Life is nine tenths work, my boy, and a little play when you can get it. Same in the Greenwood as it is on the Lord’s manor or in Nottingham town.
Little John: The Adventures of Robin Hood 1955
…if some adults, even a few, believed Gillian’s Island was real, just think of the effect other shows on television have–shows with much greater emphasis on reality.
Sherwood Schwartz Inside Gilligan’s Island 1988 p188
Andrew Sullivan’s Newsweek Cover story “The First Gay President” has been the talk of the town. Actually it’s not so much been the story as Tina Brown’s cover. It has been compared to Time’s sensational cover of last week and reproduced all over the net.
Glenn Reynolds had the best snark “If I were a GOP operative, I’d distribute thousands of those Newsweek issues to black barbershops in key precincts. . . .” but I think, snark aside, this cover is going to have a much bigger impact than anyone realizes.
One of the things you become conscious of when cover or write about news every day is how uninformed and/or disinterested the average person is concerning news.
This is in fact normal. Folks are busy living their own lives, worrying about their own problems and paying their bills. They may in passing notice something during the day but with hundreds of channels to choose and millions of choices on the world wide web they have little time or inclination to devote what free time they have toward topics they aren’t interested in.
Let’s look at this cover again
This cover is all over TV and as Jazz Shaw suggests it is almost certainly going to be on posters:
The poster that comes from this is going to sell millions. Take that to the bank.
I suspect we will see it on T-Shirts too. This image, in my opinion is going to be an iconic image of Obama.
Think about what that means for a second:
How many people are going to see this cover in passing? How many doctor’s offices, waiting rooms, barber shops, (Black and otherwise) and other places where free copies of Newsweek go to die will this cover sit for months, perhaps all the way to election day?
And How many of those people who are too busy to read the story inside will see this cover on a magazine called NEWSWEEK without reading Andrew Sullivan’s piece and think Obama has come out as Gay?
I’m betting an awful lot.
If you think that is going to have a positive net effect on the president’s re-election effort, then you just might live in the MSM media bubble.
Update: Charles from Left Bank of the Charles points out that if you had a poster like the Newsweek cover at a tea party in 2008 you would have been branded as a racist.
Update 2: While I was out beating the bushes for advertisers for the Radio Show (WCRM AM 830 Saturday 10 – Noon this weeks Guest Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch, Next Saturday Jack Mitchell author Fireside Chat) I was apparently linked by Hot Air. Welcome, take a peek around, discover what a Sarah Palin endorsement can do to a Nebraska Senate Candidates election chances, marvel at women deciding they like the good looking clean cut rich guy named Romney after all, and find out why I’ve been advising Republicans to “Ride right through them (Democrats), they’re Demoralized as hell” since last May.