Newsweek is getting plenty of notice for its cover this week with the headline "Romney: The Wimp Factor," and subtitled "Is He Just Too Insecure To Be President"? It's an obvious echo of the magazine's famous October 19, 1987 cover ("George Bush: Fighting the 'Wimp Factor'"). Mitt Romney quickly shrugged off the insult, but at least one internet gremlin with rudimentary Photoshop skills has already gotten to work, challenging Newsweek Editor-in-Chief Tina Brown's delicate headline-writing skills with something a bit more ... gloves-off. The unattributed parody (or tribute?) cover, shown here to the right of the actual cover, popped up in my Twitter stream this morning.
This, of course, is exactly the sort of thing old-school media provocateur Brown is after (particularly in contrast with last week's buzz -- that Newsweek's owner plans to eventually shift the title more or less out of print.) The new "wimp" cover and parody also calls to mind the widely-circulated parody that Brown's "First Gay President" cover inspired a couple months back.
Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. Follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.