August 20, 2007

Conventional Wisdom = Wishful Thinking

Here’s a newsflash for you: Newsweek magazine is a joke. Yep, you heard it here first, dear reader. No matter how many other folks you know treat Newsweek as their Bible, it’s actually a lodestone for arrant twaddle.

There are many reasons, of course, why this is the case. First and foremost, the culture pages of Newsweek routinely devote space to what can only be deemed anti-culture. You know: Snoop Diggity Doggity; Lindsey Lohan’s drug connections; the editress of Seventeen. According to the ferociously lowbrow people who bring you Newsweek, one simply must know about such folks.

But surely Newsweek’s routine and pernicious left-wing tilt most enrages. We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have remarked upon this matter before. Although Newsweek likes to present itself as a largely non-partisan outfit, it’s obviously infused with the typical mainstream media bias.

This would not be an issue at all, of course, if Newsweek presented itself as a glossier, wussier, watered-down version of The Nation. Rather, it offers its readers an irksome pretense of objectivity.

Take, for example, the “Conventional Wisdom Watch” section of the rag. Appearing each week in the magazine’s front section, this feature purports to offer the country’s general sentiments on current events. In reality, it presents nothing so much as the wishful thinking of Newsweek’s left-leaning staff.

In every issue, for instance, the magazine rates the supposed conventional wisdom on George W. Bush. And in every issue the conventional wisdom offers bad news: Bush is horrible, incompetent, a moron. According to the dolts at Newsweek, virtually every week Bush has been president he’s ran afoul of the country’s conventional wisdom.

These days, for instance, there has been some modestly good news for President Bush. There are signs that the surge in Iraq is working, as even The New York Times’ editorial page has noted. The economy appears to be okay—though not marvelous—and Bush has even seen a bit of an up-tick in his polling numbers.

Ah, but Newsweek’s conventional wisdom will have none of that. In the August 27 number of the rag, it proffers the following reading of the president: “What does it mean when a president goes on vacation and nobody cares? Happy brush-clearing, W.”

Uh, gee: Newsweek magazine could fold next week and nobody with a brain would care. Happy sanctimony, Anna Quindlen.

The self-same issue’s conventional wisdom section also offers this assessment of presidential candidate Mike Huckabee: “GOP prez long shot says Repubs can’t survive as the ‘party of plutocrats.’ Agree or not, it’s a fresh message.” Naturally, Newsweek argues that the conventional wisdom favors Mr. Huckabee’s pronouncement.

But of course: Newsweek loves it when a Republican sounds like a Democrat. It’s not the fresh message the mag so esteems, but the lefty message. After all, Joe Lieberman has some fresh messages regarding Iran. Why isn’t Newsweek’s conventional wisdom championing those?

Posted at August 20, 2007 12:01 AM | TrackBack