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As I've noted before, TIME Magazine prepares covers each week for four markets: the U.S., Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific. And all too often, the U.S. covers advertise superficial subjects or invite Americans to engage in trite self-absorbtion when compared with its world covers.

This week's example, while more subtle than others, is perhaps the most egregious and emblematic instance of this phenomenon. Just look at these two different covers, meant to advertise what is to come in 2014 for readers of TIME :

U.S. Covertime2014us
On its U.S. cover, TIME makes the February debut of Late Night with Seth Meyers as the singular, signature attraction for the coming year.
World Covers

time2014world
On its world cover, TIME (literally) points to important world developments on the horizon or issues to consider, including "The U.S. Pullout from Afghanistan," "India's Giant Vote," and "Weird Weather."

What we have here is TIME advertising – for the coming year! – what it wants its readers to watch. In the U.S., it's Seth Meyers' new show in February, punctuated by a few nouns (power, innovation, commerce, culutre). In world markets, it's substantive events, ideas or issues.

The striking thing to note here is that the content in these magazines will be nearly identical. It's how TIME has decided to present itself, and advertise to various markets, that reveals both how it perceives itself as a serious journalistic outlet, and how it perceives the serious U.S. news audience.

In short: TIME thinks Americans are stupid, and so thus presents its content, despite covering real news issues. Which begs the question: at what point does a journalistic outlet's responsibility to raise public discourse and inform society outweigh market demands?

For TIME, the answer is clear: never.

                                                          --§--

What Do You Buy For the Children
David Harris-Gershon is author of the memoir What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist Who Tried to Kill Your Wife?, just out from Oneworld Publications.


Originally posted to David Harris-Gershon (The Troubadour) on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 08:17 AM PST.

Also republished by Writing by David Harris Gershon.

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  •  Tip Jar (270+ / 0-)
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    "If the Jew who struggles for justice for Palestine is considered anti-Semitic, & if Palestinians seeking self-determination are so accused...then no oppositional move can take place w/o risking the accusation." - Judith Butler

    by David Harris Gershon on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 08:17:05 AM PST

  •  I'm curious what the cover of Time has to (23+ / 0-)

    do with a "serious news audience" ?

    The magazine is clearly fluff aimed at the minimally engaged and the cover is basically intended to increase impulse sales as much as anything (probably, more than anything).

    This diary seems to be WAY over-analyzing the situation.

    •  Yup (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hillbilly Dem, bumbi, Roadbed Guy

      It's just marketing and US readers have different interests than readers elsewhere in the globe.  Duh.  For TIME the image to plaster on the front page has to be designed to hook the impulse of that person that might choose to pay for one of these at the newsstand.

      I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

      by Satya1 on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 08:30:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Heh. I think that was his very point. (39+ / 0-)

        Our interest lies in some random unknown person trying to make his mark on late night tv while the rest of the world is concerned about events that actually have an impact on their lives.

        You assume Americans read beyond that magazine cover -- or any others...

        •  No, it doesn't (5+ / 0-)

          you're just supposed to assume it does.

          I realize there are some dumb-asses in the reading audience of the US, but shit like this does not help one bit. It's insulting to those of us who are actually intelligent.

          And that's what I take away from shit like this--once, intelligent people read TIME magazine. Evidently, their audience has been quite dumbed down. Perhaps its editors should aspire to raising their standards?

          This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

          by lunachickie on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 10:54:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  hello (0+ / 0-)

            please check your kosmail

            Another shining sphere flies from Feior's hands, and you are frozen where you stand

            by GideonAB on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 10:57:38 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Time had to try harder (3+ / 0-)

            when Newsweek was nipping at its heels with serious, minimally to the left of center, analysis.  

            Those days are long gone.

          •  Sure thing, raise the publication's standards (0+ / 0-)

            And lower the readership base.
            That's one hell of a way to run a business.

          •  It's insulting to those of us who are actually (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            skinflower

            It's insulting to those of us who are actually intelligent. -

            Speak for yourself!

            •  In one of the Eisenhower-Stevenson campaigns, (0+ / 0-)

              I forgot whether it was 1952 or 1956, a Democratic voter meeting Adlai Stevenson tried to encourage him with, "Every thinking man will vote for you."  Stevenson replied, "That's nice, but I need a majority to win."  He lost twice.  Not that Eisenhower turned out that badly, but I suspect that most of his support was from voters who paid more attention to his war hero reputation and superficial personality characteristics than to the differences between their platforms.  Stevenson would have been a good choice for those years also, and America gave him less of a hearing than he deserved, preferring the "I Like Ike" slogan to serious study of the issues.

              Which has been true of Americans at least since the days of H. L.  Mencken in the 1920s, if not longer.

              •  hmm... (0+ / 0-)

                if Adelai Stevenson had win in 1952 and 56, I wonder if the Republicans would even bother by 1960 to run a Presidential candidate.  By 1960, there would have been Democratic presidents for 28 straight years.  

                We have no desire to offend you -- unless you are a twit!

                by ScrewySquirrel on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 04:14:24 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  I think (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dmze48, debocracy

            ...we need to stop blaming Republicans long enough to look at what Democrats have done since the 1980s, from ensuring the passage of a full range of right-wing policies to wiping out much of the safety net, stating that (as Clinton declared) "there is no excuse" for being jobless. The middle class agreed.  Of course, I don't know how much of the country is still middle class, but they're the ones who have the microphone today. When we turn our backs on fellow citizens in need, we really aren't worth much as a nation, a people.

            •  Right... (0+ / 0-)

              Nixon started the economic mess, he was impeached, so Reagan and Clinton finished the job. Crap Like NAFTA, etc. The Repugs always wanted to do away with all our jobs, now they act as if the joblessness is the president's fault. The Roosevelt regulations kept the corporations from screwing over the middle class and doing away with our unions, the Neo-cons have been trying to destroy what Roosevelt did for the country for over thirty years. Anyone that doesn't know that is totally clueless, dumbed down by corporate propaganda and lead by the nose with a carrot made of hate.

              If you like bicycles, check out the newest and coolest products at my site, "ZiggyboyBullet.com." You can also find my products at e-Bay under the name, "Ziggyboy." See all the products on my "See seller's other items" link.

              by JohnnieZ on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 06:22:44 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Democratic politicians FOLLOWED the GOP, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              debocracy

              because the general mood of voters, due to the long term work of the conservative movement during the years between Goldwater and Reagan, was deaf to the planks of the traditional New Deal Democrats.  The general voter impression of the Democratic Party was that of hippies and Black Panthers, making the right wing's economic and cultural beliefs more attractive.  Thus, the only way Democratic candidates could win the White House, or even many Senate and House seats they had traditionally won, in this environment, was to move to the right also.

              Now that voters are BEGINNING to move back to a reasonable liberalism in reaction to Tea Party excesses and the information finally coming out from the Occupy movement, it is once more somewhat safe for Democrats to run on economic fairness.  Barack Obama gradually raised our consciousness beginning with health care, triggering that Tea Party orgy of hate which exposed latent racism to public view.  When he won re-election by running AGAINST Romneyism, carrying about a dozen seats in Congress with him, the tide began to turn.

              If Americans turn out to vote this year as they did in 2012 (which is the biggest job for Democratic campaigns to work on), we can give our Democratic President a Democratic Congress to work with him.

              (P.S. The news broadcast just reported that a petition to legalize marijuana in Florida is being circulated now, aiming for the November ballot.  This is likely to turn out more voters likely to vote for Democrats.)

        •  i didn't even recognize Seth Meyers at first (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dirtandiron, SherriG

          either he has gotten old or my eyes have gotten old or both ;-D

          Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
          Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

          by TrueBlueMajority on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 11:20:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mike101, Lujane, MPociask

          US readers have different interests and these covers give us an insight into what the interests of US readers and international readers are - or at least what Time thinks those interests are.

        •  but (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kyril

          There are clearly fluff pieces on the international cover as well.  The World Cup, Bitcoin, kohlrabi, and a couple of others that I'd have to read to decide if they were actually hard news.  I sort of suspect 'Wierd weather' is a fluff piece, but who knows it might attempt to be serious.  

          The real lesson is that if Time did an article on the next Graham Norton I don't doubt they'd put him/her on the British cover.  It's not that Time doesn't think the rest of the world cares about fluff pieces; it's that the rest of the world doesn't care about American-centric fluff pieces.

