The latest issue of Newsweek, guest edited by political satirist Stephen Colbert, hit newsstands today.
The main theme of the issue is Iraq, something close to Colbert’s heart and also the place from which he is broadcasting his Comedy Central show this week. Real Newsweek editor Jon Meacham agreed the topic is timely and important, and defended the magazine against anticipated criticism that the guest editor appointment is simply a publicity stunt, calling such critiques “half-right.”
“I would argue with the term ‘stunt,’ though, but only because of the popular assumption that a stunt is something silly. (The dictionary definition is a feat of daring, but we do not live in the dictionary.) Colbert’s involvement is an exercise not in silliness but in satire, and the two are very different things. His role means more attention for Newsweek, yes, and to me that is a good thing. It also brings more readers to a serious subject — and that heightened interest is a good thing, too. The test of whether the Colbert decision was a sound one, I think, is whether readers learn something new from the following pages. I am confident that they will.”
What do you think about Colbert’s involvement? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.