The Past Week: April 12-18, 2009 (Newsweek Death Spiral?; Anti-Abortion Wars; Susan Boyle and Human Grace)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Last week we had a story up about the media censorship in Fiji, but this story courtesy Kenosha Marge about the decline of Newsweek is so much more satisfying.  OK, it’s by Brent Bozell, but facts are facts and some of them are pretty scary–for Newsweek.

The Decline and Fall of Newsweek

Brent Bozell

Newsweek greeted the coming of Easter with a black cover, and the headline “The Decline and Fall of Christian America,” spelled out in red in the shape of a cross. Inside, it was more declarative: “The End of Christian America.” Why? Because they found that the percentage of self-identified Christians had fallen 10 points since 1990. OK, then let’s compare. How much has Newsweek’s circulation fallen since 1990? Just since 2007, their announced circulation has dropped by 52 percent. It would be more plausible to state “The End of Newsweek.”

At the end of 2007, Newsweek reduced its “base rate” (or circulation guaranteed to advertisers) from 3.1 million to 2.6 million, a 16 percent drop. At the end of 2008, the Wall Street Journal reported that Newsweek, faced with an estimated 21 percent decline in ad pages, could soon drop that circulation number by another 500,000 to 1 million readers. In February, the magazine confirmed the million-issue drop, saying it would drop to a base of 1.9 million in July and 1.5 million readers by January 2010.


Where will the Obot writers at Newsweek go if it sinks?  They all can’t squeeze into the MSNBC studios, can they?


Well, it’s time to brace yourselves…the abortion wars are simmering nicely…Again, courtesy Kenosha Marge:

Obama boosts anti-abortion efforts

The first hint of a stir came just after Election Day, when the computer servers at Americans United for Life crashed. People were swamping the Web site to sign a petition urging President-elect Barack Obama to stand firm against abortion.

“I got a call from one of our guys, ‘We have a problem,’ ” said Charmaine Yoest, the group’s president and chief executive officer. “And I was like, ‘The problem would be what?’”

Obama’s first 84 days in office have been like an extended recruiting drive for the anti-abortion movement, reinvigorating a constituency he sought to neutralize during the campaign. Activists report a noticeable spike in activity as Obama moves to defend and expand a woman’s right to choose an abortion – causing anti-abortion voters to mobilize in ways never needed during the Bush administration.


Did  you know that there was an anti-abortion group called “The Susan B. Anthony List”?

Aren’t you getting tired of all this crap always being used as a wedge issue??


By now practically everyone has seen Susan Boyle, the “unlikely” talent that wowed the cynical judges and audience in the UK.

Well, it’s such a wonderful story and the BBC story on contains a few wonderful quotes:

How Susan Boyle won over the world


Lisa Schwarzbaum, writer for US celebrity magazine Entertainment Weekly, said the performance was a powerful reality check.

She wrote: “In our pop-minded culture so slavishly obsessed with packaging – the right face, the right clothes, the right attitudes, the right Facebook posts – the unpackaged artistic power of the unstyled, un-hip, un-kissed Ms Boyle let me feel, for the duration of one blazing showstopping ballad, the meaning of human grace.

“She pierced my defences. She reordered the measure of beauty. And I had no idea until tears sprang how desperately I need that corrective.”

Her post has been followed by comments from scores of readers saying they watched the clip repeatedly, with the same emotional response.

“I cried SO hard,” read one. “There’s something so beautiful about reaching your dreams… and knowing that age means nothing.”

Another wrote: “I cry because she reminds us to hope, to never lose track of our dreams, to keep putting one foot in front of the other no matter what others say or think. She gives us hope.”

Hope…of the real kind?

For me, I came away with a sense of the courage and sturdiness that so many “plain” people…especially women…have and which are qualities that are so overlooked.

