Sunday, December 31, 2017

Two more controversial magazine covers for 2017

When I did my annual roundup of the most controversial magazine covers of 2017 two weeks ago, I hoped there would be no more entries. I was wrong. Two more candidates cropped up.

The Dec. 21 issue of The Envelope magazine of the Los Angeles Times received scathing criticism for not featuring any women of color among a group of six top actresses.
(See articles by Mother Jones, Refinery29, the Daily Mail and Huffington Post.)

Latina magazine was criticized for using Meghan King Edmonds as its cover model. She stars on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and is not Latina.
(See articles by the Hollywood Gossip and Pop Culture Media.)

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Donald Trump magazine covers: How the news media treat our 45th president

It’s amazing to compare the magazine cover treatment of President Donald Trump to that of his predecessor, Barack Obama.
Obama was beloved by the news media and given reverent treatment on magazine covers. He was illustrated as a superhero, feminist and messiah.
Trump is clearly hated by the media and often depicted as a buffoon, a racist, a criminal and a sociopath. He gets even worse treatment by foreign magazines than domestic publications.
For a summary of studies showing the news media’s negative coverage of Trump, read this article titled “Do The Media Hate Trump? Yes, The Numbers Don’t Lie.”
For a look at how Obama was portrayed in magazine covers check out these articles by the Guardian and the Huffington Post.
What follows is a listing of articles I’ve done this year on how Trump has been depicted in magazine covers.

Trump looking desperate on latest magazine covers (Dec. 27, 2017)

President Trump depicted as creepy clown, wrecking ball on latest magazine covers (Nov. 4, 2017)

President Trump depicted as Nazi, racist, insane on latest magazine covers (Oct. 13, 2017)

Magazine covers depict President Trump as warmonger, KKK member and mental patient (Aug. 20, 2017)

President Trump magazine covers, six months in (July 23, 2017)

Overseas magazines trash President Trump (May 26, 2017)

Trump magazine covers update: Three months on the job (April 22, 2017)

Magazines go over the top with President Trump covers (Feb. 25 2017)

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Trump looking desperate on latest magazine covers

With the latest magazine covers featuring President Trump, you get the sense that the noose is tightening on the Donald.
For over a year, media reports have been saying that Trump colluded with Russia on the 2016 election and that he’s hiding a lot of dirty business deals. With Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller running a wide-ranging investigation, the media is speculating that any day now he’ll bring down Trump and his cronies. We’ll see.
What follows is a look at the latest magazine covers featuring the 45th president of the United States.

The Dec. 29 cover of Newsweek depicted a soaked Trump emerging from a Deutsche Bank money-laundering machine.

The Dec. 18 & 25 double issue of the New Yorker illustrated a Scrooge-like Trump in the foreground with former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn as a Christmas caroler, presumably singing like a canary to prosecutors.

The Dec. 22 & 29 double issue of the Week depicted a cast of cartoonish characters from 2017, including golfer-in-chief Trump.

The Dec. 11 issue of Bloomberg Businessweek showed Trump at the center of the “fake news” problem.

The Nov. 24 issue of Newsweek illustrated Trump’s relationship with Fox News.

Finally, the Nov. 11-17 issue of the Economist depicted an American bald eagle with a Trumpish flop of feathers.


