swagandpassion asks: I'm glad Obama is person of the year, but what clout does TIME have? Is this the social/political version of the most beautiful person in the world? Or can Obama say being chosen is a referendum of himself and his overall administration?
» SFB says: Well, Hitler once won the award, so I wouldn’t necessarily call it an award for the “most beautiful” — probably more of the “most important,” good or bad. Obama won a second term, so it was probably a referendum on his work. — Ernie @ SFB
» So, ever watch a TV show where the lead character breaks the fourth wall? Say, like “Malcolm in the Middle” or “Saved by the Bell”? They might even re-order things in time and space while talking to the audience. The other characters might be unaware of the gap in time created. Now imagine scientists doing that — with the help of lasers and special lenses called “time lenses.” The process, called “temporal cloaking,” is a bit more complex than that, and is a scientific novelty more than something the regular person can do something with at this point — but that doesn’t make it any less awesome-sounding. Hop over to the full article for a deeper explanation.
johnness asks: I was around Newsweek International from 2000-2003, and I think what you see is consistent with longterm trends: Newsmagazines everywhere love soft news generally, but an editor of an international edition (usually someone in NYC) has faith that someone in Tokyo will care about big news in Kenya and vice-versa. The top editor for the American version of a newsmagazine will devote most of their limited "news" covers to domestic happenings. A folo cover on Egypt wouldn't likely be considered.
» SFB says: Thanks for the take on this piece, John. It’s worth noting that Newsweek’s covers tend to go strongly domestic as well. Much appreciated. — Ernie @ SFB
thingsmostgrey asks: In your zine, you showed a pic of the "Germany can't save the world" cover as one of the ones that the US missed out on, but I subscribe to Time and we did have that issue in the US (but I think it looked a bit different--so maybe it was technically a different cover). I definitely remember reading a lengthy article with the same title.
» SFB says: We’ll put up a clarification on the original post, but just to emphasize: It’s entirely possible that any of the topics that didn’t show up on the cover may have showed up in the U.S. edition of the magazine elsewhere. In fact, it’s more than likely. The blurbs on the post are specifically about the covers. — Ernie @ SFB
lalondes asks: Regarding your tumbl-zine on Time's covers: don't you think it's a little silly to, well, judge a book by its cover? You seem to be suggesting that the cover in and of itself is the news, that this week's edition of Time contains only information about the benefits of anxiety to the total exclusion of news about Egypt. A difference in the image on the front page doesn't necessarily constitute a difference in the magazine's content or the quality of its journalism.
» SFB says: The issue in question here specifically deals with the covers, though, because that’s where the controversy began. This whole issue began with Glenn Greenwald and a number of other analysts criticizing a cover of Time, claiming it was evidence the magazine was dumbing down the news for American audiences. What we were trying to do was to show that, no, this is not the case, and we did that by analyzing a year’s worth of covers. We agree with you — the content on the inside is key. But Time is a magazine known for iconic covers, and those covers set the tone. That, ultimately, is the point we’re trying to make. — Ernie @ SFB