As soon as Newsweek tweeted this week’s cover of the magazine, featuring a particuarly bad picture of presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, bloggers were up in arms.
Conservative blogger Michelle Malkin thought the answer to Slate’s question was yes. An angry Malkin chastised Newsweek Editor-in-Chief Tina Brown, saying “You’ve resorted to recycling bottom-of-the-barrel moonbat photo cliches about conservative female public figures and their enraged ‘crazy eyes?’ Really?”
Tea Party pundit Dana Loesch even went so far as to suggest a caption contest under a bad photo of Tina Brown.
And when readers realized that Newsweek was using the hashtag #QueenofRage to promote the story on Twitter, criticism came from all sides:
Conservative blogger Ed Morrissey said of the hashtag: “Yeah, that’s keeping it classy.”
Newsweek has gotten backlash to its controversial covers before. Most recently, Newsweek — and Tina Brown — came under fire for a photo of what Princess Diana Diana might have looked like at 50. The cover was called “ghoulish” and “in bad form.”
While Brown, who wrote the cover story, was blamed for the editorial choice, Newsweek had problems with its female cover models before her time. Remember the cover the magazine used of Sarah Palin in her running shorts?
At the time, Palin responded to the photo by saying “The out-of-context Newsweek approach is sexist and oh-so-expected by now. If anyone can learn anything from it: it shows why you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, gender, or color of skin. The media will do anything to draw attention - even if out of context.”
Slate points out that Newsweek has never featured unflattering cover photos of male politicians, even when they had ample opportunity with Rush Limbaugh, Mike Huckabee, and John McCain.
So is Newsweek sexist? Has Tina Brown’s leadership made it worse? Perhaps we should wait to see what next week’s cover might bring.