        •  was it also his point? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RocketJSquirrel

          Don't think so.  For starters most often the content in the magazine is identical across the markets.  So this is only about a superficial marketing technique.  There are still people who read Time for content and don't care what is on the cover.  The author hypes the importance of the cover with regard to its importance for "public discourse":

          In short: TIME thinks Americans are stupid, and so thus presents its content, despite covering real news issues. Which begs the question: at what point does a journalistic outlet's responsibility to raise public discourse and inform society outweigh market demands?

          For TIME, the answer is clear: never.

          Americans stays dumb via thousands of various means.  The cover of Time didn't make America dumb nor does it contribute much to that in the wide scheme of things.  This singular focus the cover of one magazine is a little nuts.

          I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

          by Satya1 on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 04:06:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I used to subscribe to Newsweek, when there was (0+ / 0-)

            one, and I live in Europe.  IIRC Newsweek did exactly the same thing.  I do think it is significant that light weight covers sell in the USA and more serious ones sell over here.

            The opposite of pro is con. So what's the opposite of progress?

            by DSPS owl on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 08:52:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Who knows? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rabrock

          Media tells us that Americans no longer read.  I've read that many, many times.

      •  But (0+ / 0-)

        Our interests AND our opinions are largely determined by the media. For example, we utterly ignored the increase of poverty until just the last few weeks, as former middle class workers began going down. Back in 1996, we agreed as Bill Clinton declared that "there is NO excuse" for long-term joblessness, so we ended basic poverty relief. Whatever our (weirdly homogenous) media tells us is important, that is what we believe is important.

    •  Yeah (6+ / 0-)

      Yeah, I don't get the complaint. Time has been doing this for years - back in the 1980's, US News and World Report used to run commercials making fun of Time's covers (particularly the one that had Madonna:Why She's Hot). I actually find this diary rather prissy.

      Language professors HATE me!

      by Zornorph on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 09:06:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  In the grocery aisle, next to (8+ / 0-)

      the "lose 50 lbs. in a week!" rags and the "Bat Boy!" tabloids.  

      In a similar vein, Time features the insight and wisdom of Bill Kristol.

      I always laugh at how grocery stores know where to file Bill Kristol.

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 09:15:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RudiB, davybaby, RUNDOWN

      I'm far more concerned by the bullshit 60 Minutes keeps putting out there than by a fading "news" version of People Magazine.

    •  Gave up on Time long ago (6+ / 0-)

      The best international news magazine is probably the Economist. Time:Bud Light::The Economist:Guinness. Eom.

      Did you ver notice how har it is totype accurately on an iPad?

      by RudiB on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 10:48:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  TIME used to be a well respected center-right (0+ / 0-)

      newsmagazine, which as an afterthought covered things like current pop culture, the arts, and sports. The bulk of it was actual in depth news.

      But they have sunk like everything else in our society - to the level of the lowest common denominator.

      The more we are, the less we need.

      by Fiddlegirl on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 05:23:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  oh really? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rabrock, DSPS owl

      dear roadbed,

      if this (accurate) piece strikes you as "way over-analyzing," you've made the author's point.

      and if you don't understand that, you make mine.

      i know, i know--i am "way over-analyzing" here.

      all the best and then some,

    •  You miss the point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rabrock

      Time certainly isn't the most in depth journalism that you can find at the newstand,but when your talking about a majority of the American public,it's obviously too in depth.
            The sad commentary is that you have to put something on the cover that attracts the interest of the average moron on the street. We have millions who have no clue what's going on in the rest of the world and could care less.

    •  Impulse sale to who? (0+ / 0-)

      The point is WE are a joke to Time and the world (in comparison). We're now a comedy act to the world. While the real world grows and shines...we're a joke.
      At least that much is technically accurate. We asked for it with our apathy in not voting out the true comedy act, the GOP, or should I say this new GOP/Koch owned and operated puppets we allow to ruin everything they touch, those we pay well to do nothing while they rob everything from the Post Office to every social program working American's PAID into as a safety net..All while we don't dare touch the GOP's beloved "Job Gods"too numerous to list tax breaks..But don't worry, they should be trickling down on us any day now"..Over a decade clearly hasn't been enough time to see the results the GOP insist will come if we just leave those poor billionaires alone and give them more tax breaks while they rob the rest of us and pollute at will..(snark)

    •  TIME'S APPEAL (0+ / 0-)

      To say that TIME is minimally engaged is an understatement.  This rag thinks so little of its readers  -  compared to other magazines  -  that it no longer (or very seldom) even has a  letters to the editor page.

    •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

      I agree with you wholeheartedly.

    •  Hard to get excited about what Time thinks will (0+ / 0-)

      make it the most money.  Maybe if you dislike the Mag, you could contribute to a free internet discussion about serious subjects - ,,,,

  •  Don't knock what sells (18+ / 0-)

    I am going to guess that the publishers have a good sense of what sells in the US vs abroad, and then they respond to that.  I'm sure if smarter presentation worked in the US, they'd be doing that.

    Ultimately, the responsibility is on the American people to display more intelligence, for example by reading smarter publications.  However, that isn't going to happen.  So, the dumb kids get the dumb article.

    The one big caveat that comes to mind is that TIME might be positioning itself for a different demographic in the US v. abroad.  Here, they're trying to reach across the entire US demographic for their home market.  I imagine abroad, they're aiming for a smaller segment of Americans abroad and perhaps other more affluent groups.  Thus, it might not be at all a US v. Foreign thing, but a broad market publication v niche market publication.

    •  Fuck what sells (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mindful Nature, RUNDOWN

      Time Magazine is shit, and the publishers have the sense of a donkey's ass.

      Do they really know what sells at the "newsstand" (grocery checkout next to "Batboy!")?

      From Wikipedia:

      During the second half of 2009 the magazine saw a 34.9% decline in newsstand sales.[14] During the first half of 2010, there was another decline of at least one third in Time magazine sales. In the second half of 2010, Time magazine newsstand sales declined by about 12% to just over 79,000 copies per week.

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 09:24:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Heart of the Rockies

      They know what audience they're targeting. It's not all Americans or all global readers; it's a specific subset of people likely to pick up the magazine from a newsstand. Those may be very different groups of people here and abroad.

    •  Then they could just (0+ / 0-)

      Plaster the cast of Duck Dynasty across the cover.

      If it's just a matter of "positioning".

      “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” ... Voltaire

      by RUNDOWN on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 08:53:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, their letters to the editor (0+ / 0-)

      come from all over the world.  Do they pick from the foreign heap, even if the US heap is larger?  Or are there really a great many foreign readers?  I  think that foreigners (as well as ex-pats like myself) like to keep up with what the US is doing and saying.

      The opposite of pro is con. So what's the opposite of progress?

      by DSPS owl on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 09:04:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is why we can't have nice things. (30+ / 0-)

    triple facepalm star trek

    I really don't know which is worse: the media that feed the public such low-bar fodder, or the public that eagerly gobbles it up.  It's like a sick co-dependency.  

    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle stand like a rock." Attributed to T. Jefferson

    by koosah on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 08:27:30 AM PST

  •  HL Mencken called it (18+ / 0-)

    "No one in this world, so far as I know — and I have searched the records for years, and employed agents to help me — has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.

    The mistake that is made always runs the other way. Because the plain people are able to speak and understand, and even, in many cases, to read and write, it is assumed that they have ideas in their heads, and an appetite for more. This assumption is a folly.”

    L'enfer, c'est les autres....Jean-Paul Sartre

    by Keith930 on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 08:29:23 AM PST

  •  I like the Seth Myers cover more than the other (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rogneid, Roadbed Guy, joynow, cardinal, Matt Z

    one. Of course, I like fluff. I like fluff, politics, and healthy recipes.

  •  i agree the media targets the stupid (7+ / 0-)

    stewart points this out all the time... the stories CNN chooses to focus on..

    and don't get started on Fox

    The Seminole Democrat
    Confronting the criminally insane who rule our state; as well as the apathy of the vast majority who let them.

    by SemDem on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 08:37:26 AM PST

  •  I think it's tricky. (11+ / 0-)

    I'm a longtime subscriber to Esquire magazine. It's a terrific, well-written publication. But almost always its cover is adorned with some Hollywood clown whom I care nothing about.

    Why? Newsstand sales.

