It’s come to my attention that the cheesecake element of Wizbang has been sorely lacking of late, so I figured I’d best weigh in on the Sarah Palin Newsweek cover controversy. And since I’ve heard a few complaints about my being too long-winded, I’ll make certain that at least 3,000 words’ worth of content are covered by 3 pictures.
Let’s start off with the actual Newsweek cover:
Great photo, extremely flattering, but definitely a bit on the cheesecake side — unless, of course, she’s posing for an athletic magazine of some sort. In which case, it’s perfectly appropriate.
Now, Michelle Malkin believes that the most offensive photo in the Newsweek article is this one:
Yeah, nothing quite says “we’re not sexist!” like taking a doll of someone and dressing them as a slutty schoolgirl. And it was all just fun and games, good sport, when Spy Magazine took shots at Hillary Clinton like this and this. (Not quite eye-gougingly horrific, but up there.)
Yes, it’s pretty atrocious of Newsweek to have done that. But I’ll give the cover the credit for being worse, on two fronts.
First up, there’s the douchebaggery of Newsweek in using the photo. Runner’s World, who first published the photos of Palin in her running attire, had this to say:
On the cover of this week’s issue of Newsweek is a photo that was shot for the August 2009 issue of Runner’s World, in which Sarah Palin was featured on the monthly “I’m a Runner” back page. Runner’s World did not provide Newsweek with the image. Instead, it was provided to Newsweek by the photographer’s stock agency, without Runner’s World’s knowledge or permission.
But for the truly most offensive part, let’s take a good look at that original photo:
Say, what’s that obscured by the writing down the left side of the Newsweek cover? What’s blocked out by the “YOU?”
Look at that original.
It’s Palin’s “Blue Star Mother” flag.
The emblem she proudly hangs in her window to declare that she’s the proud mother of a service member currently in Iraq or Afghanistan — and at the time her eldest child, son Track, was in Iraq with the United States Army. Private Palin’s unit was assigned to an area stretching from the suburbs of Baghdad to the Iranian border.
Newsweek couldn’t do very much about the American flag Palin had draped over a chair — she was resting an arm on it. And she was standing too close to the Blue Flag pennant to crop it out. They could have simply photoshopped it away entirely, but that would have been too obvious. So, instead, they covered it up with sneering text, obscuring the “U.S. ARMY” at the top, the blue star in the middle, and the “TRACK PALIN” at the bottom.
Keep that photo handy, Newsweak. The original — not the one you graffiti’ed all up. Something tells me you’re gonna be eating that one in the future.
Presuming, of course, you haven’t gone as fiscally bankrupt by then as you have in every other aspect.