Ben Affleck 1, Newsweek 0, cont'd

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

We detailed this back-and-forth earlier at CF, and how Newsweek chose to ignore the salient points actor Ben Affleck recently raised about the magazine's coverage of Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson last autumn. (Oops sorry, Newsweek claims Affleck raised no salient points.)

Anyway, Newsweek's updated response to the Affleck caper, as it were, is mighty peculiar: Newsweek doesn't matter! At least that seems to be the magazine's talking point.

Affleck claimed Newsweek's worshipful coverage of Paulson at a crucial juncture of the unfolding financial crisis helped create a larger public perception that Americans shouldn't critically questions Paulson's economic bailout plan; a plan lots of critics now see as being flawed.

Noted Affleck:

It was one of many factors that made it difficult for people to say, [inaud] hold on a second, what is the difference between now and a week from now? Why can't we examine this more closely? Can we talk about this? Why is it that we can't have more transparency in this piece of legislation?...Long and short of it is, Newsweek, in deciding to tell all of America that we all have to put our trust in Henry Paulson, that's like a mediaocracy. It's presumptuous and it damaged us in some ways.

But Newsweek in response, now claims it's loopy to suggest that the journalism the weekly magazine produces somehow influences public opinion, let alone public policy.

Writes Newsweek's Kurt Soller:

Journalism criticism is one thing, but accusing us of actually influencing the economic bailout package? That's ludicrous thinking -- especially for a Cambridge boy like Affleck.

Guys, don't sell yourself short.

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