    People passing a supermarket aisle of magazines who would never purhcase a copy of Esquire might be tempted to do so if George Clooney's mug is gracing the cover.

    Sure, that may be a condemnation of the average American, but I'd rather have serious publications with unfortunate covers still existing rather than no such publications at all.

    If Time stays afloat by putting Seth Meyers on the cover, and Esquire does so with George Clooney, that's a small price to pay.

    I've also subscribed to Sports Illustrated for decades. Again, it's a terrific, well-written publication. Care to guess which issue sells the best? That issue alone probably pays a lot of SI's bills.

    How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

    by BenderRodriguez on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 08:43:17 AM PST

  •  I think you have it backwards. (11+ / 0-)
    What we have here is TIME advertising – for the coming year! – what it wants its readers to watch.
    This implies that magazines like Time dictate to their audiences.  I view this more as Time advertising what it believes (based on the kind of marketing studies that companies like that do all the time) that its audience wants and will buy.  Time obviously believes Seth Meyers on its cover will sell more magazines in the U.S. than that other cover.

    In other words, I don think this says as much about Time magazine's differences in different parts of the world as it says about Time's AUDIENCE in different parts of the world.

    •  They hired Bill Kristol (8+ / 0-)

      after he was utterly wrong about the Iraq war, and after the war was horribly unpopular with Americans.

      So yeah, I think it's pretty clear that Time has an agenda and wishes to inject right wing thought into readers' minds.  The celebrities and health articles are to create the impression of a centrist, even liberal, news magazine, yet the news and opinion is all Fox Lite.  Time is using fairly advanced propaganda techniques, and has been for decades.

      Time was founded by Henry Luce, a anti-communist wingnut and staunch republican who used Time to support fascist dictatorships in the fight against communism.  

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 09:42:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sigh. They hired Kristol (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, nextstep

        audience, and because they thought that some people would read Time because of Kristol.  

        Conservatives buy magazines, too.  Time had a reputation among conservatives of being "in the tank" for liberals.  Hiring Kristol was about trying to attract more conservatives -- it's about giving the audience what the magazine thinks will make more people buy the magazine.  They'd hire an anarchist to write a column if they thought that would increase their numbers in any significant way, and if their market research showed that adding the anarchist would increase their numbers more than it wold chase others away.

        Companies like that spend a ton of money doing market research.  To suggest that they ignore that, and do things on an ideological basis even if they are aware from that market research that it will hurt them financially, is absurd.

        •  You can't have it both ways (4+ / 0-)

          You claimed Time does what they do because they are trying to sell magazines.  Bill Fucking Kristol doesn't fit with that theory.  He's not popular, his ideas are unpopular, and he's so reliably wrong about the world that the inverse of his predictions is one of the most reliable negative indicators of future events short of a time machine.

          Furthermore, among Time's target demographic, awareness of Kristol, or any other pundit, is about zero.   It's the fluff that sells, and the news is along for the ride like a tick on a shaggy dog.  Time could put just about anyone in Kristol's place and it wouldn't significantly move the sales needle.  (I do know a few people who cancelled Time subscriptions when they hired Kristol, but I was working them for years to cancel Time).   Time's audience are not highly informed, they are passive new consumers who eat whatever shows up on their plates.

          Thus the question is, why Bill Fucking Kristol?  Why the neocon bias to their foreign policy coverage?  Why the right wing biase to the rest of their political coverage?  Because it sells?  Time's newsstand sales have been plummeting for years.  From Wikipedia:

          During the second half of 2009 the magazine saw a 34.9% decline in newsstand sales.[14] During the first half of 2010, there was another decline of at least one third in Time magazine sales. In the second half of 2010, Time magazine newsstand sales declined by about 12% to just over 79,000 copies per week.
          Their thinly cloaked wingnut news isn't doing so well now, is it?  Kristol didn't usher in a new hord of nutsack 'bagger customers.  Yet they stick to their right wing agenda, because that's what Time does.

          "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

          by Subterranean on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 10:48:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Seriously? Talk about living in the bubble (4+ / 0-)
            Bill Fucking Kristol doesn't fit with that theory.  He's not popular, his ideas are unpopular, and he's so reliably wrong about the world that the inverse of his predictions is one of the most reliable negative indicators of future events short of a time machine.
            Sure, Kristol is hugely unpopular here and is hugely unpopular among progressives.  But here's a hint: More people in this country identify as conservative than liberal.  And among conservatives, he's pretty popular.  

            Who's hated here more than Limbaugh?  But he's still -- despite all the efforts of progressives -- the most popular name on talk radio. The fact that people here think he's hugely wrong about everything and has less credibility than Hitler doesn't mean that he's "not popular and his ideas are not popular."

            Some businesses -- Fox News and MSNBC, for example -- have decided that they are going to limit their audience to less than half the country -- only those on the right for FNC, only those on the left for MSNBC prime time.  But unless you make that kind of decision, a business is going to want to attract an audience from both sides of the political spectrum.  Conservatives had gotten to the point where there were avoiding Time because they thought it was too liberal. And Time was trying to reach more conservatives by hiring Kristol.  He's a "name" among the conservative part of the country.  

            Like I said, they'd hire an anarchist to write a column 40% of the country identified as anarchist.

            •  People self identify as conservative (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mike101, doroma

              but they support liberal policies and ideas.

              I had to laugh at the idea of Time Magazine finely calibrating it's place on the political spectrum to maximize sales.  It creates a sneaking suspicion that you haven't read much of Time magazine over the years.  My parents subscribed to that rag since before I was born, so I've had a chance to read it for decades.  The fluff content has substantially increased, but their politics haven't changed one fucking bit.  They are, and always have been, a right wingnut rag that cloaks itself in centrist garb.

              "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

              by Subterranean on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 11:13:29 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's a little more nuanced than that (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                coffeetalk, nextstep
                People self identify as conservative but they support liberal policies and ideas.
                If you asked people "Do you think everyone should have access to affordable, quality health care", most of the country would say "YES!", and so you'd conclude that they "support" a liberal idea. But the devil is in the details...how do you provide that health care? Who pays for it? Who runs it? That's where the split begins to occur.

                If you ask people "Should the rich pay more in taxes", most Americans will say "YES"!, so you'd conclude they "support" a liberal idea.  When then when you get into the details...who qualifies as "rich"...how much more in taxes, etc., you start to see the conservative/progressive split.

                Most importantly, it doesn't matter how people answer these poll questions, or what you think their ideology really is.  What matters is how they vote...and at least half the country, sometimes more, continues to vote Republicans in office.

                Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

                by Pi Li on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 11:26:26 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, it is (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mike101

                  and I lost the nuance by trying to put it in a sentence.  But the point remains:  moderate liberal ideas would be a potential path to maximizing news magazine profits.  Time Magazine would never even consider such a strategy because it's diametrically opposed to their goal of disseminating right wing ideology.  

                  Basically, they start with the ideology they want to promulgate, and then ask "how do we sell this to the masses?"  That's how the fluff gets in there.  This idea that Time Magazine's editors are these impassive, unbiased managers who craft their news for maximal profits is naive and I'm rather surprised it has any traction here at dKos.

                  "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

                  by Subterranean on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 12:13:06 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  If that's the way to make more money (0+ / 0-)
                    moderate liberal ideas would be a potential path to maximizing news magazine profits
                    Why isn't somebody doing exactly that? You've got market research that shows that?  Maybe you ought to offer to share that market research with Time since you know more than they do about how to make their business profitable.  (yes, that's intentionally sarcastic.)  

                    As a side note, it always amazes me how some people here can be so obviously contradictory without even realizing it.  On the one hand, they criticize business as being all about greed -- make money the most money you can, any way legally possible.  Then, in the next breath, they claim that those same greedy capitalists are perfectly willing to sacrifice profits for some ideology.  

                    I've met enough capitalists in my life to assure you of one thing.  You don't get to be in a position of running a magazine like Time if you are perfectly willing to sacrifice profits in the name of some ideology.  Weekly news magazines, as a genre, are pretty much on their last gasp.  The people who run them are doing whatever they can to keep them profitable.  I can' IMAGINE any of them are saying, "you know what? we could make a lot more money if we were more liberal, but let's not do that."  

