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March 18, 2007

Unfreakinreadable

My mom gave me a gift subscription to Time Magazine last year. I've tried, I've really tried to read it every week, but it's damn near impossible. It's like they deliberately try to insult me every week. I know it's the thought that counts, but I think I'm going to have to cancel my free subscription.

The problem is that Time is a liberal op-ed magazine, masquerading as a non-partisan news source. I could respect them, and even read it occasionally, if they would just admit the truth. But to do so might reduce the effectiveness of the subliminal propaganda they spit out each week. There's no way to avoid it, unless you stop grocery shopping and visiting the dentist.

If I read something in the Village Voice, or Mother Jones, or the LA Weekly, saying "all conservatives are evil" I can take it with a grain of salt, it's no big deal. But when Time Magazine, in a "news" cover story starts out like this, I get mad.

George Bush's sense of humor has always run more to frat-house gag than art-house irony, so he may not have appreciated the poetic justice any more than the legal justice on display in the Libby verdict.

Or, to be more precise, the Cheney verdict.

In a mere 46 words, Time managed to call the president of the United States a lowbrow, call him stupid, then pronounce the Libby verdict as "justice" when it's actually 180° the opposite of justice. Then to top it all off, Time proclaims that Cheney was somehow convicted by the Libby jury. And that's just the first 46 words.

You know, there's a lot of folks in this country who voted for the President, and like the President. There's a lot of folks who really like Dick Cheney, and we're not stupid. We understand that there are people who don't think so, but it's insulting to read a supposedly unbiased news magazine calling the Vice President a criminal, as if I'm supposed to agree. Like saying the Dow was at 11000, or the temperature in Minneapolis yesterday was 53°.

A few weeks ago I tossed the magazine with the pro-abortion cover in the trash without even opening it. I didn't open the one that asked "Does sending more soldiers to Iraq make any sense?" either. I knew the answer to that question. I also knew their answer, and that it was different from mine. But next week's cover really takes the cake: Ronald Reagan crying. First of all, they have no right to touch, let alone re-touch that great man's picture. Second, I simply don't trust them to write about conservative discontent without it being a 3000 word essay on schadenfreude.

And it's not even well written, or well reported. Lately they've taken to using introductory phrases like "here's how..." and "here's why..." As in "With the U.S. tied down in Iraq, a new superpower has arrived. Here's how to deal with it." Or, "The Iraq Study Group says it's time for an exit strategy, Why Bush will listen." Of course, when the President rightly ignores the ISG's report, Time ignores its faulty prediction. But that doesn't stop them from continuing to use that annoying phraseology. Another example: "As the U.S. strikes al-Qaeda, a new government tries to restore order. Here's what it will take."

That phrase bugs me so much because it's like they're assuming some sort of know-it-all status, without ever demonstrating to me that they know anything. When you're wrong as often as Time's writers are, they shouldn't be so presumptuous.

The Time story intro has become so formulaic, I could probably write a script for it if I knew how to write code. All you do is take some story that is happening, insert some anti-Republican or anti-war spin, then promise the reader that you'll have all the answers in the article by saying "here's how."

Here are some examples, just off the top of my head:

A story about JetBlue delays might be introduced like this:

While JetBlue executives struggle to regain passengers' confidence in the wake of storm caused delays, experts say global warming could damage airline stocks even further? Here's how you can protect your portfolio.
A story about Valerie Plame's testimony?
With the U.S. bogged down in Iraq, new questions surround pre-war intelligence as Valerie Plame wows Congress. Here's why her testimony will doom the Bush admistration.
Nintendo's Wii?
Millions of Americans have fallen in love with the new Wii gaming platform. Here's how Alberto Gonzales intends to ruin their fun.
It's easy, you try it.

Posted by annika, Mar. 18, 2007 | TrackBack (0)
Rubric: annikapunditry



Comments

Thanks for reminding me why I can't quit you.

