It took almost 15 years, but the rotting and decayed corpse called Newsweek will finally be buried as a print edition at the end of this year. Newsweek’s actual time of death, though, was by suicide in 1998, the day Matt Drudge published a story on the Drudge Report: the explosive news that a sitting president had engaged in a clandestine affair with a 22 year-old intern. Newsweek had the story but refused to publish it, and when you choose protecting power and the status quo over reporting truth — you’re officially dead as a news outlet. (Yeah, I’m looking at you Politico, BuzzFeed Politics, and CNN.)
From there, Newsweek’s death spiral was nothing more than a glorious slow-motion train wreck. About ten years later, with subscriptions plummeting, the insufferable John Meacham took over as editor with a brilliant business plan that transformed the weekly into something that was both biased and smug — a “Morning Joe” in print, if you will. He raised the subscription price and aimed at profitability by appealing to elite liberals.
You can imagine how well that went.
Tina Brown then took the weekly from the frying pan into the fire. As editor, Ms. Brown somehow managed to miss the Obama craze by about three years. Long after Americans has soured on their hapless president, Brown turned the weekly into a punchline with a series of over-the-top pro-Obama covers that rivaled only Pravda in the era of the old Soviet Union.
Finally, today, it’s been announced that Newsweek will mercifully be put down. The print edition will be no more. At the start of next year, Newsweek will be digital only. The good news is that the digital-only edition will be subscription-based; which means American will still be saving money by not reading it. After all, I’ve been saving money since 1991 and would hate to stop now.
In 1990, when I was shifting from the kind of Democrat who voted for Jesse Jackson in ’88 to the kind of Republican who voted to re-elect George H.W. Bush in ’92, I purchased a Newsweek subscription. The first Gulf War was about to start and I wanted to know everything that was happening. My country was going to war for the first time in over 15 years and The Truth mattered.
Good grief, what a rag.
Though I paid for a year, after the first few issues I threw the other 40-plus away sight unseen. The bias wasn’t just maddening, it was also uninformative. There was no way for me to get the full truth because Newsweek didn’t want to tell the full truth. I don’t remember the specifics of the bias, just my frustration with it.
Listen, I’m not opposed to reading left-wing opinion, but Newsweek posed as objective when it obviously wasn’t, and even in those days before my right turn was complete, I resented being lied to.
Rest In Hell, Newsweek. But I’ll pray that you’re not alone for long — that Time, Politico, The New York Times, CNN, and the rest soon follow.
If some of you think I’m being cold-hearted, please consider this: For decades, while cowering behind a phony shield of objectivity, Newsweek has sought to defeat, disgrace, defame and spread lies about everything I hold dear — my country, my faith, my values, and who I am. The news media is America’s arch-villain and when one of its henchman falls that’s a beautiful thing.
So, yeah, I’m dancing on this grave and when that gets old, I’ll go right back to doing my patriotic duty of digging other graves.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC