Tag Archives: Newsweek

The presses shut down on a big one

Newsweek. Newsweek will cease print publication at the end of this year and become all digital. And there will be a pay wall.

We’ve seen this happening with lots of publications of course, but this is really huge. And there will be more to follow I’m sure.

When I worked in magazine publishing, which I did for many years, I did business with a number of the offset plants around the country who also printed Newsweek and Time. They were big companies those printers. No doubt in recent years, fewer plants and fewer personnel have been involved, so the damage won’t be as widespread as it once would have been, but damaging it will be to vendors of all stripes. Even today, Newsweek has been printing a million and a half copies every week.

Good news for the trees though.



Take that, Newsweek


The city of Grand Rapids, Michigan responded to a Newsweek article calling GR one of America’s “dying cities” with conceivably one of the greatest production numbers ever, performed in one uninterrupted shot by what appears to be the whole city (actually only 5000 humans). For me it eerily segues from Moe’s Gettysburg Address post earlier today–death, rebirth, the triumph of the human spirit–plus it makes me want to go there:

Yeah, but we have a kick ass military

Newsweek just published one of those How Dumb Are We articles that seem to pop up every few years. We Americans never do very well, especially compared with the rest of the First World.

For as long as they’ve existed, Americans have been misunderstanding checks and balances and misidentifying their senators. . . .  the yearly shifts in civic knowledge since World War II have averaged out to slightly under one percent.

This time the magazine surveyed 1000 people and the 100 questions were from the current test for US Citizenship. It seems most of us would fail. I tried to take the quiz and got up to #28 (of 100 questions), but honestly, the process is painfully slow so I just quit. Each question is on its own screen, then another screen for the answer which also shows the scores of the people surveyed. It was depressing:

  • 70% of Americans don’t know what is the supreme law of the land
  • 86% don’t know how many members of the House of Representatives
  • 61% have no idea how long a Senator serves
  • 63% don’t know how many justices on the Supreme Court
  • 87% don’t know that the economic system in the US is capitalism
  • 81% couldn’t name one of the enumerated powers of the Federal Government
  • 73% couldn’t name the US enemy in the Cold War

Oddly, a full 58% do know that the Speaker of the House is third in line for the Presidency.

The accompanying article, in making the point that Americans have always been ill informed about their own government and country, said that now, however,  “the world has changed. And unfortunately, it’s becoming more and more inhospitable to incurious know-nothings—like us.”

In fairness, they describe some of the mitigating factors that contribute to why we fare so poorly against other developed nations,  especially in Europe.

Most experts agree that the relative complexity of the U.S. political system makes it hard for Americans to keep up. In many European countries, parliaments have proportional representation, and the majority party rules without having to share power with a lot of subnational governments . . .  In contrast, we’re saddled with a nonproportional Senate; a tangle of state, local, and federal bureaucracies; and near-constant elections for every imaginable office. . . It doesn’t help that the United States has one of the highest levels of income inequality in the developed world . . . we have a lot of very poor people without access to good education, and a huge immigrant population that doesn’t even speak English.

If you have the patience to take the test (here) let us know how you did.

The crazy hits a new high (low?)

We all know of Chuck Norris, the truly strange martial-arts movie star guy. And perhaps you know of World Net Daily, truly the center of the extreme right wing universe and famed for its groundbreaking – and usually laughably false – investigative reporting. Anyone can have a column there pretty much, so long as they meet the bizarro standards of founder Paul Farah. If you go there, have a great time! While they seem to have tried to clean up the home page since last I dipped my toe in those churning waters, it’s still  as inchoherent as the content.

Am I scary or what!

Norris has a column there today – delighfully deconstructed by Michael Isikoff at Newseek. The reason to bother with stuff like this is to understand how truly deranged are the people who believe what they read there – and they want to run your country.

Chucks’  ramblings were apparently occasioned by:

1) the existence of a five man Interpol office in NYC (which was set up in 2004) and

2) an executive order by Obama exempting it from FOA filings because the office exists to collect info on terrorists (and making that stuff public is a bad idea)

NOTE:  White House officials explained that the order is routine and was in the works during the Bush administration. The same status is accorded the FBI and CIA in their criminal files and investigations.


Gingrich said that Obama had “quietly” signed an order that lifts “all the constraints” on Interpol and gives it “extra” legal powers to investigate Americans. “This is not within the realm of reality,” says Ronald Noble, Interpol’s secretary-general, who formerly served as the Treasury Department’s chief law-enforcement official. What especially worries him, Noble says, is that the comments by Gingrich and others could undermine one of Interpol’s chief missions—helping the U.S. and other countries identify terrorists trying to cross international borders.”

Here’s Chuck Norris, being brilliant:

“Is it merely coincidental that Obama signed this executive Interpol order, and that the feds want to try these 9/11 terrorists in civilian courts rather than military courts?” Norris asks in his bizarre and hard-to-follow rant.

“Is it merely coincidental that Obama signed this executive Interpol order and that he often goes out of his way to sympathize with and advocate pro-Muslim culture, beliefs and issues?”

“Is it merely coincidental that Obama signed this executive Interpol order, and that the following events are converging at this time in American history: the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, the closure of Guantanamo Bay terrorist detention facility, Obama’s indifference and even defense of Islamic extremists like the Fort Hood shooter or Northwest flight 253’s attempted bomber?”