Monday, December 25, 2017

Clickbait exposes dominate most popular posts of 2017

For the second year in a row, the most popular posts on Tech-media-tainment had to do with exposing the deceitful practices of clickbait purveyors.
Among those posts, the favorites were about sexy young women, so I’m probably appealing to the same audience as those original clickbait articles. But at least my readers will get their facts straight.
Here’s a list of the top 20 articles on TMT based on page views for 2017.
  1. Lying clickbait: Hot celebrity wives and daughters … not (March 21, 2017)
  2. Clickbait cuties: Sexy female athletes (March 28, 2017)
  3. Lying clickbait: Close-but-no-cigar edition (Dec. 13, 2016)
  4. Clickbait cliche: The crowd got more than it bargained for (Feb. 3, 2017)
  5. Lying clickbait: Celebrities paired with hideous photos (March 20, 2017)
  6. Clickbait cuties: The sexy sirens of sponsored articles (March 27, 2017)
  7. First step to combat fake news: End lying clickbait (Dec. 8, 2017)
  8. Lying clickbait: Pretty women as the honeypot (Feb. 12, 2017)
  9. Clickbait cliche: Photos that almost broke the internet (March 30, 2017)
  10. 2017 psychic predictions: Brad Pitt and Rihanna a couple? (Dec. 31, 2016)
  11. Lying clickbait: Fake Woodstock photos, historic images and death reports (Dec. 29, 2016)
  12. Lying clickbait: Missed-by-a-mile edition (Dec. 14, 2016)
  13. The most controversial foreign magazine covers of 2017 (Dec. 16, 2017)
  14. Disney princesses reimagined as Warhammer 40K space marines, wookies and potatoes (March 11, 2017)
  15. The sexiest LFL players of 2017 (June 30, 2017)
  16. Not Monica Lewinsky photos; they’re lying clickbait (Dec. 26, 2016)
  17. Fake North Korea photos: More lying clickbait (Jan. 31, 2017)
  18. Clickbait funnies (April 6, 2017)
  19. Lying clickbait: Crazy celebrity transformations, geography fails, porn fantasies (May 18, 2017)
  20. Lying clickbait: Fake historical photos, fake North Korea photos, fake Titanic photos (March 19, 2017)
Photo: Former UCLA cheerleader and clickbait favorite MaCall Manor.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Psychic predictions for 2018

Self-proclaimed psychics, clairvoyants and mystics are out with their predictions for 2018, but I wouldn’t put any stock in them. They are notoriously wrong.
For example, last year, one psychic predicted pop-star Rihanna would hook up with actor Brad Pitt, while another thought Rihanna would get back together with Drake. Neither was right.
What follows are some of their predictions for 2018.

North Korean coup, drone attack in Europe

Psychic Craig Hamilton-Parker predicts a revolution in North Korea that brings down Kim Jong-un’s regime and a chemical weapons attack by drones on a European capital, possibly London or Berlin.
He previously forecast Brexit, Donald Trump’s victory as U.S. president and the Nice terror attack, according to media reports.
(See articles by the Sun, Mirror, Independent and Express.)

Trump out of office, great earthquake in California

Nikki, the “Psychic to the Stars,” made over 400 mostly vague predictions for 2018 about world events, celebrities, U.K. royals and weather events. She also put a couple hundred celebrities on her “death and health watch.” It’s a shotgun approach designed to increase the chances that she’ll stumble onto a few correct “predictions.”
Here is a sampling of her predictions for 2018:
  • Trump will be gone by the spring or before
  • The Trump administration will fall like dominoes before May 2018
  • A treasure of gold bullion worth millions will be found in a bunker in Cuba belonging to the late Fidel Castro
  • All of North America will be in the dark with a power blackout
  • A hail storm in the Middle East will destroy cities and kill many people
  • A great earthquake in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco
  • A meteor landing in Washington, D.C.

‘New form of energy’ found on Venus

Blind mystic Baba Vanga of Bulgaria, who died in 1996, reportedly set aside two predictions for 2018. Dubbed the “Nostradamus from the Balkans,” she left predictions up to the 51st century, when she believed the world would end.
Vanga supposedly “predicted” the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Brexit and the rise of ISIS.
For 2018, she foresaw two world-changing events. First, China will become the world’s next “super power,” taking over from the U.S. Second, “a new form of energy” will be discovered on Venus.
(See articles by the Sun and Mirror.)