      •  Maybe conservatives are the last bastion (0+ / 0-)

        of people who actually buy and read print magazines in large numbers? The last of a dying breed.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 11:22:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Time has always been a right wing rag (0+ / 0-)

          that cloaks itself in centrist language.  This isn't a new shift to the right, although the level of fluff has
          steadily increased over the last few decades.

          "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

          by Subterranean on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 02:43:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Heaven forbid if we had an open (7+ / 0-)

    dicussion on anything of substance here in the US.  

  •  TIME - protecting Americans from Real News! (4+ / 0-)

    Perhaps they're just following the lead of FOX News - it's easier to sell stuff to people you're making dumb.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 08:56:12 AM PST

  •  This again? (7+ / 0-)

    If you look through Time's cover archive over the past 4-5 years, you'll see that the covers are often different in the various regions.

    Sometimes the US gets one that is more "fluff", sometimes Asia, Europe, or someone else gets a more "fluff" image on the cover. It varies. For instance, there are many times when the US has a "hard news" cover, and Europe gets some soccer star on the cover.

    But the variation only ever pointed out when the US one is the "fluff" cover, to push the point being pushed here.

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 09:00:15 AM PST

    •  Yep.... (0+ / 0-)

      Confirmation bias.

      For all the faults of the Far Right, one reason they get votes is that they do not go out of their way to tell Americans they are stupid while the Left has made an art form out of it.

      I know this is shocking information, but here it is:

      People don't like you if you tell them they are stupid. They are always going to go with the people who did not do that.

  •  Thank you for identifying the man (8+ / 0-)

    on the cover because I didn't have a clue who he was.

    Still don't.

    •  SNL news anchor, comedian. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Marti, antirove, Matt Z

      Will forever be linked to Osama bin Laden, as he was the emcee for the press dinner the night before bin Laden was killed.

      In fact, he made a joke about bin Laden hosting a show on C-SPAN, which elicited quite the Chesire Cat grin from a certain commander-in-chief.

      How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

      by BenderRodriguez on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 09:32:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  My Cover: US vs China (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    YucatanMan

    One month ago, the USS Cowpens (guided missile cruiser) played chicken against a Chinese naval vessel in the South China Sea.

    Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

    by PatriciaVa on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 09:13:56 AM PST

  •  A News Corporation is a Corporation. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Pinson

    Its responsibility is to its shareholders and advertisers. The Bill of Rights recognizes its immunity to responsibility to the people and their country.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 09:20:32 AM PST

  •  Hey John Oliver has a new show too. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Death Lee, nomandates

    Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature. If I had Bill Gates money, I'd buy Detroit.

    by ZenTrainer on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 09:30:04 AM PST

  •  I think this statement (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Susan G in MN, cardinal, AlexDrew

    "Americans are stupid" is not about our American community but about the feelings of the person who wrote it.

    Disdain is a trait best examined not flung around.

  •  I can't figure out Time. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PatriciaVa

    Are they still in business as a monthly or do they just put out special issues?

    "So listen, oh, Don't wait." Vampire Weekend.

    by Publius2008 on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 09:49:55 AM PST

  •  But Time is, at it's core, a US magazine - right? (0+ / 0-)

    I always figured Time was focusing on it's core readership—the United States—and providing alternate covers to alternate markets.

    Signature (this will be attached to your comments)

    by here4tehbeer on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 09:52:41 AM PST

  •  Darn. I guess I'll need to move to (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pdkesq, FG, Addison, Roadbed Guy, nomandates, TFinSF

    Europe if I want hard-hitting news on such topics as "soccer's greatest rivalry," "the coolest vegetable," or "weird weather."

    So in a nutshell, "gigantic black and white 2014 on red background with some issues mentioned in tiny print = sophisticated; Seth Meyers plus some issues vaguely referened in tiny print = stupid"?

    I'm wholly sympathetic to US media criticism (it's a large part of my job, actually) -- but this one's a stretch.

    Hope you fall on your burger and fries.

    by cardinal on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 10:02:45 AM PST

  •  so? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AlexDrew

    domestic audience.  It's a sort-of political, sort-of human interest magazine, and is softer than in years past.  So what?  

    If the NY Times did that it would be more annoying.  

  •  USA! (0+ / 0-)

    Basking in our ignorance, we are #1 in the world in high school drop outs, and we demand the right to home school our children and teach them all the lessons that we refused to learn.

    We are opposed to all the pointy headed intellectuals, we learn from Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and other school dropouts and we believe in the science that we learned from the Bible.

    USA, USA, USA

    Does anybody see a future in this picture?

    My wife, daughter and granddaughters should have more privacy in their doctor's office than I have buying another rifle or shotgun.

    by NM Ray on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 10:20:28 AM PST

  •  "market demands" is a clue. (0+ / 0-)

    The market is made up of middlemen, whose aim is to identify the mark and fleece him/her of what's to be got by demanding the lot.

    It may just be coincidence, but the accountant's habit of double entry book-keeping, which has transfered wholesale to economic analysis, effectively keeps the middlemen or market makers out of consideration. There's no slot for them in the producer/consumer, seller/buyer paradigm. Consequently, the market, which promotes distribution with false claims in the interest of taking from both sides for itself, is able to evade identification as a sort of mythic entity.

    In the colonial era and the early days of the Republic, the middlemen were identified as "factors." Presumably, they were people who made things happen, trades and exchanges completed. That was a useful function. But then, perhaps because nobody was paying much attention, the host of middlemen grew into a horde. The announcement of the death of the salesman was both on point and premature.

    Obamacare at your fingertips: 1-800-318-2596; TTY: 1-855-889-4325

    by hannah on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 10:32:03 AM PST

  •  Stupid? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mike101, roberta g

    I'm thinking they're selling to Americans on the presumption we're shallow, rather than stupid. Not that that's much better.

  •  CNN Europe is aso much more sophisticated (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mike101, karma13612

    and world news oriented, not just European focused but cosmopolitan and serious issue oriented (as against the Hollywood and sensational crime stuff that clutters CNN in the USA). I think it is less that Americans are dumber than that someone is trying hard to make them (us) that way.

    We have only just begun and none too soon.

    by global citizen on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 10:34:00 AM PST

    •  CNN International is also (almost) serious (0+ / 0-)

      The international CNN signal is also much better. It is also a painful reminder of how stupid CNN thinks the audience is. The sad part is that, at least from a ratings perspective, they choose their "contents" right.

      Fox News exploited this mass stupidity to new levels to create a "political" (or should I say "zombie") hit-job mob. Their "news" don't even need to be real anymore!

    •  The BBC World Service is also more serious than, (0+ / 0-)

      say, BBC Radio 4, its domestic discussion, news, drama, comedy and analysis channel. I suspect it's a consequence of the distinction between parochial and international audiences to a certain extent.

      However, the "it's OK because they're a business [and businesses should/must do anything that makes them more profitable]" argument, particularly as if it's an argument for being crass, is profoundly right-wing. It's also baloney. The decision is based on the perception of certain (beltway-type) elites; not of what people are capable of, but what they should want. That is, politically correct thought (in the original sense) in the US, and a dated view of what is attention-grabbing. It's a failure of leadership by those elites, a failure to at least try to encourage a healthy society.

      Further, those it's effectively targeted at are a fairly narrow (relative to the full potential readership) privileged, educated but trivially-inclined demographic. It is not insulting to the general US population because it's not aimed at that population. It's insulting to the lower income educated and intellectual classes. I fear in some cases it's a deserved insult, but I'm not convinced it's even effective marketing.

    •  American media is following the Murdoch model. n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  As bad as the mass media news outlets are in the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    truong son traveler

    US, and as much as I ignore and avoid them, there's no firewall to completely block their sewage as long as the coverage they offer is regurgitated endlessly here.

    To be clear, this diarist, is an exemplary premium citizen journalist. Bravo for the work that you do. There are a number of other voices too that bring their own special value proposition here.

    As for the latest installment of 'Didja Hear What Fox Did Now?' it's easy enough to click around it and I do.

    What would I miss if I completely shut out the US mass media news outlets?

    There is no existence without doubt.

    by Mark Lippman on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 10:39:04 AM PST

  •  They keep telling us over and over again, (0+ / 0-)

    we're just not as bright as we think we are :)

    At some point it's gonna sink in.

  •  I don't blame Time (0+ / 0-)

    I blame Americans.

    Time is trying to appeal to their readers.  They know Americans are mostly idiots.

