Slick Economist cover attacked

Economist’s Obama BP cover and the original image used on the NY Times website

The Economist has run into trouble in the US over its latest cover about BP, the Deepwater Horizon disaster and the Obama crisis. They’ve cropped two people out of an image to leave Barack Obama pondering alone in front of a rig in the background. There would have been no problem doing it graphically – and it’s a very literal position to attack such digital manipulation – but the US president’s spin doctors are no doubt trying to get in and rubbish the piece before it hurts. The agenda becomes the cover and not the damage done to Obama.

The Economist has been able to do no wrong in the US for decades, but opening itself to such criticism could be tricky – but then the ‘newspaper’ is a big boy and should be able to take care of itself.

I’ve seen figures suggesting sales at BP stations in the US are 5%-20% down because of a boycott (the high figure being in the Gulf of Mexico states hit by the slick), so the magazine will be hoping none of that rubs off.

Rivals try challenging the Economist

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5 Responses to “Slick Economist cover attacked”

  1. h Says:

    I don’t get the big deal.

  2. magforum Says:

    Neither do I. But there are two agendas operating here. First, is the political agenda to defend Obama. The second is the problems that have beset the US press in the past decade over picture manipulation and the fabrication of stories (remember the NY Times problems?). So the US press gets on a very high horse about these things.

    In the UK, digital retouching of celebrities is never out of the papers. One of Magforum blog’s most popular items was about the digital retouching of Eugenie in Tatler.

  3. slickeconomist Says:

    Cut out a couple of “small people” and hidden Obama’s deep pockets — a very subversive piece of art!

    Slick Economist

  4. Slick Economist and political manipulation | Slick Economist Says:

    […] of political manipulation abound (MagForum) but The Economist’s deputy editor Emma Duncan defended its decision “because the […]

  5. Overmatter « Says:

    […] alert: this Economist cover isn’t quite so compelling when you see the whole shot from which it was, errr, […]

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