Posted by: reagan80 on Mar. 18, 2007

Annie, you're too young to remember "Life" magazine, however, my parents used to tell me "Life is for people who can't read; Time is for people who can't think."

Posted by: shelly on Mar. 18, 2007

"A disaffected right-wing blogger had issued yet another whiny tirade against the mainstream media. Here's how you can renew your subscription to TIME so that you can continue to receive accurate news reporting."

(I was going to use my favorite perjorative term, "fascist," but most "objective" news outlets wouldn't stoop that low.)

I've rarely read any weekly newsmagazine since about 1983, so I'm not really qualified to comment on how we are today. However, since 1983 there has been a sea change in how we get our information. Because printed media (especially weeklies or monthlies) isn't going to have timely information, they need to resort to analysis to justify their existence. TIME, of course, has been analyzing for years, although its slant has changed (Formosa, anyone?). At this point I'm pondering whether McPaper is actually a more valuable source of information; at least they print two sides to major issues.

Posted by: Ontario Emperor on Mar. 18, 2007

Honey, you're late to the party. Time went in the shitter when Whitacre Chambers quit editing The World section. Subsequently, Joe Kennedy gave Henry Luce $75K to put JFK's pic on the cover after the release of his ghostwritten Profiles in Courage. They're whores.

Posted by: Casca on Mar. 18, 2007

The magazine has taken an even farther turn to the left in the last year or so.

Since you're a subscriber, I would consider sending those overpaid leftists your post, or atleast a letter of some sort, letting them know what you think. Will it achieve anything? Perhaps not, but so what? They need to hear someone tell them that they're whoring their profession.

Posted by: Mark on Mar. 19, 2007

I couldn't have said it better myself.

Can anyone suggest an alternative? I was thinking maybe US News & World Report, but I don't know much about that one...

I'm gonna call TIME now and have them cancel my subscription, it's really not even worth lining my bird's cage with it, it's that bad.

Posted by: Rob on Mar. 19, 2007

USN&WR is pretty worthless, and it's not even pretty to look at.

Neither is National Review, but I'd recommend it over any of the big three "news" magazines.

Lots of people swear by The Economist, but have you ever tried to read it? boooooring. plus its liberal. I think people say they like the Economist just to impress people. I doubt anybody actually reads it.

Posted by: annika on Mar. 19, 2007

Yeah,I'm not much of a Time fan; it's too much like a Reader's Digest, only a week behind the times, so to speak.

I get the same reaction as you when I watch most news programs on TV, Fox included.

Sifting news sources for bias is a hobby of mine, which is why I like the Newshour with Jim Lehrer so much; he just lets both sides duke it out, calling them out from time to time.

Posted by: will on Mar. 19, 2007

Cathy Seipp is bidding farewell to everyone.

A couple days ago, we lost one of our conservative engineering professors to cancer as well. This sucks.

Posted by: reagan80 on Mar. 19, 2007

Hear Hear! Any magazine that would name Gorbachev Man of the 80's is puerile

Posted by: Scof on Mar. 19, 2007

Annika,

I think your wishes about how you think things aught to be are getting in the way of seeing how things are. Nothing in the Time's 46 words is biased or god forbid untrue.

Bush prides himself on his lowbrow, non-book reading, gut feeling appeal and for the 2000 election he especially played it up. (By 2004 his handlers thought it was time to put a book or two on his night table the way you stage an apartment before putting it on the market.) He would be more put-out if you called him intelligent and an intellectual. Irony is generally lost on him and though not stupid he is uneducated, inarticulate and if given the chance will quickly demonstrate his lack of understanding of most topics.

Rove did engineer VPís outing and will not be prosecuted. Libby lost track of the time line and has been rightfully convicted of lying. Was it justice? Who the f*ck knows. Was he involved; certainly.

Did Bush fire anybody involved? No. Did he swear he would? Of course.

Is any of this surprising? Not in the least.

We are now going to see Pedro the WH talking Burro take a fall for Rove. Pretty Harriett too!

