Newsweek‘s latest issue, which was guest edited by political satirist Stephen Colbert, tried to escape being called a publicity stunt, but it’s not immune from being labeled a rip-off.
After only a couple days on newsstands, the Colbert issue has already been called out by AOL Daily Finance’s Jeff Bercovici for mimicking a cover of satirical mag Spy from 1989.
“It’s probably impossible to commit satire in magazine form without echoing Spy,” Bercovici said. “But you’d think Colbert, as a comedian, might have a little more professional pride than this; Newsweek editor Jon Meacham says the cover treatment was Colbert’s idea.”
The issue is also getting heat from Esquire for seemingly copying a gimmick the magazine used eight years ago for an interview with Colbert’s Comedy Central lead in Jon Stewart.
What do you think? Do you think Newsweek is getting extra (and unfair) scrutiny because of its attempt to do something to draw publicity? Or do you believe Colbert could have been more original?