    Don't get me wrong; Time has plenty of problems with politics.  But this is simply business.  You don't sell kale to people who love Slurpees.

    (And I'm not being elitist; my favorite food is Wendy's burgers.)

  •  There are Americans who like Seth Myers? (0+ / 0-)

    I can't imagine him even coming close to Jimmy Fallon in terms of entertainment ability. Fallon has a GREAT show if you're under 40 and was at some point in your life cool. I enjoy his show immensely.

    I can't imagine wanting to see Myers for more than a few minutes.

  •  The rest of the world doesn't watch American TV. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Death Lee, Susan G in MN

    So obviously for them new TV shows are irrelevant and a different cover makes sense.

  •  US - Superfluous and silly (0+ / 0-)

    I can say this because I am a disabled Vietnam veteran who served honorably to protect and defend our constitution.  Of course, being silly is protected by the constitution.  But really, the level of national discourse, the way politics, religion and other major issues are dealt with in the communities of this nation - all of that is embarrassing.  The dumbing down of America is real.  We may have reached a tipping point.  If so, everything will become like Jerry Springer in the US.  Go to Wal-Mart.

  •  Mass media makes me want to barf. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    "Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright" Curt Siodmak

    by Wisdumb on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 11:57:31 AM PST

  •  The thing is... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skymutt, Addison

    I've lived in other countries. Those other countries I lived in had just as many dumb magazine covers as we do. I think the difference between the two covers is that the American version is trying to appeal to a broad base while the international version is trying to appeal to a small base of people. From that perspective, of course the one trying to appeal to a broad base would go for the celebrity cover. That's what magazines trying to maintain a wide readership in every country does.

    Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

    by moviemeister76 on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 11:58:42 AM PST

    •  From what I've seen in other countries (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mike101, karma13612

      They all have their outlets for fluff, celebrity, gossip, etc.  just as we do.  But there also seems to be an open and ongoing interest on the part of the general public in international affairs, and politics (both their own and other countries')

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 12:09:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I dunno (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Catte Nappe

        Maybe it depends where you are and who you talked to. I never noticed much of a difference. When I lived in Germany and France, the Germans and French were interested in what other Europeans were doing, but barely paid attention to what their own countries were doing outside of that continent. There were some folks who cared, of course, but there are some folks here in the US who also care.

        Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

        by moviemeister76 on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 04:19:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We "don't care" in significant numbers, though (0+ / 0-)

          We don't care what is happening in our own country, or even our own state.

          The United States ranks 120th of the 169 countries for which data exists on voter turnout, falling between the Dominican Republic and Benin, according to a January 2012 study from the Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.
          http://www.nbcnews.com/...

          You can see a chart of percentage turnout here:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/...

          This is us:

          17 percent of all Americans get no news every day. Strangely, that’s the same percentage of Americans who read a newspaper every day. The statistic’s even starker for certain age groups: 31 percent of people ages 18-24 get no news on an average day, and 22 percent of 30-34-year-olds get none either.
          http://www.poynter.org/...

          vs

          Some 70 percent of all Germans are now “online”; just as many read a daily newspaper on a regular basis.
          http://www.tatsachen-ueber-deutschland.de/...

          “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

          by Catte Nappe on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 05:03:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's very complicated, though (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Catte Nappe, truong son traveler

            The United States has a long, long history of preventing people from being able to vote. My own grandparents on my dad's side were not allowed to vote until the 1960s. My grandfather actually never voted because he died before he was allowed to. By then, my grandmother was so angry and distrustful of all levels of government that she raised her younger kids not to vote as well. And she wasn't the only one.

            Entire generations of families were unable to vote in this country until 40 years ago, and yet they saw that the country kept on running. It's not exactly a good inducement to go out and vote, especially if they are poor and busy trying to put food on the table, and they believe their vote won't matter because of how they have been treated by all levels of government from the beginning.

            As for the news, I don't read a single newspaper either nor watch television news. Yet I manage to stay quite informed through other means, so saying that Germans still largely read newspapers doesn't really impress me. Actually, I find it weird. I honestly don't know why anyone would read newspapers anymore when by the time a newspaper is even printed, the news is generally pretty old.

            Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

            by moviemeister76 on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 05:13:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You are in a minority (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              moviemeister76
              I manage to stay quite informed through other means
              It's not whether you get news via a daily paper, or elsewhere.  Huge numbers of your fellow citizens in this country get no news at all - paper, TV, internet, or any other source. I know some, who are considered exceptionally well informed by their work and social peer groups, who get only the few minutes of "news" provided every 30 minutes or so by their favorite music stations on their car radios during their daily commutes.

              “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

              by Catte Nappe on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 05:33:45 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  17% is not huge (0+ / 0-)

                I mean, it's a depressing figure, but it's not huge at all. It gets even less depressing when you take into consideration that it's largely young people who have historically been rather self-absorbed but tend to grow out of it.

                Of course, I do wonder if the reason why the figures went up a bit is because of the advent of the 24-hour news cycle. I was recently in England, and there was far less emphasis on a 24-hour news cycle than I see here. I would imagine that being bombarded with constant information might eventually lead some people to just giving up and tuning everything out. News used to take up a much smaller part of the day for Americans when I was a kid, making it far more manageable. These days, it likely feels like a constant brute force if you still get your news by television.

                Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

                by moviemeister76 on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 05:47:42 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  It's a good thing that I can come to DailyKos (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy

    ...and read what is really important in the world, right there on the rec list.  I mean, every time Time has a US cover that is less newsy than an international edition, I can count on this diarist to be right on top of it.  If an entertainment figure appears on the cover of the U.S. version of a mass market news magazine, I know that I need to know about it every single time it happens!

    And I need to know about it even when the content of the magazine is "nearly identical" because this makes the journalistic offense even more "striking"... somehow.  I haven't quite figured out why.  Maybe next time the diarist can explain that to me in dumbed down terms that even an American can understand.

  •  The joke's on them (0+ / 0-)

    I stopped reading that rag sometime in the early 90's.

  •  Over 80% of Their Readers are in the US (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AaronInSanDiego

    This notion that they "dumb down" the cover for readers in the US is silly.  They PRIMARILY DESIGN a cover for readers in the US, and if they don't think that cover will have as much appeal to a global audience, they design a secondary one.

  •  Seems to me (3+ / 0-)

    the question of our times is why does 'market demand' trump any responsibility to our society, our public common good or even our national interest. Corporate journalism in America is a farce it's main purpose seems to be to dumb down the public, misinform them and play to the worst aspects of our national psyche.  

    •  Because the corporate ethos has wormed its way (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shaharazade

      into government and worked to very effectively destroy any regulations aimed toward helping build a country capable of supporting and enriching the lives of its working citizens.

      -- We are just regular people informed on issues

      by mike101 on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 02:32:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  At least the US cover didn't have that duck guy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davybaby

    "Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious." - Oscar Wilde

    by macleme on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 01:21:51 PM PST

  •  Does anyone actually care about this? (0+ / 0-)

    Time puts on its cover what sells, by market. Whoop de doo. Talk about a non-story.

    And yeah, Americans are less interested in world affairs, this isn't shocking or news or any different than the last 100 years or so.

  •  This doesn't even make any sense. (0+ / 0-)

    You've said the content of the magazine is the same. So presumably the Seth Meyers cover also has articles about India and Afghanistan. So....who cares what the cover is? If they changed the content to be all about, say, the Kardashians and Justin Bieber, that would be one thing. But as it is, I don't really understand why people are so bothered by this.

  •  I get better (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    truong son traveler

    political journalism from Rolling Stone.

  •  A question and a comment (0+ / 0-)

    First:  who is Seth Myers?

    Second:  David, I love your TIME diaries!  They reinforce my conviction that reading that mag would be a complete waste of my time. What wretches that magazine editorial staff must be.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 04:36:41 PM PST

  •  Seems like you could really milk this subject. (0+ / 0-)

    I'm sure this won't be the last time this happens.

    Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

    by AaronInSanDiego on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 05:33:26 PM PST

  •  David, (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks again for posting these!

    As I mentioned in your first post on this, I was aware of this more than a decade ago. As far as I know, they do this every month. I saw it every month when I was in New Zealand after it was pointed out to me. Both versions were available for purchase there. It was always the same. A fluff piece for the US market and real news for the rest of the world. And that was at the time that we invaded Iraq!

