prof. e.

Mass Communication, [multi]media, methodology and much, much more!

An Out’rage’ous Newsweek Cover?

Posted by prof e on September 18, 2012

Newsweek magazine was once a leader in the news weekly genre. But that was a long time ago and Newsweek is now struggling to attract readers. One technique they’ve employed is the sensational cover photo and headline. According to an article in the Huffington Post, “The conservative Daily Telegraph called it a ” sickening piece of shock journalism that cheapens a once great magazine” and compared it to the anti-Muslim film that sparked the protests.”

This YouTube video captures some of the outrage directed at Newsweek and other journalists.


In response to criticism about their cover, Newsweek invited the public to chime in with their own take on the events recently unfolding in Islamic nations around the globe. They invited people to post to Twitter using the hashtag #muslimrage which was quickly hijacked by Muslims and non-Muslims alike. You can find a collections of some of the tweets, and images of Muslim Rage at Gawker.

This mocking response to a serious issue demonstrates the challenges facing media companies who give up control to their readers/viewers/users. Listen to this NPR story about the Twitter backlash.

Yesterday’s LA Times points to a recent article in Foreign Policy magazine in which the author suggested,

that the increased democratization brought by the 2011 Arab uprisings and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter helped break down the barriers between cultures and tamp down the cycles of outrage compared to the previous protests over Danish cartoons in 2006 that left hundreds dead.

It may be too soon to tell if democracy and social media will have a lasting positive effect on relationships that have taken centuries to grow apart.


12 Responses to “An Out’rage’ous Newsweek Cover?”

  1. Grizzly Adams said

    Cenk Uyger merely points out the idiocy of the right wing mentality in failing to comprehend dynamic issues conducing to persistent turmoil in the Middle East. But this is merely the left hand making fun of the wart on the right hand. The system of thought itself is never really called into question — not thoroughly at least. He correctly pokes at Joe Scarborough’s ignorant framing of Muslim angst as simplistic, irrational hate, but then Ugur himself quickly falls short in really exploring the sources of this cultural anger. He touches upon it, yes, but for obvious reasons he can’t say much more. He would be taken off the air if he did.

    For one thing, to really explore the essence of the issues inherent to Middle East strife, Uygur would have to more deeply question the value sytem behind American engagement and involvement in said issues, not to mention the intentionally superficial nature of the media coverage too. This type of discussion would expose the meddlesome influence of corporate/U.S. policy interests within that region of the world, the impact on the economies of Middle Eastern populations, which would then bring to light the fleecing they experience from corrupt local governments and Western puppetmasters on a daily basis.

    What they’re finally rebelling against, beggining two Springs ago, is that confluence of events — but American media doesn’t actually cover it that way. Instead we get Free Speech Rights conflated with Religiosity conflated with the noble cause of speading Democracy — Thanks, Sam!

    To question the value system behind the media coverage itself would cause the entire phony notion of our own democracy to implode; for it would draw back the curtain and expose ugly truths about our own civilization we no longer have courage to deal with; for none of the realities we truly face as a nation are, or even can be covered genuinely in the mainstream news, as our own zealous culture would errupt in rebellion against the elite who control it.

    We are the Change we’ve been waiting for — Not Obamney 2012

  2. Cassie said

    Where do I begin. I believe that for some “dude” in his garage in California to make a video poking fun an a prophet for a religion that many of us do not understand is quite disgusting. Do I agree with political heads in Pakistan saying that for justice to prevail we must hang the producers of this movie? NO! However, there are ramifications for every action. We are feeling those consequences when the safety of our American soldiers over seas is compromised.

    I do not think, either, that Muslims “Hate us because they hate us”. When Mr. Steve Maloney, representative from the U.S Department of State came in to speak to us he expressed that a lot of what people over seas think about us is just negative and can a lot of times be overturned. Sure there may be some things that they dislike about us that probably cannot be swayed upon, but for the most part the negative connotation about Americans is all just that, negative.

    It does not make us any better to just brush it off as “they just hate us”. I am sure I heard the word hate in that video over 50 times. It matters what we are going to do about it. Hillary Clinton and President Obama have been working hard to clean up this mess. Saying that we love and respect freedom of speech is fine, but irresponsibility is unacceptable.

