PRINT May 1988


The News and Its Pictures

CONSIDERING ITS POSITION AS A general-interest news magazine, Newsweek has gone out on a limb in its election-year coverage. Even before the Iowa caucuses the magazine was on a roll, slashing away at the campaign with an unusual blend of traditional political scribbling, crowd-pleasing gossip, and new-found “metajournalism” that critiqued both the election process and its symbiotic media machinery at the same time. At its best, Newsweek has begun to unveil the fraudulence, hype, and overweening theatricality of the whole sorry charade.

Newsweek may also be readying itself for another form of critique. In March the magazine ran a fairly silly shot of Mike Dukakis, grinning woodenly in suit and cowboy hat, his arms stretched out like some dime-store savior imploring his flock. On the facing page was an image of Big Joe the Isuzu salesman, grinning woodenly in suit and cowboy hat, hawking a

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