Can We Laugh At the Newsweek Tumblr?

This is somewhat personal, because my dad was once an editor for Newsweek International and wrote an unforgettable cover story on the WTO protests in Seattle in 1999. It’d be enough of an insult to his résumé that the magazine has been pared down to 14 pages of Tina Brown political slashfic, but the Tumblr incarnation of this sorry media outlet operates strictly beyond the pale.

Some recent offenses:

  • Getting all cutely offended by the Huffington Post for running a photo of a coat hanger under a headline about abortion, then turning defensive about their reaction, then converting their cursor from a dreadfully twee handlebar mustache to … yep, a coat hanger. Please note that all this happened one day after they aggregated something from the Huffington Post without comment. JOURNALISM.
  • Screencapping a Drudge Report banner suggesting that their highly fanciful and not very true anti-Obama cover story by noted butt-wipe Niall Ferguson constituted, if not technical plagiarism, a late-to-the-Tea-Party grab at their conservative readership. Newsweek bungled this one by going with the caption “Rawr,” when they rather should have committed seppuku.
  • Articulating the single lamest comeback to a blogger who dared to point out that their worthless infographisticle included a categorical error. (And promptly having their asses handed right back to them.)

Luckily, plenty of righteous Tumblr citizens take the publication to task for any and every slip-up; there’s an auto-pile-on for every failure to fact check, and you see a lot of those without fact-checkers. But all this has led me to a philosophical conundrum: If everyone stopped following Newsweek, would it still reblog .gifs from Buzzfeed to make fun of CNN?

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