The controversial Sarah Palin Newsweek cover.

Is Sarah Palin Newsweek cover sexist? Palin says yes.

The Sarah Palin Newsweek cover is generating a lot of controversy. Palin says the Newsweek cover is sexist.

Maybe Sarah Palin should be pleased with Newsweek's cover shot. After all, it could give her ammo for a sequel, perhaps entitled "Going Rogue II: Sarah Palin Unloaded."

The former Alaska governor isn't happy with Newsweek for featuring her on the cover of its magazine. Whether she's upset with the article or not isn't known. But the photo they chose? That's another story.

Run to the hills

Newsweek decided to use a photograph originally used for a Runners World article published last August. No, it's not like she's all sweaty, haggard, and ready to collapse at the end of a marathon or anything -- in fact, it's just the opposite.

It's more like a glamour shot. Sure, she's in running gear but it's apparent that she hasn't begun the workout yet. She's posing in her old office clutching two Blackberries and leaning on an American flag. This was an OK photo for Runners World, she says, but not for a serious news story. It's sexist and out of context.

"The choice of photo for the cover of this week's Newsweek is unfortunate," Palin wrote on her Facebook page. "When it comes to Sarah Palin, this 'news' magazine has relished focusing on the irrelevant rather than the relevant. The Runner's World magazine one-page profile for which this photo was taken was all about health and fitness -- a subject to which I am devoted and which is critically important to this nation."

"The out-of-context Newsweek approach is sexist and oh-so-expected by now. If anyone can learn anything from it: it shows why you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, gender, or color of skin. The media will do anything to draw attention - even if out of context," she adds.

Newsweek bad

She actually took it easy on Newsweek. She could have wondered aloud about their financial situation. According to the Washington Post third quarter's earning report, the news magazine is losing money and its subscriber base is expected to drop to 1.5 million in January 2010 from 3.1 million earlier this year.

Not to mention that it appears that the news magazine ran the photo without permission from Runner's World.

Reads an Editors Note at Runner' "On the cover of this week’s issue of Newsweek is a photo that was shot for the August 2009 issue of Runner’s World , in which Sarah Palin was featured on the monthly 'I’m a Runner' back page. Runner’s World did not provide Newsweek with the image. Instead, it was provided to Newsweek by the photographer’s agency, without Runner’s World’s knowledge or permission."

Perhaps this is something that Runner's World isn't that upset about after all. It's interesting to observe that right after the "Editor's Note" is a promo to see their original photo slideshow of Palin.

Too sexy!

Some people have rushed to Palin's defense, however. Like the Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody.

"You've got to hand it to the folks at Newsweek," Brody writes. "They have accomplished being biased and sexist at the same time. Quite a feat. This cover has got to be a new low right? They don't use a photo of Palin on the campaign trail. No instead they take the sexy Runners World photo."

Didn't she pose for it though?

"Yes she posed for it but don't tell me they didn't purposely use that photo to make a point?" Brody said before asking the whereabouts of "sexy photos of Tim Pawlenty with an unbuttoned shirt relaxing on a couch in the Twin Cities."

Yeah, where are those, anyway?


Newsweek's Eleanor Clift says reactions like Brody's aren't surprising. It's something that conservatives will jump on.

"Why do right-wing men rush to Sarah’s side to defend her?" Clift asks. "My theory is that this is payback time. They’ve been called sexist and racist, and subjected to media ridicule of their allegedly retro views. Palin is their way to push back against the elites that have marginalized them."

What about that photo?

As for the use of the photo, Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham defended the decision saying it was "the most interesting image available."

"We apply the same test to photographs of any public figure, male or female: does the image convey what we are saying? That is a gender-neutral standard," he said.


Hey, we'll never use a photo of you in running shorts. But if we do, we'll only distribute it on Twitter! So follow us.

See also:

Will President Obama read Sarah Palin's book?

Sarah Palin on the Oprah Winfrey show: Five best outtakes

Sarah Palin 'Going Rogue' and making dough

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