Posted by: strawman on Mar. 20, 2007

I love National Review.

City Journal is excellent too.

Posted by: Mark on Mar. 20, 2007

Hey Red,

Whats a matter? Spent all the money I paid you to sit for that casting?

Posted by: strawman on Mar. 20, 2007

"he is uneducated..."

Yeah, right, Straw. Degrees from two of the best schools on the planet with grades as good or better than the two dip-shit Dems he defeated in the past two elections. BTW, how does your academic pedigree measure up to the President's? Did you make it past the 12th grade?

and,"inarticulate"

well, that's probably true. he's a poor public speaker.

Posted by: blu on Mar. 20, 2007

I used to think there was some benefit to understanding where the other side was coming from. Now I can tell without looking. National Review.

Posted by: Mike C. on Mar. 20, 2007

Blu,

Of course your comment is not on point. The discussion was if the Time article displayed a bias. We have discussed his education many times. BTW, I never asked you what you thought the box was under his jacket at the Kerry debate as long as we are dicussing how dumb he is and how poorly he thinks on his feet, and what help he might have needed.

Blu, I don't think he could hold my interest on a short plane ride.

Posted by: strawman on Mar. 20, 2007

My apologies, Straw, for veering of course. Yes, I think Time Magazine is a left-wing, commie rag that I've never, ever spent a penny on. (I'm proud of that if you can't tell.) Any magazine that would employ a retarded sophist like Barbara Ehrenreich deserves neither my money nor my respect.

Oh, and Straw, when you start talking about the magic "box", you put yourself at the intellectual level of those that think Bush and the gov't planned and executed 9-11. Now, I rarely agree with you but have never thought you dumb. So, please, for your own dignity's sake, don't play the silly conspiracy card. It's beneath you.

Finally, I think you are wrong about Bush and a plane ride. My memory is that the people who meet Bush - regardless of affiliation - generally like him personally, finding him to be genuine, good-natured, and funny. (Unlike, say Clinton, who many people found to be a horses rear. Interestingly enough, though a very different personality, Bush the Elder was also personally well-liked by his colleagues.)

To sum up:
Time Sucks
There is no magic box
Bush might hold your interest on a plane ride

Posted by: blu on Mar. 20, 2007

I already have a subscription to NR, so I guess I'll just leave it at that...thanks for the heads up on USN&WR, saved me a couple bucks.

Posted by: Rob on Mar. 21, 2007

Blu,

You deluded clown, just wait a goddamned minute, I was in NYC on 9-11 and I saw American plans hit these buildings. In fucking fact, pal, one of them said Americaís Airlines on the tall thing in the back. Only the president has the authority to order American planes to hit buildings. No one could imagine any other way to get it done. I know I couldn't.

Seriously, I never really paid attention to the discussion of the box but I did see the photos and I did see the box? Or did I see some apparition or something that somebody retouched. Or was there never any explanation, just the old saw of "nobody would be that nuts to try something like that". Forget for the moment theories of any nature. What was the explanation, I must have been traveling in Central America at the time. Not that it matters really, prompted or not, his answers were shallow, predictable, claptrap laced with a goofy kind of faux machismo edginess. Altogether it was unwatchable as I find all of his performances.

As for plane trips I generally sleep. I am going to Florence in a few weeks and looking fwd to catching up on some sleep and my back issues of the Nation. Did you see that the American CP made a gift of all their archives to NYU library this week? Quite a trove of information. Many history thesis's (or is it thee-sigh) waiting to be written.


Posted by: strawman on Mar. 21, 2007

To all those who have even considered the possibility that Bush wore some device to give him answers during the debate:

Perhaps Bush was wearing a bullet proof vest to protect himself from the "tolerance" brigade?

Posted by: Mark on Mar. 21, 2007

'cancel my free subscription' says it all. Soda-spewing monitor-speckling goodness, that.

Posted by: Barry in CO on Mar. 22, 2007