We, the on-line community, were all talking about it yesterday: Newsweek magazine sent out an advance copy of its cover for next week’s issue, featuring far left political commentator Andrew Sullivan’s offensive story titled “Why Are Obama’s Critics So Dumb?”
Sarah Palin, already no fan of the abrasive Sullivan, tweeted to Newsweek: “Know what’s truly dumb? Giving a cover story to the Trig Truther conspiracy kook writer who thinks I didn’t give birth to my son.”
Palin was referring to Sullivan’s assertion, back during her vice presidential campaign, that she is not Trig Palin’s real mother, and that she “faked the pregnancy to avoid embarrassment for her daughter [Bristol] or for political gain or some combination of reasons.”
Well, yes, Andrew Sullivan is an incendiary radical. Or, more fairly, he is an HIV-positive homosexual activist, a libertarian, a proponent of legalizing marijuana and prostitution. His amoral ponderings have appeared in The New Republic, The New York Times Magazine, Time, the Atlantic Monthly, The Daily Beast, and The Sunday Times of London.
Palin’s Twitter message brought a sneering response from Sullivan, who insists that he “doesn’t know” whether Sarah Palin gave birth. He reiterated his demand that Palin produce medical records. (Umm…. Medical records are a confidential matter and none of his business, right?)
So I’m not expecting much from the cavalier Sullivan, who somehow never learned proper manners when he was growing up. But my question is, Why would Newsweek—a purportedly “neutral” news magazine—offend half of its already-declining readership by carrying this offensive article, and by giving it cover status?
Name-calling, bandying about words like “dumb” and “insane” [Sullivan used that word, too]: That’s the stuff of kindergarten classrooms. By second grade, good parents and concerned teachers have helped children to get beyond “sticks and stones” to real dialogue.
Newsweek’s editors do understand—don’t they?—that here in the good old U.S. of A., where we have the right to free speech, adult Americans discuss and debate issues, present viewpoints, analyze results, and then we vote—at the ballot box, for sure, but also with our pocketbooks.
If you are still a subscriber to Newsweek, perhaps it’s time to cancel your subscription.