Did anyone think that the creepy “Diana at 50” Newsweek cover, featuring a photoshopped image of what Princess Diana would look like at age 50, was a good idea? Perhaps in search of supporters, any supporters at all really, Newsweek went so far as to post a Facebook poll asking for thoughts, the New York Observer reports. Current tally is “Brilliant! Spot on” with 45 votes, a smattering of votes for “She would have looked younger,” “She would have looked older,” and “She would have changed her hairstyle” — and 324 votes for “Dislike.” So, yeah, it’s fair to say Tina Brown’s vision did not go over well.
Nonetheless, as the Observer observed, “They’re doubling down, in fact–if you find a Photoshopped image of a tragically killed woman offensive, how will you feel when asked if her revivified body would look more youthful?”
In further evidence of doubling down, Brown went on Morning Joe, where she was asked about the bizarre feature story. “I found it really interesting to imagine what she would be doing now,” she said, by way of explanation. “What’s the response been?” Joe Scarborough politely asked. Brown responded:
“Well, it went absolutely viral actually in the last two days because the cover has created a huge amount of debate. Some people think it’s kind of spooky and ‘Should we have done it?’ and others think it’s very effective. I think it’s a very intriguing package to show what she’d be like today. You know we aged her just slightly… to me it’s just sad, a saddening thing.”
Well. If you find the use of a “tragically killed” women on the cover of a magazine next to Kate Middleton a tactless and exploitative way to sell issues, how will you feel when the editor of the story takes the “even bad publicity sells magazines” tack? You’ll probably be even less on board. But at least there is a Facebook page now to air your grievances.
Video of Brown on MSNBC, courtesy of Mediaite, is below.