  3. Paige Proffitt said

    There has been so much crazy chaos going on with the video made in California making fun of a religion. The Pakistan’s say that this action is wrong and we must hang the producers of the movie! In my opinion that is so wrong. The First Amendment states freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of PRESS! How can we punish this man in California for making a video that he might have saw as an art? There are many people who make fun of Catholics and Christians every day, showing Jesus peeing on the cross or saying cruel jokes of Jesus. However I don’t see Christians slitting throats of those who mock them or their religion. Do I think making fun of any religion is the right thing to do? No! We should not make fun of any religion, however America is said to be the country we can express our thoughts so if people can repeatedly beat down Christians and Catholics, than how is it not fair for the man to make a video? Now people will say “well the guy who made the video put our soldiers in danger.” I do not think the guy who made the video purposely said he would make the video to put the troops in danger however I do not know that for a fact. But we were attacked on 9/11 of this year and whoever thought that Americans would not be attacked that day is beyond stupid!! That day was a down fall for America and we lost so many lives, how can our government not send extra protection over there just to be safe? That makes no sense to me, we can never be to careful, especially when our family is out there fighting for our rights in this country. Overall, religion will always be a conterversial topic and no one will ever agree with one another, but punishing this man for making a video and expressing himself is wrong, because if other people can make fun of other religions why can’t he?

  4. Kay Kay McElwrath said

    It is crazy to believe that just a video out of someone’s garage could get people killed in another country. If protesters have been killed, it will not be long till our soldiers are being killed. It is really worth all this? I understand that this was a horrible jab at the muslim religion, and something should be done with the creators of the video; but people in Pakistan should not be adding on by jabbing back by saying, “Blasphemy is not freedom of expression, and its sentence is death.” To no extent should a person be sentenced to death for saying what they feel, but, to the extreme these guys took to create the video, I do agree they should not go unpunished.

    When it comes down to Joe Scarborough, I think him repetitively saying, “They hate us because they hate us” is worse then when Che referred to her critics, says “So f*** ‘em.”(Nudity, Fleeting Expletives and Lie). Hate is a very strong and hurtful word that should not be stated 50 plus times to where it makes people’s ears ring! Everyone should calm down, let the people that need to solve this problem solve it; because in the end, the creators of this video will get what they deserve.

  5. Charlie Moreschini said

    To me, freedom of speech is the most important thing in the United States of America. Whether it be Bono dropping the F-Bomb in front of the media, or people in California making fun of a religion in their garage, we all live in the USA and we have the right to do so. I feel like it is a little bit extreme for people in the middle east to go around killing police man because of what a few ignorant kids did. If people in America got offended over a video like that, everyone would be murdered and there wouldn’t be anyone left. With that said, I believe that we should be sensitive to others beliefs, and not broadcast them to those who will be offended. The entire subject pisses me off. I do not believe the person who made this controversial video thought it would be taken so far, but even if he did, so what, it is his right. In the words of Cher, “So f*** ’em.”

  6. Cody Saunders said

    While freedom of speech is one of the basic American freedoms, it is important to remember and be sensitive to the fact that other people in the world don’t share our beliefs. A celebrity using the f-word, like Bono and Cher, isn’t offensive in the same way a video by a bunch of stupid kids in their garage about the Muslim faith. Being sensitive to this difference is extremely important. Americans are ignorant to eastern religions. They don’t realize that Muslim hold their faith above all else.

    Holding dumb children responsible for tainting Americans’ reputation is not a matter of freedom of speech. It is a problem of putting peoples live in danger. When Bono uses the f-word when he receives an award is not a matter of national security. It is just a word.

  7. Jamar Boyd said

    . First off I am a big advocate for free speech and I think everyone has the right to say what they feel. I do feel what he said was wrong but, he should not be punished because he disrespected the Muslim religion. One because he does not believe in it so if he wants to poke fun at it it’s his choice. America is place where you can say what is on your mind at any time and when people say “oh you can’t say that it’s ignorant and dumb” it still doesn’t matter they can say what they want. It does not matter if you are Bono saying the F bomb in front of live television or Cher saying F*** em it’s America and we can say what we want. Also, I feel like it is ridiculous for people to be going around saying they want the guy in California to die because he talked about their prophet. They are acting childish and they need to learn that everyone is not going to agree with them. You do not see Christians going around trying to kill people because they do not agree with their religion. If I made the video I would care less it’s my opinion and i can say whatever I want.

  8. I find it absolutely crazy that all this commotion is being caused by such a small film produced in someones garage in California. Sure, everyone has their right to their opinions about the video but is it really necessary to automatically jump to one of the worst punishments available? As a comment above mentioned people all over the place make fun of Catholics or Protestants but you dont see them instantly wanting to kill the person.

