Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Wasilla Wonder

For the second time since Sarah Palin stepped into the national political spotlight, a photo of the former Republican vice-presidential candidate featured on the cover of Newsweek magazine is sparking controversy. Palin herself blasted the "out-of-context" cover as "sexist" on her Facebook page.

Palin took issue with Newsweek using a photo from an article about health and fitness to promote an analysis piece contemplating her relevance as a political figure:
"The choice of photo for the cover of this week's Newsweek is unfortunate. When it comes to Sarah Palin, this "news" magazine has relished focusing on the irrelevant rather than the relevant.
“The out-of-context Newsweek approach is sexist and oh-so-expected by now.”

The reaction to the Newsweek cover has predictably sparked outrage from conservative supporters of Palin and kudos from liberals who oppose her.

The current cover flap isn't the first time Newsweek has generated controversy with a photograph of Palin. The October 13, 2008, issue featured an extreme close-up of Palin that seemed to be devoid of the high-tech retouching often employed by magazines. Conservatives claimed this highlighted some of Palin's supposed "flaws," like wrinkles around her eyes.

Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham told Yahoo! News that the photo choice was simply the "most interesting image available":
"We chose the most interesting image available to us to illustrate the theme of the cover, which is what we always try to do. We apply the same test to photographs of any public figure, male or female: does the image convey what we are saying? That is a gender-neutral standard."

Personally, I thought the cover was a cheap shot. In my opinion, Newsweek lowered itself by using this particular photo on its cover and clouded the issue by allowing cries of sexism from the Palin camp. Why make Palin appear to be a victim of the media as she so often claims. There is enough substance for Palin detractors to latch on to without using a photo that allows her wiggle room to side step issues. But, that's just my take on the subject.

Source: Brett Michael Dykes,Yahoo! News Blog

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