    Perhaps you should make this a regular monthly feature until we shame Time Magazine into actually featuring real news. Maybe you could call it Time Fail!!

  •  Time...I wear a watch. (0+ / 0-)

    Magazines...then came the internet.


    I object to the violations being perpetrated upon me by the laws of physics.

    by glb3 on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 08:39:18 PM PST

  •  With the dumbing down of America, (0+ / 0-)

    they can catch people's attention with what sells on the cover, and write articles inside that shine a light on the real problems of the world. Sounds like a good defense against the GOP right now. If someone that thinks our President is a Muslim from Kenya, picks up a copy because Seth is featured on the cover, then reads stories designed to shine a light on our problems, maybe, just maybe, another thinking, caring person is born. Someone we can work with, or am I just dreaming...

    Tired of living in a "RED" state... Colorado here I come!!

    by deereigna on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 09:46:18 PM PST

  •  TIME is useful bathroom reading (0+ / 0-)

    Cover to cover in one "sitting", and contents can be used in a "pinch".

    Seriously, TIME is not a serious anything, news magazine or otherwise. What it puts on its cover is immaterial. Especially since few people under the age of 40 reads it anymore, especially in its print edition. But I can see how they'd try to get at that crowd, however laughably, with the Meyers shot, but not use it abroad since few non-Americans have heard of him and his show is US-only.

    Now when The Nation puts a sexy shot of Katy Perry on its cover is when I'll start to really worry. Or not. ;-)

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 05:19:34 AM PST

  •  Time Magazine (0+ / 0-)

    Time Magazine has been irrelevant for at least the last 20 years, in my opinion.

  •  TIME thinks Americans are stupid, (0+ / 0-)

    and so thus presents its content, despite covering real news issues.

    Ummm, they're not that wrong.  The US cover sells magazines and the inside still provides actual information.  Better than Fox, it's the country we've allowed (couldn't prevent?) to happen.

    The ground for taking ignorance to be restrictive of freedom is that it causes people to make choices which they would not have made if they had seen what the realization of their choices involved. A.J. Ayer, Sir. "The Concept of Freedom "

    by Memory Corrupted on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 12:33:18 PM PST

  •  Do they really think Americans are stupid? (0+ / 0-)

    Is it that " TIME thinks Americans are stupid" or that they would rather redirect our attention and not raise controversy through their choice of emphasis which might loose them readers in an increasingly polarized country?

  •  Think for yourself (0+ / 0-)

    Don't read Time or Newsweek. Stop watching the national news on both cable and the regular networks. Don't watch Meet the Press. Ignore political ads. Do your research and THINK FOR YOURSELF!

    The powers that be want you distracted, scared, depressed, bloated, always buying crap you really don't need and blind and deaf to what they are really doing.

  •  Begging the question... (0+ / 0-)

    This is a quibble, but, please, to "beg the question" does not mean "begs for the question to be asked."  Rather, it means "evades the real question, leaving it still begging for an answer."  

  •  Why anybody buys this rag (0+ / 0-)

    is beyond me.  They have all the gravitas of Itchy and Scratchy

  •  TIME's U.S. news audience responds best to... (0+ / 0-)

    tabloid headlines as US MSM are not providers of
    information, but enablers of gossip, sensationalism
    and the ratings boosting stupid thinks celebrities say
    and do.

    BBC provides better 'actual' news coverage of the
    US than we get from our own media.

    *Austerity is the opposite of Prosperity*

    by josmndsn on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 02:21:33 PM PST

  •  Time Cover (0+ / 0-)

    Well the answer to your question is, widely, never. Give them what they want is the mantra. If there's any doubt check out every local TV news broadcast. Robberies, rapes, fires, violence, murders.

    If we wanted more we'd demand more, turn off the TV, terminate your subscriptions to fluffy publications.

  •  It Doesn't "BEG" It "RAISES". (0+ / 0-)
    "Which begs the question: at what point does a journalistic outlet's responsibility to raise public discourse and inform society outweigh market demands?"
    No, no, no!  This is not begging the question (which is a form of logical fallacy also known as petitio principii).  It is raising the question.  There is no such quandary posed by the question you raise.

    Please learn the difference, Mr. Harris-Gershon.

  •  Sadly... (0+ / 0-)

    TIME's opinion of the American audience is probably accurate.

  •  SERIOUSLY?! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    doubletaker

    I know this is going to get buried in the comments and won't make much of an impression, but upon reading this I have to say, "SERIOUSLY?! TIME's covers warrant a sanctimonious response?  Get a LIFE man!  And no I don't mean LIFE magazine, I mean an existence that is meaningful."  The choice of a cover image for a magazine is REALLY not that big of deal, especially when Seth Meyer is actually an intelligent, sometimes poignant person in the journalistic sphere.  If it was a Karadashian or some other trite pop figure there would be a better case, but even still this AFFECTS NO ONE! It doesn't promote any sick or deranged agenda.  It's all about the audience TIME caters to which really is a business's prerogative, NOT yours!  Save your moral indignation for things that matter.  Like the travails that Wendy Davis is fighting in Texas or other issues that actively affect people and potentially ruin lives.  I am a liberal and I believe in almost everything the Left wishes for societal change.  But there are some real nutjobs that are making it hard to stand tall on these issues because their high pitched whining not only makes substantial issues like women's rights, minority rights, fair pay, and women's health issues look flimsy by association, but also shake my faith in those on the Left with which I stand.  Whoever wrote this article, David Gershon I believe, get a life!  Pick your battles and stop making a mountain out of an anthill because when you do have something worthwhile to espouse you will have depleted credibility for yourself and those who are affected by the issues put forth.  I am beginning to despise people on the Left that are complete hucksters as much as I hate Tea-Partiers and Right Wing nutjobs that are actively destroying America.  Get your act together, Mr. Gershon, and stop wasting people's time with insubstantial garbage.

    •  It matters. (0+ / 0-)

      Mass media is the line of communication whereby our culture is shaped and policy is opined and dictated. It matters that one of our major news magazines clearly believes that Americans require special handling in order to cope with reality; that the American reality is different (and much much stupider) than the reality of the rest of the world. It is their contribution to American Exceptionalism: Exceptionally ignorant and misinformed.

  •  TIME thinks Americans are stupid? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hifi1

    Well, sorry to break this to the intellectuals that consume this blog, but Americans are in fact jaw droppingly stupid.  I meet them/us everyday, and have to constantly remind myself to lower my expectations of the mental capacity of my fellow citizens...

  •  Guess what, Kos (0+ / 0-)

    "In short: TIME thinks Americans are stupid"

    THEY ARE.

    I just had someone call me an "arrogant aletist knowitall" [sic] because I dared post a link to the IPCC's document on climate change.

    AMERICANS ARE FUCKING STUPID

    Stop acting like Time is the problem.  They're smart businesspeople.  Good for them.

  •  I admire your faith in Americans (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hifi1

    and belief that if offered smart covers they will of course, buy it. Which is why Foreign Policy and Economist are the best selling magazines in America. Oh wait, Us Weekly is the best selling magazine.

    "The marriage fight is over when we say it's over, and it's over when we win."
    —Dan Savage

    by Scott Wooledge on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 02:47:30 PM PST

  •  With a few exceptions (0+ / 0-)

    our media is worthless.

    I've heard it all before.

    by Fried52 on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 03:01:36 PM PST

  •  American Are Stupid (0+ / 0-)

    Or it could it be that TIME has got it right. It doesn't just think Americans are stupid, they know it." And cannily market down to that level.

  •  US vs World Time Covers (0+ / 0-)

    One thing Time knows is its readership.  It understands marketing.  So it has made the business decision that they will sell more copies if they have Seth Myers on the cover than if they have the global cover.  
    This is not an indictment of Time.   It illustrates the interest level of the average Times reader in the US.  As your article mentions, the content is the same, but Americans prefer celebrities to concepts, personalities to ideas.  This may be why we are much more liking to give to a cause or consider a program if Bono or Bruce Springsteen or Billy Ray Cyprus advocates it.
    Hey, we made a movie star president!

  •  Time Magazine (0+ / 0-)

    ...is still around? Why? It lost relevance years ago.

  •  Yes, Americans ARE stupid! (0+ / 0-)

    I'm surprised they don't just put a new swimsuit on the cover each week.

