The Common Good

Sarah Palin, Newsweek Cover, and Sexism

091118-sarah-palin-newsweek-coverSarah Palin is all over the news -- just like she wants. And before you criticize her, she and her team have a strategy and they're implementing it well to ensure that her persona is before the American public until the next Presidential election. Like her or not, get used to seeing and hearing much about Palin.

And on cue, Palin is on the front cover of the latest edition of Newsweek. Most of my readers know that "I like Palin... but Not in That Way," but what in the world is up with the editors of Newsweek? What is the point of this cover?

I don't have a problem with the lead title, but that image of Palin is demeaning. Let's call it straight: It's sexist. She is a politician -- one of the very few visible female politicians. Why would they take a picture from a shoot from some time ago from Runner's World magazine (and use it without permission from RW)? What is the point of her with her "running legs" for a political article?

Your turn:

Politically correct overload? Or is this sexist?

Here's the link from Newsweek:

This week, to coincide with the release of Sarah Palin's book Going Rogue, Newsweek's editors decided to print two essays (one by Evan Thomas, the other by Christopher Hitchens) about the former Alaska governor and have her image grace our cover. The photo chosen was from a shoot Palin had participated in for Runner's World magazine.

To note that choosing that particular photograph has ruffled a few feathers is perhaps an understatement. Palin denounced it -- and us -- to her million-strong Facebook following last night. "The choice of photo for the cover of this week's Newsweek is unfortunate. When it comes to Sarah Palin, this 'news' magazine has relished focusing on the irrelevant rather than the relevant," she wrote on her fan page, adding, "The out-of-context Newsweek approach is sexist and oh-so-expected by now." She also told ABC's Barbara Walters that she found the cover "a wee bit degrading." Others, like CBN's David Brody, said our cover was a new low: "biased and sexist at the same time."

Today, Newsweek's Editor Jon Meacham has responded to critics. "We chose the most interesting image available to us to illustrate the theme of the cover, which is what we always try to do," Meacham said. "We apply the same test to photographs of any public figure, male or female: does the image convey what we are saying? That is a gender-neutral standard."

Eugene ChoEugene Cho, a second-generation Korean-American, is the founder and lead pastor of Quest Church in Seattle and the executive director of Q Cafe, an innovative nonprofit neighborhood café and music venue. You can stalk him at his blog or follow him on Twitter. He and his wife are also launching a grassroots movement, One Day's Wages, to fight extreme global poverty -- which was recently featured in The New York Times.

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