Washingtonian magazine's decision to put a photo of President Obama shirtless on the May cover was "unadulterated outrage-bait," said John Cook in Gawker, "and the gambit has succeeded." The Web is buzzing with phony cries of how disrespectful the photo is, even though we all saw it plastered everywhere four months ago after a paparazzi snapped it while the Obamas were vacationing in Hawaii.
"In the throes of an economic crisis and two wars," said Karen Travers and Jake Tapper in ABC News, now is not the time for more headlines about how "Pec-tacular" and "Buff" the president is. The Washingtonian editors' excuse is that they were trying to illustrate the new "golden age of Washington," but they could have done that with a photo of Obama in a tuxedo, instead of a bathing suit.
The "frenzy of comments" online run the gamut, said Susan Moeller in The Huffington Post, from a reprise of the "President Beefcake" drooling we saw in December to stinging rebukes of Washingtonian's editors. But the real outrage is how the magazine altered the image, changing the color of Obama's swimsuit from black to red and making his skin appear more glistening. "In the world of news, that's unethical."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Here comes the Pentagon's newest space plane
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Extreme haunted houses: Inside Halloween's most terrifying new trend
- The U.S. is about to sell weapons to Vietnam. That's bad news for China.
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Did the media get Ferguson wrong?
- America's anti-feminist mega-corporations' toxic disregard for women must stop
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- What the Middle Ages can tell us about the GOP's big charity myth
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
Subscribe to the Week