Link to the You Tube video (full version, complete with  the sole woman judge on the panel addressing Simon Cowell’s attitude…catch his rather “deflated” look at the very end)


*By Grail Guardian

**By  American Lassie

***By Kenosha Marge

Saturday Sanity: The Antidote to the Madness (April 18, 2009) Glorious Organ Mountains; Apricots; Quail on the Wall; Sneaky Slick the Min Pin

Welcome to “Fiji on the Potomac”…

*Report From the Rochester, NY Tea Party (With Pics)–April 15, 2009

**Sharia Finance: Rapidly Increasing Inroads Via American Banks…With the Help of Our Treasury Department

***A Nation of Nincompoops

The Past Week: April 5-April 11, 2009 (”President Panytwaist”; A Split Among Progressives over War Spending Plan?; Smear Campaign in Britain; “Sageism”)

July 21st Editions of Newsweek & Time Pander as Obama Travels: One “Revisits” His “Spiritual Quest,” the Other Uses Mandela (and Fudges His Birthdate, Prints an Old Web Story as Current, and Uses a “Black Power” Fist to Illustrate) (Update 1X)

For some masochistic reason, I chose to pick up the July 21st edition of NEWSWEEK while waiting for my allergy shot on Thursday.  Who could miss it?  A huge close-up picture of Obama, apparently deep in solemn prayer, with a “Faith and Politics” teaser alongside.  The website also says “What He Believes:The Truth About Obama’s Faith.”

A few minutes later, I happened across the July 21st edition of TIME (scroll down for the link to the story). On its cover was a big closeup of Nelson Mandela, with the teaser, “Mandela at 90: The Secrets of Leadership.”

My curiosity was now piqued.  First, I wondered about the Newsweek issue.  OK, you might say, “How odd, Newsweek isn’t talking about THE TRIP, it chose to focus on religion.” But, with Obama’s mega-publicity foreign tour starting just about the time this issue appeared, I wondered (although I didn’t have to work very hard at it) if it was planned bolster Obama’s image here while he was overseas. My conclusions later…

Like many others in a waiting room, I didn’t have the time to read the entire piece then (not to mention those who would lose interest and moved on to “People”).  But I did notice the very serious highlighted sections in the magazine, starting with the opening “Top of the Week” page which featured “Obama’s Spiritual Quest” across the top.

Proceeding to page 26 to the article itself, which was entitled “Finding His Path,” I noticed that on page 25 there was a full-page portrait of Obama in profile, again looking very “spiritual” against a background of “stained glass” as he gazed forward with great solemnity.

From page 26 to page 32, the article by Lisa Miller and Richard Wolffe (Olbermann’s frequent sidekick) spews forth. On page 30, under a small heading which reads “World View,” there is the line “More a Matter of Mystery than Magic.”  Jon Meacham opines in this section that “It seems that for Obama, faith is about enduring questions.” And, of course, he associates Obama’s beliefs with Abraham Lincoln’s evolving faith and humility during the Civil War!

At this point I almost burst out laughing…we’ve been hearing about Obama’s “World View” all through his trip, which is looking a lot like the “Magical Mystery Tour” as it trundles on.  Did Newsweek have advance copies of Obama’s campaign objectives or did it come up with the heading “World View” and plug it in because it just had to go somewhere?

One of the “highlighted” quotations from the interview section that the reader sees reads:

“I’m a big believer not in not just words, but deeds and works.”

Coming from a guy who is mostly words with very little in the “deeds and works” department, this seems a poor choice to put into big print.  (But, then again, Newsweek is owned by the Washington Post Company, and the Post isn’t exactly blazing the way on great journalism when it comes to covering Obama.) Miller and Wolffe also opine that Obama  is now ” a little spiritually rootless” again since supposedly severing ties with Rev. Jeremiah Wright. OK…

If you put yourself in the shoes of the average person thumbing through the magazine, all the highlighted sections probably present a pretty glossy view of Obama and his beliefs. If a person didn’t read any further, they’d see Obama as a serious, serious man, indeed! Mission probably accomplished, at least in waiting rooms? And if the reader DOES delve into the entire article, he or she will get the same impression! Did you know, for example, that Obama was “monkish” while in New York?

