NBC's Medical Editor Praises Obama Newsweek Cover: Tina Brown Has 'Revolutionized' Magazine

During the Today's Professionals panel discussion on Thursday's NBC Today, NBC chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman cheered the latest cover of Newsweek magazine that proclaimed President Obama to be "The First Gay President": "[Newsweek editor-in-chief] Tina Brown has revolutionized how provocative and how much you can push magazine covers. And when magazines frankly aren't selling, she's shown that you can uptick sales by what's on a cover."

Co-host Savannah Guthrie prompted the response by wondering: "Is there any point where they're pushing it too far or people who are reading it might feel manipulated by this?...Is there any limit, in your mind, to what they should do in the name of selling magazines?" Snyderman happily remarked: "Not when Tina Brown's in charge. Hello, hello."

Guthrie also cited the recent Time magazine cover that featured a mother breast-feeding her toddler son as evidence of publications pushing the envelop. Advertising executive Donny Deutsch applauded the effort: "I think, specifically Time, is a brilliant cover. That format, a weekly news magazine, is dead. It's over. And all of a sudden, there's a reason to pick up Time magazine. I think that's the template....the only way they're going to survive."

Attorney Star Jones joined in justifying the covers: "And also, newspapers do the same thing. I mean, we live in New York City, and the New York Post is legendary for its front covers."


Here is a transcript of the May 17 exchange:

9:11AM ET

(...)

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Cover controversy, okay? Just on the heels of the Time magazine cover, with the breast-feeding mom, we now have Newsweek with a cover that shows President Obama with a rainbow halo and it says, "The First Gay President." Okay, I know, Donny, the name of the game is to sell magazines. But is there any point where they're pushing it too far or people who are reading it might feel manipulated by this?

DONNY DEUTSCH: No, I have to tell you, I think, specifically Time, is a brilliant cover. That format, a weekly news magazine, is dead. It's over. And all of a sudden, there's a reason to pick up Time magazine. I think that's the template. Just like Esquire in the '60s did those covers, you're going to see more of this – that's the only reason they – the only way they're going to survive.

GUTHRIE: Is there any limit, in your mind, to what they should do in the name of selling magazines?

NANCY SNYDERMAN: Not when Tina Brown's in charge. Hello, hello.

DEUTSCH: I don't see that-

SNYDERMAN: You know, Tina Brown has revolutionized how provocative and how much you can push magazine covers. And when magazines frankly aren't selling, she's shown that you can uptick sales by what's on a cover.

GUTHRIE: Quick on this, Star?

STAR JONES: Yes. And also, newspapers do the same thing. I mean, we live in New York City, and the New York Post is legendary for its front covers.

(...)

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC