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July 10, 2011

Newsweek Cover: Can Palin’s Breasts Win the Nomination?

Palin Newsweek July 2011

Bag’s Take-Away:

1. Can Palin’s breasts win the nomination?

2. The other key pair here: Newsweek and Murdoch leaning to the right.

4. Fit for the edge. (But we knew that already.)

4. Exclusive, really?

5. With that headline and anchor text, Newsweek truly in Sarah’s backyard.

UPDATE:  (h/t: Alice Paul FC in comments below)

6. Ha! Make up sex for Newsweek’s Runners World cover?!

  • Alice Paul FC

    Did this one come from a Runner’s World photo shoot too?

    • Michael Shaw

      Touché. You inspired my update. I completely missed that!

  • Trehald

      Sauron’ssess  rimslesss…lizdlessss…eyesesssss

  • Trehald

      Sauron’ssess  rimslesss…lizdlessss…eyesesssss

  • karen h

    If it’s possible, shouldn’t the headline be “They can win….”?

  • Ralfast

    A bit breezy but I think it is supposed to show that she is in for the long run, but then again the prominent watch can also signify that her time is running out.

  • Ralfast

    A bit breezy but I think it is supposed to show that she is in for the long run, but then again the prominent watch can also signify that her time is running out.

  • Joe

    sagging toward armageddom

  • Gasho

    I love the caption & mini caption read with sort of a Saturday Night Live voiceover.. “Of Course I Can Win [smile/wink] and I’ll let’cha know if’n'when I decide to run…”

    I think those words under her name reflect the “Quitter / Untrustworthy / Paper Thin Veneer” aspects of Palin.  If they were trying to kiss up to her, they blew it by reminding us that she’s fickle.

    Palin exudes all the confidence of a middle aged gym teacher who can fish when it’s fishin’ time and serve up a mighty fine catfish omelet in the morning.

    Appeal isn’t the same as thoughtful politics, but gosh darnit, you can use it if you’ve got it.

    It doesn’t strike me as a Presidential hopeful pose– more of a wanna-stay-in-the-limelight one.

    All that lighting equipment must look pretty funny out there on that dock.

  • Glenn

    No links, Michael?

    Anyway, I read the article via a link from elsewhere. Interesting article and slideshow. 8 photos of her isolated, in an unpopulated wilderness, posing like a fashion model. Only 1 photo of 8 shows an actual smile, and that a tight and controlled one – slide 3 is extraordinary in how ill at ease and diminished she looks (why would they include that?) Another slide, #5, shows her dwarfed among tall trees, hunched, awkward body language. When she looks at the camera, it’s with distrust.

    These photos do not say “leader” or “president” or even “effective person” to me; they read like a portfolio for someone who wants to be a model or visual attraction (celebrity, spokesmodel) – and frankly, it’s like she just can’t quite pull it off. 

    She’s not even comfortable posing in her own backyard.

    • Glenn

      After posting that I kept thinking there was something else the photos reminded me of but I couldn’t voice it. So I went for my morning walk, and it came to me.

      It’s a memory. I’m thirteen years old; shy, skinny, and my dad has summoned me from daydreaming in my bedroom or reading a book to come outside and let him take a photo of me to send to Grandma. I don’t want my photo taken. I feel annoyed at being interrupted, and also physically awkward. My hair is messy and I’m wearing whatever I put on that morning. I don’t want to be there. I want to be left alone.

      I am Palin’s generation and gender. There are a dozen or so photos of me from those awkward years, and they look just like the photos of Palin in the pink shirt.

      Presidential candidate as awkward 13 year old girl?

    • PaminBB

      Wow. Someone appears to be having a mid-life crisis. #4 and 6 look as though she’s auditioning for a Sports Illustrated cover, not gearing up for a presidential run. 

  • Matt


    they’re real.

    and they’re fabulous.

  • Mstbelate

    ..absolutely, they can.

  • seamus323

    Newsweek should publish just the cover. Does anyone still read that rag? 

  • Anonymous

    I’d meant to comment at the time this was posted, but got distracted. Probably too late to join the conversation, but anyhow…

    Photo of Palin in college room, sporting a big grin and a tee-shirt saying, “I might be broke but I ain’t flat busted.” Palin competing in beauty contests. Palin in the famous pouty-face photo at a sports event, arms back and boods pushed forward. (She might not have known that particular shot was being taken, but she definitely was comfortable presenting herself that way.)

    I think photos should be analyzed and interpreted first formally — angle, lighting, framing, composition, etc. But then those insights should be put in context … or contexts. One shot out of a series? Social/political constraints of the moment (usual meaning of political as well as the special sense in which academics use the term)? Etc.

    A context I always look for is a pattern. For Palin, this is part of a consistent pattern of self-presentation. It reminds me of the technique demonstrated in Legally Blonde and identified by the Reese Witherspoon character as “bend and thrust.”

  • Enoch Root





    Thinking about.




    Thank you, Newsweek, for continuing to bludgeon me over the head with this absolute total utter distraction from a) reality, b) news of the week, and c) what it means to be an American.

    • Enoch Root

      …And as portraiture, this reminds me of the Glenn Beck shoot where he’s crying. It’s the same thing. But whereas Beck is forcing tears, mama grizzly is forcing lactation. And that I can respect.

      I just wish she weren’t so frakking stupid.

  • Syanreb

    The better shot would have been Sarah breast feeding her son Trig.  It would show the humanity of the woman and the care she gives her Down Syndrome son.  

  • Frank Ophelia

    I thought maybe you folks would be interested in reading what the photographer, Emily Shur, had to say about her photo shoot with Sarah Palin.

  • omen

    she looks like a drag queen.

    after she went through the campaign trading on her
    feminine wiles (wink,wink), this masculine side of her is kinda startling (pronounced by certain angles and tricks of lighting, i suppose.) the contradiction is interesting.

    not bashing her looks because of her politics. we all have a good side and bad side. newsweek didn’t do her any favors by deciding to pick this photo for the cover.

    • omen

       okay, i’ll cop to a touch of schadenfreude, enjoying her bad cover.

  • Michael Shaw

    Nice takes. I hadn’t seen the slideshow inside. I agree with your point about “discomfort” which was well highlighted in the serious portrait she tried to pull off last year.

    With Palin, unless she’s being brash in some way — awkward’s the word.

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