After page 32 I figured I’d see a section on John McCain’s spirituality, since the cover had said that this was a an edition of Newsweek focusing on “Faith in Politics.”  Well, there was no such section on McCain, I suppose since he’s was raised as a plain vanilla Episcopalian (now calls himself a Baptist)  who doesn’t flaunt religion every time he opens his mouth. And, although McCain recently gained the endorsement of 100 religious leaders during a meeting in Denver, McCain has had to work at getting it since the “religious right” hasn’t been wildly enthusiastic about him.  In the meantime, Obama has had his meetings with mega-pastors and Christians who are ex-officials from Bush’s Justice Department and apparently has been giving CBN’s David Brody “scoops.”

So, I guess Newsweek figured Obama was the way to go in the “let’s do religion” department. And, of course, the serious nature of the piece turns out to be a great way to remind the reader how “weighty” Obama is as he travels overseas.

And what DID Newsweek write about on McCain?  “Vietnam Loves John McCain” was the story in the “International” section that followed the Obama spread.  Well, I’m sure that’s very nice, but what does it have to do with “Faith and Politics”?  My immediate reaction was that it further “pigeon-holed” McCain as being a relic from the past.  After all, except for us aging baby-boomers, who knows anything about Vietnam?  It’s just another irrelevant piece of history that McCain can be saddled with, right? Obama himself said the Vietnam war had nothing to teach anymore and that it was time to move on in that infamous Las Vegas interview before the Nevada primary. Newsweek’s choice of bringing up Vietnam seems stuck in that  “OLD and from the PAST” frame re: McCain as well.

Furthermore, a great deal of the article goes back and forth on the arguments over whether the torture was or wasn’t used in the prisons where McCain and other U.S. soldiers were held.  What’s the point? To cast doubt on McCain’s war experiences while Obama prances around Europe?

Now getting irritated, I turned to TIME to peruse the Mandela story.  Opening to the article, guess what I found on the page facing the start of the piece?  A raised, black fist in the old “black power” gesture.  Wow, that brought back old times…And, that picture is NOT on the website, just in case you are wondering.

Of course, CNN just happened to air “Black in America”  week on July 23 and 24 as Obama did Germany. Gee, who owns CNN and Time? (Yup, Time-Warner, the largest media company in the world.)


The Time story in the print edition, which focused on “Eight Lessons from One of History’s Icons”  begins with a passage about how Mandela’s 90th birthday is coming NEXT WEEK (which would be the week of July 28th, right?). So, I figured, why wouldn’t Time actually publish this cover story NEXT WEEK, instead of the week when Obama was overseas charming the locals?

I flipped through the article, but I never found an EXACT DATE for Mandela’s birth.  Now, I wondered, why is that??

So, I did some research and found, in every place I looked, that Mandela’s birthdate is apparently JULY 18th!  Which means, it would have been BEFORE Obama’s trip.  Wouldn’t you figure that Time would publish the Mandela cover and story in the July 14th issue–only a few days BEFORE Mandela’s birthday?

And, what’s with the statement that Mandela’s birthday was coming up, rather than being already over??

Ah, but look! On the web version of the article, the publication date is: Wednesday, July 9, 2008.  BUT THERE WAS NO OBVIOUS MENTION of this in the print edition and NO EXPLANATION of why the story was published in print a week and half later to coincide with Obama’s trip and AFTER Mandela’s birthday.

I must have been subconsciously rebelling against all this (well as consciously rebelling!) , because in writing this piece, I’ve been repeatedly spelling “Newsweek” as “Newseek.”

…which is what these two rags seem to have been doing…looking for anyway possible to bolster Obama’s image as he rolls through the Middle East and Europe. Obama’s religious quest and Nelson Mandela…can’t do any better than that!

Update…Oops, Time just reported the “leak” of  Obama’s “private prayer” at the Western Wall!


Related Posts:

Part 1: Obama’s Conservative Meeting Guests–Non-Pastors (UPDATED 1x)

Part 2: Obama’s Conservative Meeting Guests–The Pastors

Matthew 25 Network PAC Hits Christian Radio with Pro-Obama Ad as Christian Conservative Leaders Decide to Support McCain (UPDATED 1X)