Wednesday, September 27, 2006


We Americans are different: we think we're special and the rest of the world thinks we're especially isolated and willfully ignorant. Newsweek, it turns out, panders to both sides of the equation, printing two dramatically different versions of its weekly magazine-- one for domestic readers and a completely different version for foreign readers. Check it out here.

This week, in the European, Asian and Latin American editions of the magazine, readers are presented with a cover story on the unfolding disaster of American policy in Afghanistan and a warning of future entanglement and bloodshed. In the U.S. edition of the magazine, however, the cover story is a book review article of the latest work by American celebrity photographer Annie Liebovitz (the one who took the photos of Tom and Katie and Suri!).

I suppose it's only fair to mention that the Liebovitz piece is... an exclusive! Here are the teasers from the foreign and domestic editions (you guess which is which):

1) The Rise of Jihadistan
Five years after the Afghan invasion, the Taliban are fighting back hard, carving out a sanctuary where they—and Al Qaeda's leaders—can operate freely.

2) Through Her Lens
In her new book, Annie Leibovitz, our most famous photographer, places celebs side by side with surprisingly personal images of love and loss. An exclusive.

So, is it that Newsweek thinks U.S. readers don't give a shit about the unraveling disaster in Afghanistan? (Do we?) Or is it that Newsweek thinks we care more about Annie Liebovitz and her celebs? (Do we?) Or is it that Newsweek thinks we've had enough of bad news? (Have we?) Or is it that Newsweek doesn't want to print any more bad news about Bush leadership this election season? (Why?)

Why exactly won't Newsweek run what it clearly thinks is an important story on major events for the only people who have the power to influence those events?


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