New York - Time and other Time Warner magazines are now facing accusations
that it has "sold out" to AOL in the recently approved
merger. Whether they will be able to uphold their editorial
standards in the face of pressure from their new master, has also
come into question.
"I remember back a few years when Time was the voice of the
new generation. Now after the merger it's nothing but George
Bush this and George Bush that," said one disgruntled youth. "Or
maybe I'm thinking of Mother
Jones, I get those two confused sometimes."
Many of today's
baby boomers pine for the days when Time was a relatively unknown
magazine. Ray Fontana said, "The magazine was much more
special back in the days of JFK. I really felt a connection. I
could go read it in a small club, it was really very intimate. Now
it's just so commercialized, and this merger isn't helping."
Others question if People magazine and Sports Illustrated will be
able to keep their journalistic integrity intact. Media watchdog
Harold Bass said, "Is Steve Case now going to appear as one
of the 50 Most Beautiful People in America, or on the cover of the
Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue? Those are legitimate concerns
that every conscientious American should have."
Since the merger literacy activists have accused People magazine
of 'dumbing down' their articles to the level where most AOL content
resides. People's editor-in-chief said she "vehemently
denies" such accusations though she wasn't quite sure what 'vehemently'
meant. "Our articles covering Madonna's wedding were full
of multi-syllabic words and compound sentences. You don't find
that kind of complexity on AOL."
Only the passing years will tell if the great periodicals of Time
Warner will be compromised by the merger, but if the recent
cover of People is any indication than we are all in trouble.
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