The current issue of Maclean’s features some (cheap) Photoshoppery of Dubya-as-Saddam on the cover, accompanying an article by Patrick Graham about America is now attempting to sign on former Hussein flunkies to smooth into a hopeful era of relatively stable government in Iraq. (Which is not particularly news, but we are on newsmagazine time in this instance, so.)
Unsurprisingly, Michelle Malkin doesn’t like it, and starts right out with this gem:
When your left-wing magazine is in need of some quick buzz and a cheap circulation boost, what do you do?
Dear Michelle Malkin:
1.) Maclean’s is not left-wing. At most, it’s center-right. Understand that you are talking here about a magazine that runs Mark Steyn as a regular columnist, that published Barbara Amiel for far too many years and whose current most notable columnist is Paul Wells, who’s an intelligent political writer but also the author of Right Side Up: The Fall of Paul Martin and the Rise of Stephen Harper’s New Conservatism, and a regular proponent of good ol’ tax cuts. (This is not to say that Wells is a neoconservative, but he’s definitely got rightish tendencies even if he defines himself personally as an independent.) Over the last decade it has been consistently critical of the Liberal Party – who are actually political centrists, and I understand that this might be confusing, but it’s how we do things up here – and more often than not outright dismissive of the leftist NDP. Its current EIC is Ken Whyte, who is most notable for two things: an exciting design sense and a highly defined sympathy for Alberta-style conservatism. (And really, “center-right” is being generous, considering that when Ken Whyte ran the National Post, it was widely considered to be a house organ for the Reform Party, and he imported most of his Post senior staffers when he took over Maclean’s.)
2.) Maclean’s is also the best-selling political magazine in Canada. Any “circulation boost” it would get from running a picture of George Bush altered to make him look bad would be painfully minimal.
3.) This is because in Canada, George W. Bush’s approval rate hasn’t topped fifteen percent for his entire presidency, and more often than not he’s been hovering at about the five to ten percent mark. Canadians do not like the man and do not like his politics. A picture of Bush made to look like a jackass is not new or novel or even particularly interesting to us, you see. It is like, say, pineapple upside-down cake. We know it’s always there, and we can always get it if we want it, but when we see it, we don’t immediately think “yes I must have that.”
So, Michelle, you’re wrong. I know everybody will be shocked to hear that. Absolutely shocked.