Newsweek Magazine, Which Mocked Obama's 'Dumb' Critics, to Cease Publishing Print Edition [Updated]

[Update: 2012-07-27 19:04: Newsweek's Tina Brown has sent a notice to staff: "Barry Diller would like to make it clear that he did not say on the earnings call as reported that Newsweek is going digital in September. He made the uncontroversial, industry-wide observation that print is moving in the direction of digital."]

According to an announcement on Wednesday, Newsweek magazine will "likely" go digital and switch to an online presence. Despite hemorrhaging money for years, the publication has been a steady voice of liberalism, both in the magazine and when contributors and editors appeared on  television. On June 9, 2009, managing editor Evan Thomas famously told Hardball anchor Chris Matthews: "[Barack] Obama's standing above the country, above — above the world. He's sort of God." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

As the magazine's circulation plunged, the publication became even more shrill. A January 23, 2012 cover story wondered, "Why Are Obama’s Critics So Dumb?" In 2010, liberal editor Tina Brown took over and Newsweek merged with the Daily Beast. Appearing on the July 6, 2011 edition of Morning Joe, Brown compared conservative Republicans blocking tax increases to "suicide bombers."

A February 16, 2009 Newsweek cover proclaimed, "We Are All Socialists Now."

The July 17, 1989 edition of the magazine featured an article on pregnancy "remedies." Newsweek senior editor Melinda Beck shockingly lamented, "Sadly, many home remedies could damage a fetus instead of kill it."

The December 31, 1990 issue featured this creepy obersvation by senior writer Jerry Adler: "It's a morbid observation, but if everyone on Earth just stopped breathing for an hour, the greenhouse effect would no longer be a problem."

A selection of egregious examples of bias from Newsweek magazine and the publication's editors can be found below:


"As a practical matter, the homeless won't get very far unless they can persuade a Republican to break with Ronald Reagan's policies -- or elect a Democrat."
-- Tom Mathews, Senior Editor of Newsweek, in the March 21, 1988 issue.

"Sadly, many home remedies could damage a fetus instead of kill it."
- Newsweek Senior Editor Melinda Beck on pregnancy remedies, July 17, 1989 issue.   

“It’s a morbid observation, but if everyone on Earth just stopped breathing for an hour, the greenhouse effect would no longer be a problem.”
Newsweek Senior Writer Jerry Adler, December 31, 1990.

"We hold accountable Republicans who have savaged our urban schools, our housing, our health care, our social services. We hold accountable Democrats who have collaborated in this butchery....We hold accountable those who waste our billions on a military with no enemy to fight."
-- Osborn Elliott, Newsweek Editor-in-Chief from 1961-76, in his speech as co-chairman of the "Save Our Cities" rally, May 16, 1992.

"Yes, the case is being fomented by right-wing nuts, and yes, she [Clinton accuser Paula Jones] is not a very credible witness, and it's really not a law case at all...some sleazy woman with big hair coming out of the trailer parks...I think she's a dubious witness, I really do."
-- Newsweek Washington Bureau Chief Evan Thomas, May 7, 1994 Inside Washington.

"I think there are real questions about separation of powers and I don’t think he [Clinton] should go up there [appear before the Senate]. And second of all, that herd of managers from the House, I mean frankly all they were missing was white sheets. They’re like night riders going over. This is bigger than Bill Clinton."
-- Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift, January 9, 1999 McLaughlin Group.

"Elian might expect a nurturing life in Cuba, sheltered from the crime and social breakdown that would be part of his upbringing in Miami. Because Elian's father, Juan Miguel Gonzalez, works as a cashier in a tourist resort, the family already belonged to the nation's well-off stratum, who has access to American dollars. The boy's relatives in Miami can offer further support: Cuba now even has ATMs that dispense dollars from foreign banks. The education and health-care systems, both built since the revolution, are among the best in the Americas, despite chronic shortages of supplies...
"The boy will nestle again in a more peaceable society that treasures its children. But his life will oscillate to the contrary rhythms of this central Cuban paradox. As a shining symbol of the communist state, he will have access to the corrupting fruits of the new economy. He'll enjoy the best Cuba has to offer, the things only dollars can buy."
-- Brook Larmer and John Leland in Newsweek, April 17, 2000.

"If we fail to acknowledge the reality of the growing role of government in the economy, insisting instead on fighting 21st-century wars with 20th-century terms and tactics, then we are doomed to a fractious and unedifying debate. The sooner we understand where we truly stand, the sooner we can think more clearly about how to use government in today's world....Whether we like it or not - or even whether many people have thought much about it or not - the numbers clearly suggest that we are headed in a more European direction."
- Jon Meacham and Evan Thomas in Newsweek's February 16, 2009 cover story, "We Are All Socialists Now."       

“Reagan [at the 1984 D-Day commemoration] was all about America, and you talked about it. Obama is, ‘We are above that now. We’re not just parochial, we’re not just chauvinistic, we’re not just provincial. We stand for something.’ I mean, in a way, Obama’s standing above the country, above — above the world. He’s sort of God. He’s going to bring all different sides together.”
Newsweek’s Evan Thomas to host Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s Hardball, June 5, 2009.


“Did the Economy Make Him Do It?”
"Times Square bombing suspect hit a rough patch during the recession, losing his Connecticut house to foreclosure and selling furniture and used clothes, according to several media outlets."
- Headline and subheadline on Newsweek's web site, May 6, 2010.

“What is the President really like on the job and off-hours, using what his best friend called ‘a Rubik’s Cube in his brain?’ These questions are answered here for the first time. We see how a surprisingly cunning Obama took effective charge in Washington several weeks before his election.”
— From Simon & Schuster’s promotional language for The Promise: President Obama, Year One, a book released May 18, 2010, by Newsweek senior editor Jonathan Alter.       

It remains simply a fact that Obama has delivered in a way that the unhinged right and purist left have yet to understand or absorb....What I see in front of my nose is a President whose character, record, and promise remain as grotesquely underappreciated now as they were absurdly hyped in 2008. And I feel confident that sooner rather than later, the American people will come to see his first term from the same calm, sane perspective. And decide to finish what they started.”
— Andrew Sullivan in Newsweek’s January 23, 2012 cover story, “Why Are Obama’s Critics So Dumb?”

Newsweek/Daily Beast assignment editor Allison Yarrow: “Can you imagine being that organ donor? I mean, it’s such a difficult decision to say ‘I want to give my body to someone else after I’m dead.’”
Newsweek senior writer Ramin Setoodeh: “To Dick Cheney? I would never give my heart to Dick Cheney. It would freeze over.”
Yarrow: “I would never do it. I’d say ‘give me my heart back.’ Exactly ...”
Host/columnist John Avlon: “Seriously, the ill will toward Dick Cheney getting a heart transplant is stunning.”
Yarrow: “He may be one of the most evil people in the world.”
— Exchange on Newsweek/Daily Beast’s daily “NewsBeast” Web show, March 26, 2012.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org