Photo: 2018 Year of the Dog artwork from

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Bitcoin boom and bust, Magic Leap glasses flop and other 2018 tech predictions

When it comes to year-ahead predictions, the bolder the prediction, the more likely it is to be wrong. But we love to read them anyway, hoping for a blue-moon longshot that turns out to be true.
What follows are some bold tech predictions for 2018, with some bolder than others.

Bitcoin will fly to the moon before crashing 

Cryptocurrency Bitcoin will peak above $60,000 in 2018 before crashing to its fundamental “production cost” of $1,000 the following year, says Danish investment bank Saxo Bank.
Bitcoin mania will find “the rug torn out from under it” as Russia and China move to sidelines and even prohibit non-sanctioned cryptocurrencies domestically, Saxo Bank predicted.
Bitcoin surged in 2017, from just under $1,000 in January to nearly $20,000 in early December. It now trades around $15,000.
(See articles by the Telegraph and Inquisitr.)

Apple’s HomePod speaker will flop

Apple’s voice-activated smart speaker HomePod “will be a huge dud,” says Paul Armstrong, who runs technology advisory firm Here/Forth.
HomePod is late to market and overpriced vs. rival products from, Google and Sonos, he said in a Forbes post.

Magic Leap AR glasses won’t catch on

Magic Leap’s augmented reality glasses “will debut to derision and not fanfare thanks to delay and overhyping,” Armstrong said.
Business Insider deputy editor Dave Smith said the specs will fail on looks alone.
“Unless the device, dubbed the Magic Leap One, gets a major makeover before it’s released to the public, you can expect it to bomb when it hits store shelves, even if it is a technological breakthrough. Why? Because it looks ridiculous,” Smith wrote.

Amazon will pick Atlanta or Austin for HQ2 expects to announce which North American city will get its second headquarters, aka HQ2, sometime in 2018. Betting website Paddy Power sees Atlanta and Austin, Texas, as the favorites to win the deal, tied at 3-1 odds.
Amazon expects to invest over $5 billion in the construction of the headquarters, which will have as many as 50,000 workers.

Apple will acquire Tesla and Elon Musk will become CEO

Apple will acquire luxury electric carmaker Tesla and Tesla’s Elon Musk will take the reins of the consumer electronics giant, Moor Insights & Strategy senior analyst Chris Wilder predicted in a Forbes post.
Musk will spearhead the production of a fully autonomous iCar by 2020, he said.
Also, Apple CEO Tim Cook will retire from Apple to go into politics, Wilder said.

Microsoft will make at least one big acquisition

Microsoft will make at least one big acquisition in 2018, says Eric Jhonsa, a technology columnist for TheStreet.
Possible targets include enterprise software-as-a-service providers Workday or ServiceNow, he said.

Apple will launch a Netflix rival in 2018

Apple will launch a subscription video-on-demand service next year to take on Netflix and others in the fast-growing sector, research firm CCS Insight predicts.

Premium video on demand will become a reality

Hollywood executives predict that premium video-on-demand offerings will happen next year.
In September, 20th Century Fox studio head Stacey Snider said she expects a deal to allow consumers to see movies at home just weeks after they appear in theaters to be finalized in the next six to 12 months.
Consumers will be able to download rentals much sooner than they can now for “less than $50,” Snider said, according to Bloomberg.
Also in September, Lionsgate Vice Chairman Michael Burns predicted that major film studios will reach a deal within a year with exhibitors on the launch of a premium video-on-demand window for new theatrical releases, Variety reported.

Jan. 2, 2018, update: will buy Nordstrom

New York University Professor Scott Galloway, who correctly predicted that would buy Whole Foods, predicts that Amazon will take out department store chain Nordstrom, according to RBC Capital Markets.

Amazon will buy Target

Loup Ventures general partner Gene Munster predicts that e-commerce giant will buy Target in 2018.
“Amazon believes the future of retail is a mix of mostly online and some offline. Target is the ideal offline partner for Amazon for two reasons, shared demographic and manageable but comprehensive store count,” Munster wrote in a blog post. “As for the demographic, Target’s focus on moms is central to Amazon’s approach to win wallet share.”

