Tina Brown was put in charge of Newsweek and The Daily Beast largely because of her ability to create buzz, as demonstrated plainly by the conversations surrounding her cover choices, which include a zombie Princess Diana, the infamous Bachmann eyes, and more recently, man-nipples. Fewer people see the inside pages, but apparently they’re racier as well, much to the dismay of some influential prudes.
The New York Times reports today that organizations like PBS and NPR offer free Newsweek subscriptions as gifts for donors, a few of whom do not appreciate quotes like this one from Samuel L. Jackson, as featured in the January 23 issue: “The president got about a week of moderate applause for capturing the most-wanted man in the world. You ask me, he should have put that motherfucker on ice and defrosted his ass Nov. 1.” According to the founder of the Pledge Partner Magazine Premium Program, the adult language has created a “minor firestorm” and calls for the magazine to be more “family-friendly.”
In laying out the evidence of the bad words, the Times points to a blogger who warns, “If you’re offended by reading profanity, even in context, please stop reading now,” before listing examples found in Newsweek including “mofo,” “tits,” “shit,” and “fucking shithouse.” The Paper of Record, of course, quotes exactly none of these because they have their own ridiculous issues with words found aplenty in PG-13 films.