Speaking of The New Republic, can somebody tell me what's up with the cover art lately? I missed this at first, because I typically read TNR online, but then a female friend from the conservative heartland drew my attention to the matter and suggested, since I know a few of the worthies there, that I had an obligation to "keep them straight."
Upon examination of the evidence, I realized she did not mean encouraging TNR to burnish its heterosexual credentials. The latest cover features a strange, computer-enhanced image of a nearly naked young woman dripping in jewels (supplemented by an additional bikini-clad woman in the background), ironically hyping Michelle Cottle's indictment of The New York Times for succumbing to "Luxury Porn" in its fashion and advertising policies. The previous cover was dominated by a grotesque caricature of Anna Nicole Smith with prodigious breasts spilling out of an inadequate bodice. And going back still one more issue (and at least decisively tipping the balance from the erotic to the grotesque), the cover art for Damon Linker's article on Richard John Neuhaus inexplicably includes an image of Pat Buchanan in his skivvies, along with the less-surprising if unappetizing figure of Ann Coulter in her trademark miniskirt.
Is there some sort of magazine version of Sweeps Week? And is TNR's flirtation with becoming known as T 'N' A its bid to outflank staid publications like The American Prospect, which during the same period has obliged its bloggers to conduct an NPR-style subscription campaign with every post?
I dunno, but I am pleased this trend has not yet infected the DLC's own Blueprint Magazine, unless I've somehow missed the memo describing our upcoming "Nude Democrat" campaign. --