Newsweek 'Strives to Be Apolitical'? Since When?

Reporter Jeremy Peters insisted in Thursday's Business Day that the left-leaning magazine Newsweek was "apolitical," yet easily spotted a right tilt in two potential purchasers of the struggling weekly: "2 Suitors for Newsweek Are Said to Be Ruled Out." A photo caption made the easily refutable claim that Newsweek "strives to be apolitical."

The Washington Post is looking for a bidder who will be a good fit for the magazine, which strives to be apolitical.

Really now? As Nathan Burchfiel at NewsBusters reminds us: "Newsweek has attacked Tea Parties and conservative leaders like Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh, earned praise from gay marriage activists for its coverage, launched pro-atheism attacks on religious figures like Mother Teresa, among numerous other liberal positions."

Peters gave Newsweek's editors the benefit of the doubt on its slant, which even Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz believes is an accurate view:

The ideas that Newsweek is promoting are mainly left-of-center....When Newsweek put a conservative's essay on the cover, it was by David Frum, assailing Rush Limbaugh under the headline 'Why Rush Is Wrong.' And when Newsweek took on Obama, it did so from the left, in a piece built around New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and his criticism of the president's economic policies.

Peters was able to see conservatism and libertarianism in the two rejected buyers, but not the clear liberalism at Newsweek.

With no shortage of interested parties, the issue for the Post Company has become whether it can find a new owner that the company's chairman and chief executive, Donald E. Graham, believes will be a suitable steward for the magazine.

That is the main reason the Post Company decided not to entertain offers from Newsmax or Mr. Ritchie, according to these people. The conservative political ideology of Newsmax's chief executive, Christopher Ruddy, is at odds with the editorial bent of Newsweek, which strives to be apolitical in its news coverage though is often criticized as left-leaning.

And Mr. Ritchie, who unsuccessfully tried to buy the Sun Times Media Group last year, is viewed as more libertarian in his political views. He has explored creating a third political party in Illinois with supporters of Ross Perot.

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