Since taking the helm at Newsweek in late 2010, Tina Brown has taken heat for cover stories calling Obama "the first gay president," celebrating restaurants amid a struggling economy, and portraying Michele Bachmann with crazy eyes, among others. But regardless of her editorial choices, Brown may have been fighting a losing battle all along, writes David Carr in the New York Times. "Like newspapers, magazines have been in a steady slide, but now, like newspapers, they seem to have reached the edge of the cliff," he notes.
In fact, if you look at the numbers, Newsweek is doing relatively well, having fallen "only" 9.7% at the newsstand in the first half of the year—compared to Time's 31% and People's 18.6%. "Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what you put on the cover of your magazine if no one will look at you," Carr writes, citing a recent experience in a doctor's office full of magazines. While he browsed Bon Appetit, he looked around: "A mother and a daughter were locked in conversation, but everyone else was busy reading—their phones." Click for Carr's full column. (Read more David Carr stories.)