  •  Time Magazine? (0+ / 0-)

    Is the Content the same? The 2014 cover is much more inviting ...Seth Meters' pic would be great on the TV Guide.

    •  No. The content is not the same (0+ / 0-)

      The British versions I've read have been about 40% different. I bet that different sponsors put different pressures upon the content. Utah would probably love to have their own version of it. The magazine does not exist to disseminate information. It exists to control public opinion and policy, and to generate profit. Any news is purely a secondary byproduct, and is probably at least 50% lies.

  •  Time (0+ / 0-)

    isn't journalism, and Americans are stupid. Time is trying to remain relevant in the rest of the world while at home, they know they are just another entertainment news recycler like In Touch. I haven't read Time since my father died in 1997.

  •  It begs the question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    godispretend

    Begging the question is a particular fallacy in logic -iincluding the conclusion in the premise.  So this comparison of the cover of Time with the magazine's content doesn't beg the question; it raises the question.

  •  The problem isn't what Time presents (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    doubletaker

    I believe the observation that "Time thinks Americans are stupid" isn't quite on the mark.  The cover is how Time attracts the audience, and a trivial subject just shows that Time thinks they'll sell more magazines with this cover.

    In short, the Americans that will buy Time may not be attracted to purchase a news magazine that is advertised with weightier subjects.  

    The accusation of Time's motive seems to me like a projection of the author's.

    The real issue is what Americans have demonstrated they will buy.  You can be certain that Time has the data that shows what will be purchased by the American market.   Here I refer to the line from Forrest Gump: "stupid is as stupid does".

    •  The problem IS what Time presents (0+ / 0-)

      With clear evidence that they are "shaping" their appearance to suit a "special" audience, Time magazine virtually confesses to information manipulation, although  their job is information delivery. The idea that this socio-political manipulation is OK because Americans will buy it - demonstrates the inner workings of a capitalism - where everything is OK if there is profit to be had. Even lies and manipulation. Time magazine COULD be an engine of education. In its present form it is an engine of propaganda.

  •  Reading into this too much (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    doubletaker

    Times has 20 million subscribers in the US market and 5 million overseas.  So they have a 6.3% market share in the US, while they have a 0.07% market share overseas.   I am sorry but the premise of this post is just wrong.  No one is making any judgement about US readers in general.  Times is merely filling different niches in two very different markets.  Times can't compete with whatever local celebrity gossip is going on overseas, but they can in their primary market, the US.  There's plenty of real issues we need to face, this outrage is misdirected: it is a completely legitimate business decision Times is making here.

    •  No - this is important (0+ / 0-)

      Elections require voters and voters require information. It is important for people to know that the information coming from Time magazine has clearly been altered and distorted. The covers are more proof that the mass media are engaged in an agenda that does not involve delivering actual facts, but strives to shape public opinion and policy. Shame on them. These are not journalists - they are sycophants.

  •  Time Cover is old news (0+ / 0-)

    As much fun as it is to go into a justified and dithering rage over the differences between Time's US edition cover and all of its other ones, it can be covered with two words:

    Henry Luce.

    Some of you may need to read up on this feller, many will not. He was Roger Ailes before Roger Ailes was a twinkle in his old man's eye.

    •  Don't advise ignoring this stuff (0+ / 0-)

      I am sure there are a lot of little moles who will come out of the dirt to now whisper those words. Who cares? What difference does it make? This isn't new. It's not your problem. It is everyone's problem. It is information manipulation. Time magazine dances to the music of the puppetmasters.

      •  Not advising ignoring it (0+ / 0-)

        actually. Advising considering the source and the depth of the source. Before Ailes, before Murdoch, Luce was against FDR and the New Deal. Back in the 1930s, even as he was using the photographs of the greatest documentary photographers of the 20th century, editorial decisions were being made to undermine the considerable achievements underway.

        A longer and much richer conversation can be had here.

        Just because I noted that this is "old news" does not mean that I claimed it should be ignored.

        •  Thank you for clarifying that (0+ / 0-)

          You are correct that there is no new sin under the political sun. This is not the first time governments have been toppled by extremists and that religionists persecute everyone else. Too soon we forget. It is an old cycle reoccurring here. Soon the guillotines will come into play.

  •  In short: TIME thinks Americans are stupid. (0+ / 0-)

    Sadly..that's probably a Very safe call.

  •  Time Magazine Cover (0+ / 0-)

    I get your point but since the rest of the world is NOT the U.S. I see no reason to point this out. I see this sort of subject matter on numerous covers of magazines. Americans are interested in TV shows and actors etc. and that seems to be why this is Time's cover. If the majority Americans were really interested in what you perceive they are they would buy other magazines like "Foreign Policy" or "The Economist" and they would be the most popular magazines but the truth is the majority of Americans don't care about "Foreign Policy" or the economy. They don't understand either and don't care. You need to get out and see the general public my friend. These people are under-educated (I'm no genius either but I do read Time and other magazines like "The Economist" (my subscription to it and "Foreign Policy" have lapsed because I can't afford them any more but I'm planning on trading in  some points on a survey site and getting a new sub to "The Economist", "Foreign Policy" will have to wait) but my point is the vast majority of Americans don't even know that those magazines exist. So why do you expect Americans to care about what you feel they should care about? Have you tried talking to "normal" Americans lately? On these subjects...good luck!

    •  Not everyone is aware of this travesty (0+ / 0-)

      It is important that we know this and denounce it. The manipulation of information through control of the mass media is a classic step on the road to subjugation. This is very important to help Americans see that reality has been molded and shaped and presented to them. They are told that if they question this fake reality, they are not American. These covers are graphic undeniable evidence that the mass media are controlling and distorting the news to suit their greedy money-addicted puppetmasters. Time magazine is a disgrace to the honorable profession of journalism.

  •  Overseas, TIME has readers. In the US? Consumers. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Conservative Socialist

    That's how TIME sees it — now more explicitly than ever:  

    fair.org/blog/2014/01/02/time-journalists-report-to-the-business-department

  •  Once more the dumbing down of America? (0+ / 0-)

    It's been announced to the world loud and clear. Who can deny, we are once more the proverbial  court jesters of the free ( for now) world..Geez, thanks Tea Party Einstein's
    From ending 2013 with the anti Gay anti women, anti black, anti anti anyone not a white old man,...morality of the beloved GOP's new hero, Duck DyNASTY's 50+ mans immorality that he claims states,... "12-14 year old girls should be married to old 50 + men (PIGS) "morality of the GOP followers", to the "Magic Vagina juice" which prevents pregnancy, to Palin's assumption that "hate speech is free speech and only hater have a right to be insulted".
    We just can't help ourselves...or  can we????

    That's just it. We're choosing to be dumbed down by chronically electing idiots who prove over and over they're neither the party of morality of the Party of "thinkers".
    At least Time depicted the current trend of insanity controlling US policy correctly, but then...this is our own fault.
    We sat back in 2010 and have been paying for it ever since. The Koch's had a head start in 1974, and now the anti US, out right self serving traitor's against all things US...even threaten Rachel Maddow that she had better, "Lie on air as they demand and stop claiming "Koch's did what she proved they did or else"
    Good for her for refusing. Perhaps we can take a clue from her on having the moral fortitude to begin standing up for our rights to truth, decency, morality and saying ENOUGH to the stupidity that chronically insults our intelligence daily! Only the blind and dumb could fail to see what ALEC, Heritage, American's for Prosperity etc..are all groups Koch's started in all 50 states, and paid for, meant solely to support the GOP who the Koch's also just happen to own and operate. What else could Time have done but make us all a joke?

  •  TIME COVER (0+ / 0-)

    It's @ [{GRE@T BIG}] WORLD out there...

    Bill Costley, Valley Village 4-4D, 390 N. Winchester Blvd., Santa Clara CA 95050, 1-408-247-1943

    by costleybill7 on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 05:24:30 PM PST

  •  Time magazine used to deliver real news (0+ / 0-)

    but that was a long time ago. How ridiculous that an American company feels it can't succeed in America without pandering to the brain-dead television watchers. This noncompetitive inbred ownership of the mass media has utterly destroyed the dissemination of factual information in America. We can't let them also destroy internet communication.

  •  it seems obvious (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chelonia testudines

    now (given how we're finally waking up to the reality of the “elite ruling class” in this country and how ruthlessly they rip the rest of us off) that Time magazine plays their assigned role within the power structure to treat us like mushrooms - keep us in the dark and every now and again shovel some s..t on us.

