Newsweek is dead, long live the news

Christopher Bedford Former Editor in Chief, The Daily Caller News Foundation
Font Size:

The print edition of Newsweek — a standard bearer of the liberal media — died on Thursday. And though she’d long been old and a little batty, we all saw it coming.

The aging glossy was displaying all the signs of bad health, mental and physical: Every year she was getting skinnier; her dependable proclamations that she had discovered the truth about Christianity were becoming increasingly shrill; she’d handed over the keys to her house and gone on a one week bender with a comedian; she’d creeped us out by asking anyone who was listening — a dwindling number — “Is your baby racist?

But two months ago, the cracks really started to show.

See, for decades, old lady Newsweek (she was almost 80, you know) had been dependable about one thing: A hatred of all things not maddeningly progressive.

She would put up pictures of Mr. Obama all over town with headlines like “Mr. Cool,” “The strength of humility: Channeling the 16th president — Obama’s Lincoln,” “How to fix the world,” “How Obama can talk us out of a depression,” “The new global elite,” “The Democrats’ Reagan” and “The O Team.” One read “Our time for change has come” and showed the commander in chief gazing toward the heavens and laughing as a sun beam hit his forehead; another read “Obama, race and us” while the light of the sun shown from around his cranium (you see, the man is a prism through which we may view ourselves). In May, she showed her crush crowned with a rainbow halo, alongside the headline “The first gay president” — a full 150 years after the actual first gay president, James Buchanan, left office and a mere four months after explaining to us “Why Obama’s critics are so dumb.”

And it wasn’t just Barry. She dutifully informed us that “We are all socialists now;” that Mr. Gore is “The thinking man’s thinking man;” and that “Global warming is a hoax — or so claim well-funded naysayers who still reject overwhelming evidence of climate change.”

But she wasn’t all smiles and love letters — this old cat lady had a mean streak. She once labeled the lone survivor of a torpedo bomber, who completed his mission in a burning plane before ejecting into the Pacific, a “wimp.” His name was President George H.W. Bush. And his top crime was that he was a Republican.

Twenty years later, she returned to hang that mantle on the 2012 Republican nominee for president. And just a few months before, she labeled another GOP candidate, Michele Bachmann, “The queen of rage.”

So maybe we should have called the doctors a few weeks ago when she shocked the legacy media, slapping her boyfriend with a cover article called “Hit The road, Barack.”

The whole episode brings to mind Citizen Kane — when the last word of a dying man sent the media on an epic, and ultimately fruitless, search for a hidden meaning. In the end, that once-great man was simply recalling a distant memory of a childhood snow sled.

And like Charles Foster Kane gasping “Rosebud” to those few still listening by his bedside, Newsweek sent her foo foo friends aflutter as they tried to desperately explain away the meaning of her utterance against their liberal leader. Now, it seems, the end is the same old story as the movie: ‘Twas simply the last flickers of consciousness sparking off — as sure a sign of impending doom as a numbness of the arm, or a shiver up the leg.

Maybe the shock of a Gallup poll showing a “wimp” up seven against her boyfriend was too much for the poor woman.

Or maybe it was just her time to go: Only three years prior, after all, she’d used her cover story to make “The case for killing granny.”

But don’t worry: Like most bad decisions these days, she’ll live on, preserved on the Internet. And like most old heiresses, she’s blessed the world with a poncy little Beast to squander the family fortune and remind mother’s aging peers of their own looming mortality.

You see, they all like to think they’ll last forever, but Newsweek is last week’s news, the Grey Lady is growing gray, and the Post is halfway to pasture. And soon, yes soon, it will be time for Time to pass, too.

So let’s have a toast to the first of the legacy media to shuffle off this mortal coil: Newsweek is dead, long live the news.

Follow Christopher on Twitter