    Above all else we need to learn from this. Learn that some people are extremely passionate about their religion. Learn that what you might say because of your free speech can affect people world wide and how to take it into consideration.

  9. DeSean Verdine said

    I believe in the freedom of speech I also believe in the freedom of expression. The video doesn’t not represent that, The video was degrading someone religion. I don’t think the person that made the video should have serious punishment but he does need to be held to his misstake. I think people don’t fully understand how offensive it is to talk downlly of a religious icon. This is not the same as when Cher said f****em or when bono said said f*** on TV. When you take a person that more then half the world worships and speak negativly is a problem. This manner of subject goes with all religion.

  10. Kayleigh Brown said

    The video made in California that made fun of Pakistan’s religion caused a lot of chaos around the world. The people of Pakistan believe that the creators of this video should receive a high level of punishment, as far as being hung for their actions. This is taking the video to the extreme in many ways. Although I don’t believe that anyone should make fun of anyone else’s religion, Catholics and Christians are attacked everyday and no punishment is being done about that. The first Amendment grants freedom to religion, freedom, and most importantly in this situation, press. The argument states that the video put the soldiers in danger and that is the reason why the creators are facing punishment. In my opinion, I don’t think an American would ever purposely or knowingly endanger American soldiers. I don’t believe the man in California should be punished for this behavior when his rights are covered by the First Amendment. In conclusion, religion is an extremely touchy, sensitive, and controversial subject that will never boil down to be agreed upon. However, punishing this man for expressing his views on religion is wrong because he is not the first one to do so.

  11. Muhammad Talha Qureshi said

    After reading the article and watching the video of the show the Young Turks hosted by Cenk Uygur, I can say there existed a lot of double standards and confusion on that show.

    I will first start with the criticism which ‘News Week’ is receiving upon placing the Muslim’s rage photos on the cover page. This definitely is a publicity stunt to attract consumer’s attraction for sales, since the Muslims protest on the video of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) is a big issue across globe. However, I do not believe that show casing the protest of a certain group of Muslims against the insult of their respected religion and Prophet (P.B.U.H), is as cheap as some one making a movie against some one’s religious believes. This protest can also be seen as a factor indicating how precious religious believes are to people in different cultures, and the need for respecting some very sensitive matters like religion, when trying to apply the 1st Amendment of the freedom of speech in real life.

    As for Cenk Uygur and his show is considered, I think he first needs to decide which side is he on? Is he against those protesting individual’s especially in Pakistan- whom he can be heard abusing at- or is he against the Television reporter named Joe, to whom he is criticizing that Muslims hate Americans because they have been through the worst time?. Uygur presented all the comments against the protest of Prophet Muhammad’s insult from Pakistan only. What about all the other protesting comments from Libya and the rest of the Muslim world including Indonesia? And then he can be seen just targeting one nation only and cussing them.

    However, during the last part of his episode, where he was defending Muslims for hating Western powers especially due to drone attacks, I guess he forgot that he is supporting Pakistan again – since Pakistan is the country majorly affected by drone attacks, where innocent people are killed daily. Therefore, I find the episode of Uygur’s show possessing his confusion, since he does not seems to know who is the opposition in his argument and who is the proposition?

    A recent guest speaker in our Media and Society class from the US State Department, focused on the point that US government does support the 1st Amendment till a certain limit. Not till the limit where a short video about Islam can hurt Muslim’s religious feelings and put thousands of Americans across globe in trouble. The article Nudity, Fleeting Expletives and Lies presents the example of Xavier Alvarez, who lied that he was on Marine and later upon finding the about his lie, he was pleaded guilty to charges under the Stolen Valor Act. Later, Alvarez challenges the Stolen Valor Act. under the 1st Amendment, and the Supreme Court takes his side. However, Alvarez did not say any thing which hurted any one’s extreme personal religious believes, unlike the video made against Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) and Islam!


  12. Phillip Morris said

    I want to say that I agree with Cody Saunders on this topic. We have freedom of speech here in America and it is considered a god given right here. We are all too comfortable with speaking our minds that we don’t take in the fact that we can offend people on a regular basis in doing so. When it comes to the Muslim world that matter needs to be none of our business. The United States has made way more enemies then friends trying to be the world’s police. I do not agree with radical Muslims but that doesn’t mean we should keep antagonizing them. Muslims, Christians, and Catholics all share the same god the god of Abraham there are many similarities between the three. Leave your religion out of my face because, it creates more problems then anything in this world. And especially do not make a confrontation with people that have nothing to do with us in our own country.

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