May 15, 2012

AdAge hurriedly reassured other magazines that advertisers and retailers were “€œfine”€ with the cover.

The LA Times called the cover “€œa stroke of genius”€ that “€œproves”€”€”luckily for the LA Times, phew!”€”that “€œprint is not dead.”€

TIME‘s own behind-the-scenes-at-TIME-magazine section (!?) served up “€œouttakes from the cover photo shoot.”€

And industry bible helpfully rounded up all the coverage about the cover. (And then the coverage about the coverage about the cover.)

The most amusing instance of masturbatory “€œanalysis”€ popped up on the Today show. Apparently immune to irony, WNBC’s Darlene Rodriguez trumpeted the fact that the show’s poll about the TIME cover generated “€œone of the biggest responses ever.”€

More than 122,000 people voted online, she enthused.

And what poll option did the vast majority of ordinary Americans select when asked what they thought about this brave, courageous, thought-provoking, and very, very important TIME magazine cover?


America has apparently declared itself weary of the sight of exposed breasts, which can”€™t possibly be a good indicator of the nation’s health.

I realize that media metrics are more art than science and the results they garner can be depressing if you happen to be in the business.

The radio ratings system is only now emerging from the monastic age of hastily scribbled “€œdiaries.”€ Newspaper ad revenue and readership are down, and digital monetization is still in diapers.

However, one’s industry has plummeted to a new low when it boasts about the record number of would-be paying customers telling it how much they hate its product and never want to look at anything like it again.

Worry not. Faster than you can say “€œsquirrel!,”€ our moral and intellectual superiors have kindly fashioned for us all a fresh shiny object whose “€œimportance”€ and “€œappropriateness”€ we can “€œdebate”€ during this week’s news cycle.

Old and tired? TIME‘s breastfeeding mom. New hotness? Newsweek dubs Obama “€œThe First Gay President.”€

The sad part is, I”€™ll end up “€œdebating”€ that magazine cover’s “€œappropriateness”€ just like everybody else.

I guess we”€™re all suckers.



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