This week, to coincide with the release of Sarah Palin's book Going Rogue, NEWSWEEK's editors decided to print two essays (one by Evan Thomas, the other by Christopher Hitchens) about the former Alaska governor and have her image grace our cover. The photo chosen was from a shoot Palin had participated in for Runner's World magazine.
To note that choosing that particular photograph has ruffled a few feathers is perhaps an understatement. Palin denounced it—and us—to her million-strong Facebook following last night. "The choice of photo for the cover of this week's Newsweek is unfortunate. When it comes to Sarah Palin, this 'news' magazine has relished focusing on the irrelevant rather than the relevant," she wrote on her fan page, adding, "The out-of-context Newsweek approach is sexist and oh-so-expected by now." She also told ABC's Barbara Walters that she found the cover "a wee bit degrading." Others, like CBN's David Brody, said our cover was a new low: "biased and sexist at the same time."
Today, NEWSWEEK's Editor Jon Meacham has responded to critics. "We chose the most interesting image available to us to illustrate the theme of the cover, which is what we always try to do,” Meacham said. "We apply the same test to photographs of any public figure, male or female: does the image convey what we are saying? That is a gender-neutral standard."