John Brady has a piece in Folio about Time magazine and Joel Stein. Brady writes:
Does anyone here remember that wonderful year 1996, when Time magazine did a redesign that caused a reader revolt? Well, I remember it well. One element in the failed repositioning of the newsweekly was a recent staffer, Joel Stein, who was the magazine’s novelty item just before the collapse. Stein specialized in news lite-hot dog eating contests, stuff like that.
When the magazine regrouped, Stein was missing in action.
Now, under the editorship of Richard Stengel (who signs his Editor’s welcome column “Rick”), Joel Stein is not only back; he is riding higher than ever as the magazine sinks to new lows.
Ouch. Then Brady attempts to be diplomatic:
Look, Stein is Stein. I’m not picking on him so much as I am wondering why Time turns over so much of its space and its reputation to someone so frivolous and unfunny…
Totally! We ask the same question of the LA Times when they publish him. We blame them. It’s not the kid’s fault for kicking the back of your seat the entire five hour flight – it’s the parents’ fault for giving him Starbucks and proximity.