    Finally people have gotten sick and tired of being had and taken for idiots. Mikhail Gorbachev

    by eve on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 05:36:56 PM PST

  •  I gave up on Time long ago... n/t (0+ / 0-)

    "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

    by unclebucky on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 06:40:50 PM PST

  •  Who the hell buys Time? (0+ / 0-)

    I surely do not. A long time ago my father did and then stopped because Time became something else, a very good looking tabloid and that's about it. A waste of good paper.

  •  Americans are stupid and want entertainment. (0+ / 0-)

    Time is simply marketing what the greatest number of people are likely to buy.  In America, that's an entertainment personality over news events.  There's nothing new in that.  The problem is not with Time.  It's with America.

    "If it takes all night / that'll be alright / if I can get you to smile before I leave." Jackson Browne

    by rainmanjr on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 11:04:30 PM PST

  •  Recent studies about the falling IQs of Americans (0+ / 0-)

    ...indicate that Time may have a point. They need to look again. The studies show that while the IQs of those under about 40 ARE less than in comparable countries around the world, those who are 45 and up still test out as smarter and more intellectually developed than their counterparts in other countries. The undermining of the American Education System began with Reagan, and has proceeded according to plan.

  •  here's one explanation (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JrCrone, belinda ridgewood

    Remember that the cover of the magazine is all about newsstand sales, because subscribers have already paid for the magazine. It is only to a very limited extent a statement of the relative importance the editors attach to the image(s) placed there.

    If I remember correctly, Time is about twice as expensive at the newsstand in Europe and Asia as it is in the US.  The people who buy Time at the newsstand in the US are materially different from those who buy it abroad. In foreign countries Time is read by a real global elite world citizen, fluent in English and interested enough in US-centric news to subscribe at a premium, or to pay a lot of money for a single issue of a magazine about it. The US resident who might casually pick up Time while standing in line at the supermarket is not pre-selected for that level of sophistication and affluence, and the normal rules of US magazine covers apply. Celebrities!

    I'm not excusing it, just offering an explanation.

    "Try not. DO or NO NOT. There is no TRY." - Yoda

    by vard on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 03:24:29 AM PST

    •  your explanation (0+ / 0-)

      seems reasonable. Furthermore, the people buying this thing are not only English speakers, they are probably mostly the American business class and ex-patriots.

      Now that the International Herald Tribune has been folded (sob), Time will gobble up that market.

  •  This is still a wrong comparison... (0+ / 0-)

    The international Time magazine has a very different audience. Consider in France the people who are buying this magazine - it is not intended for a general purpose audience, but the specific audience of English speakers living in France - this means either educated French people, or ex-pats. There are plenty of crappy French magazines for the unwashed masses in France to buy, why would they want to buy an English one?

    If Time could somehow get more circulation by publishing a magazine in English to people in Prague by showing stories about Kim Kardashian, they would.  But the Prague market for stupid is almost certainly saturated, and not in English, and not about Seth Meyers.

    Time is not insulting Americans with the different covers, and it is lazy logic to say that they are.

  •  Time FAGAZINE (0+ / 0-)

    REALLY TIME?  Seth Meyers is the top headline to kick off 2014?  ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MINDS?  WHAT IN THE WORLD COULD YOU POSSIBLY BE THINKING....EVEN if the future late night moves were a major issue for the year, HOW would it not be about Leno and Fallon?

    Even on that, it would NOT seem that you fully scanned the field of important, devisive, critical issues that are OBVIOUS and lye directly ahead!  SHAME ON YOU....SUBSCRIBERS pay to read more from Time's collective brain than this, which is more appropriate perhaps for MAD Magazine than TIME!

  •   Time Magazine (0+ / 0-)

    Back in the days when Life Magazine was a regular weekly, my history professor used to say "Life Magazine if for people who can't read and Time Magazine is for people who can't think".

    He nailed that one.

  •  It would seem that abetting the dumbing down (0+ / 0-)

    of the country would not be in the best interest of print media, so one has to wonder why they are cutting their own throats. Furthermore, it would seem that corporate print media would want a healthy economy and a well paid work force to buy their product, because magazines and newspapers are one of the first expenses people cut, so again one has to wonder why they wouldn't support a strong economy. If it is the politics of their advertisers that they are trying to appease, the advertisers should be worried about the same things. So who is benefiting from this? How would a print media company benefit from a totalitarian society. It is really in their best interest to have a democratic and educated society.

Pat K California, Superskepticalman, Angie in WA State, Joe Bob, Sylv, LeislerNYC, filkertom, Phoenix Woman, deben, Liberal Thinking, left of center, Geenius at Wrok, NYmom, Bob Love, Shockwave, cotterperson, genethefiend, Jay C, mslat27, eeff, red moon dog, frisco, gjohnsit, Caneel, dpeifer1949, niemann, Creosote, Theodoric of York Medieval Liberal, JLFinch, Christian Dem in NC, Gustogirl, bronte17, boadicea, farmerhunt, pedrito, PeteZerria, NYC Sophia, MA Liberal, kj in missouri, riverlover, outragedinSF, Diana in NoVa, zerelda, ybruti, Pola Halloween, poemworld, Black Max, eve, oortdust, Gowrie Gal, bloomer 101, Bluesee, radarlady, LarisaW, SherwoodB, democracy inaction, run around, truong son traveler, ajsuited, marthature, YucatanMan, reflectionsv37, eru, bleeding blue, markdd, jane123, RichterScale, sunbro, kaliope, Tool, minidriver, WisePiper, bunsk, peacestpete, Alan Arizona, kathny, xaxnar, Jim R, Born in NOLA, esquimaux, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, bastrop, koNko, The Wizard, blueoasis, SherriG, NBBooks, MJ via Chicago, global citizen, StrayCat, Rosaura, DSPS owl, unclebucky, tommyfocus2003, joelsongs, edgery, onionjim, BlueMississippi, thenekkidtruth, doingbusinessas, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, shaharazade, NancyWH, Bernie68, Temmoku, markthshark, Nulwee, Aaa T Tudeattack, krwheaton, ammasdarling, pgm 01, Cronesense, tgypsy, camlbacker, Deadicated Marxist, devis1, yoduuuh do or do not, edsbrooklyn, Inventor, Cofcos, Dave in Northridge, bnasley, artisan, cyncynical, SeaTurtle, Wreck Smurfy, skod, JML9999, billso, aseth, Assaf, Empower Ink, Justus, poligirl, Youffraita, Involuntary Exile, Lujane, tofumagoo, royce, pickandshovel, Jeff Y, envwq, mofembot, BYw, dmhlt 66, maggiejean, cadfile, prettygirlxoxoxo, Rhysling, Throw The Bums Out, Dirtandiron, greengemini, lostinamerica, ewmorr, Tara the Antisocial Social Worker, elziax, papahaha, kevinpdx, Shelley99, stevenwag, sfarkash, ArthurPoet, Railfan, Just Bob, katnurseadvocate, FogCityJohn, NJpeach, Aramis Wyler, Crabby Abbey, LOrion, BenderRodriguez, Polly Syllabic, ATFILLINOIS, barbtries, Eddie L, pixxer, Puddytat, anonevent, Storey, addisnana, 4kedtongue, Betty Pinson, DrTerwilliker, ericlewis0, Maximilien Robespierre, Barbara Marquardt, asterkitty, Nicci August, SoCaliana, Alice Olson, mrsgoo, marleycat, PorridgeGun, IllanoyGal, thomask, Claudius Bombarnac, dle2GA, smoothnmellow, MRA NY, wintergreen8694, Marihilda, jolux, ratcityreprobate, imlpdx, joanbrooker, DawnN, OldDragon, IndieGuy, barkingcat, 2thanks, Horace Boothroyd III, hotheadCA, Syoho, MartyM, OllieGarkey, lunachickie, james321, Glen The Plumber, George3, Kayjay, Most Awesome Nana, Ray Pensador, pointilleux, Lily O Lady, koosah, nolagrl, countwebb, BroadBlogs, Tony Greco, HedwigKos, northerntier, Smoh, Avilyn, saxoman1, OceanDiver, RUNDOWN, eagleray, ApostleOfCarlin, SistahZa, chelonia testudines, Arkenstark, JuDGe3690, ypochris

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