'Newsweek' Future in Doubt, But Still Creating Buzz | Adweek
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Future in Doubt, 'Newsweek' Still Creating Buzz

Romney 'wimp' cover creates a storm

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Newsweek's ability to sustain itself in print may be in doubt, but this week's cover declaring Mitt Romney a "wimp" shows the brand is still able to generate plenty of talk.

The cover—a riff on a 1987 Newsweek cover attacking President George H.W. Bush—shows a broadly grinning Romney with the headline, “The Wimp Factor: Is he just too insecure to be president?” The article, by special correspondent Michael Tomasky, doesn't pull any punches either, calling Romney “kind of lame” and “a weenie.” The story was picked up widely by the media yesterday and contributed 10 percent of traffic to the Newsweek-Daily Beast site.

Romney laughed off the cover, saying, “If I worried about what the media said, I wouldn’t get much sleep, and I sleep pretty well now.”

It's not the first time Newsweek has slammed candidates on the right, and the current cover is only likely to confirm conservatives' beliefs that the magazine is politically biased.

Romney supporters promptly smacked down the article, the candidate's foreign policy adviser Robert O'Brien calling him a "steely-nerved businessman" and Newsbusters.org dismissing the article as the product of "a left-wing writer for a liberal magazine."