as to why our national cover was a puff piece and the rest of the world got something called "Losing Afghanistan". He writes, "As a Newsweek subscriber, I got the magazine at home, and the real story became apparent. Interspersed in the Annie Liebovitz article were three full-page ads from Nikon. So I think it's fairly easy to see what happened here. Newsweek's sales department surely promised Nikon a friendly environment surrounding their ads, and a cover presentation to drive readers to the article and ads."
So there's a chance this wasn't the media selling out for political reasons. Newsweek could have sold out for purely financial reasons as suggested by the much-criticized commenter named Butch, although he cited magazine sales. His theory didn't involve a sweetheart arrangement between the media and a client. Still, I'll take any chance to show I'm wrong. Nobody likes a know-it-all. So this has been a very positive experience for me as well as Butch, who - after supporting President Bush non-stop - needed a chance to show that he can also be right. Besides, the controversy did lead to some genuine reporting seeping into our national market - I bet a lot of you had never heard we were losing in Afghanistan until this related story.
At any rate, I'm glad my joke appeared in Time Magazine last week instead. Who needs the Portland Freelancer tainted by this tawdry display? Now the only problem is getting that Paul Simon song out of my head: "I got a Nikon camera, I love to take the photograph..." Talk about an ad campaign, and the weird part? Paul Simon had originally planned to write a song about Afghanistan.


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