"Newsweek" attacked Oprah.

Is there a need for newsweeklies anymore?

The staff at "Newsweek" didn’t think so, so they decided to remake the magazine in the mold of the "Economist".  They took a week off and then introduced a book full of analysis of deep issues by experts.  And a little bit of fluff at the end…  It’s almost impossible to completely deny your roots, just like a child carrying along his teddy bear on vacation, "Newsweek" still includes some pop culture pap at the end, kind of a good night kiss, or at least a glass of warm milk, for readers  But the magazine flatly denied they would do any more celebrity journalism, they were no longer going to be part of the problem, but part of the solution!

So why the fuck was Oprah on the cover?

I pulled my issue from the mailbox and winced.  This soon into the new paradigm and "Newsweek" has already blinked?  Wimped out and caved, believing there are immutable laws of newsstand sales, of magazine viability?

"Crazy Talk: Oprah, Wacky Cures & You".

Oh, this’ll be interesting.  Like I need more b.s. on bullshit cures.  That’s how you feel powerful in today’s society.  You question science, you defy the experts, who’ve gone to school for umpteen years to achieve enough background to run experiments and come to conclusions. Corporations are not to be trusted.  There is no truth.  Oh really?

Is the Earth round?

I’d say we can state that definitively, ever since satellites took pictures from up in space.  So many questions have been answered by modern science/technology.  But not enough for the downtrodden.  Those afflicted with disease, those newly broke, suddenly they have the answers to the universe, we must pay attention to them!

If one more New Age asshole tells me how to beat the common cold with zinc or some other formulation sold at the health food store, I’m gonna explode.  DOESN’T WORK!  Studies have proven this again and again.  Just like Glucosamine won’t return your knees to teenage health.  But people keep drinking the stuff, they want to believe!

And belief is everything these days.

Believe you’re going to become rich.

Believe you can find Mr. Right by making yourself look good on a dating site, instead of remaking your personality that’s turned off men for decades.

Believe you can cure your own CANCER!  The power of positive thinking, there’s nothing like it.  HUH?

So I’m turning the pages of "Newsweek", trying to navigate the tiny type now employed that works if you’re ten, even though the magazine appeals to older folk, and I eventually stumble upon this Oprah article.  And find out I’m all wrong.  They’re attacking the queen of all media!

Can you attack Oprah?

Conventional wisdom says no!  Oprah is god, she can sell anything.  Millions of women are devoted to her, will follow her anywhere.  You must pledge fealty to Oprah, the same way you smile and shake hands with that reprehensible politician, or that guy you do business with.  Truth happens behind closed doors, if at all.  We live in a smiling, beatific nation, where everybody loves everybody.  Oh, other than the snits between stars.  Who snubbed who, who head-butt who.  We want to know if Brad Pitt is really pissed at Angelina, but we never question the movie stars’ expertise on world issues.  They’re famous, they know!

Like Suzanne Somers.  She was on "Three’s Company"!  And now she’s got the key to longevity, she’s found the fountain of youth!  She’s on "Oprah" telling us how she did it.  And Oprah’s endorsing her!

This article is stunning.  It unmasks all the quasi-science that Oprah is purveying on her show, to the detriment of her viewers.  Jenny McCarthy saying vaccines cause autism, even though studies have definitively proven otherwise.  Do corporations truly want Jenny’s kid to be fucked up?  Are they truly squashing him under their wheels in the name of profits?  Is the government truly in bed with corporations to the point where all studies are flawed, and a former Playboy playmate has the answers?


And all this is interesting.  But what’s truly fascinating is "Newsweek" took a risk.  They broke a taboo.  They attacked Oprah.  Because they were DESPERATE!

I won’t walk you through "Newsweek"’s plan for survival, but the magazine’s long term health is truly in question.  So why hold back now?  Why play by the rules now?  If GM can go bankrupt, anything can happen.  Take a chance!

That’s what’s going on in today’s society.  Corporations have stopped worrying about blowback and have started doing what’s right, for their survival.  At least some have.  Those that haven’t, like the aforementioned GM, end up losing their CEO and getting a right-minded replacement.

Put it this way.  Is Doug Morris so busy trying to protect the old ways that he’s losing his complete business?

I’d say YES!

Sure, the RIAA, driven by Universal, took action, suing file traders.  One can see that as a desperate move.  It’s just that the goal was wrong.  If you’re desperate, if you’re rewriting the playbook, you must contemplate a new reality, one in which your company is remade for the future!

The "New York Times" said that the rights holders are loosening up terms for online startups (  That’s a good beginning.  But what about one step clearing!  You want to start an online music company?  Just follow these rules and you’re in business!

When are the promoters going to stand up to the acts?  And tell them that they must make a profit.  And that ticket fees must be included, without commission, in the overall price?  Because the customer is pissed, to the detriment of both.

If you’re worrying about politics, if you’re worried about the after effects of your desperate move, your Hail Mary pass, your effort to save your enterprise, you’re missing the point.  It’s open season.  We’re experiencing a restructuring of media heretofore unseen.  Who will rule in the future?  Well, if Universal doesn’t get its act together, every new act might end up with Topspin!

Your only limit should be breaking the law.

Other than that, go ahead.  Piss off Jimmy Iovine.  Say what you want about Eminem.  In an era where "Radio & Records" goes out of business, are there truly any sacred cows left?

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