Here are some tech predictions from last year that didn’t pan out:

Bold Tech M&A Predictions For 2017: Netflix, Twitter, GoPro In Play (Dec. 30, 2016)

Photo: Magic Leap One augmented reality glasses. (Magic Leap).

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

2017 magazine covers in review

It was an exciting year for magazines.
The election of Donald Trump as U.S. president and the controversies that followed him have given cover artists a lot of material with which to work.
Sex still sells and it shows in the number of magazines using attractive nude celebrities on their covers.
And people found a lot of things to get upset about with magazine covers this year, especially those having to do with race, Islam, sexism and overuse of Photoshop.
What follows is a summary of my recent year-in-review posts about magazine covers.

The most controversial U.S. magazine covers of 2017 (Dec. 16, 2017)

The most controversial foreign magazine covers of 2017 (Dec. 16, 2017)

Notable nude magazine covers in 2017 (Dec. 17, 2017)

Final issues and first issues in the magazine business in 2017 (Dec. 18, 2017)

Photos: Harper’s Bazaar cover featuring pop star Rihanna (top), and a Der Spiegel cover showing the baby Jesus arriving via

Monday, December 18, 2017

Final issues and first issues in the magazine business in 2017

Magazines come and go. Here’s a look at some magazines that had their final issues in 2017 and a few that premiered this year.

Popular Photography magazine ended its 80-year run with its March-April 2017 issue.

Surfing magazine ended its 53-year run in January. Owner TEN: The Enthusiast Network folded the digital assets of Surfing magazine into sister publication Surfer.

Self magazine, owned by Conde Nast, ended its 38-year run as a print monthly with its February issue. It was converted to a digital-only publication.

Conde Nast also shuttered Teen Vogue after 15 years. Its final issue was the December 2017 edition.

The closing of Teen Vogue came one month after Nylon magazine, another favorite among young readers, published its final print edition.

New magazines

Online lodging marketplace Airbnb and publisher Hearst Magazines teamed to launch Airbnbmag in May.

Microsoft-owned video game Minecraft launched its own print magazine in the summer.

Science-fiction magazine Omni returned with a quarterly print edition in November. It’s the second attempt to relaunch the magazine, which had its initial run from 1978 to 1995.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Notable nude magazine covers in 2017

Lots of celebrities and athletes posed in their birthday suits for magazine covers in 2017.
What follows is a look at some of those covers.

Actress Sofia Vergara, 45, took it all off for the September issue of Women’s Health.

Actress Pamela Anderson, 50, stripped down for the cover of U.K.-based King Kong magazine along with ballet dancer Sergei Polunin.

Actress Penelope Cruz, 43, posed in the buff for the cover of Esquire magazine’s November issue. She partially covered herself with a velvet blue drape.

U.S.-based Filipino singer Geneva Cruz, 41, posed nude for the cover of Coco magazine’s body issue.

South African actress and model Nomzamo Mbatha bared all for the cover of Marie Claire South Africa.

ESPN magazine’s annual Body issue featured naked cover portraits of tennis star Caroline Wozniacki and UFC fighter Michelle Waterson, among others.

Playboy magazine abandoned its one-year experiment not to use naked pictorials with its March-April issue, which featured Elizabeth Elam as its cover model.

The 2017 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue featured on its cover model Kate Upton who was naked expect for some jewelry.

Sin magazine from Latvia featured Latvian model Madara Malmane in the buff on its cover.

Dutch models Doutzen Kroes and Lara Stone posed naked on the cover of the inaugural issue of Vogue Netherlands.

Serbian supermodel Bo Krsmanovic posed nearly nude for the April cover of Maxim.

TimeOut Tel Aviv went super risqué with its flowers-in-female-pubic-hair cover.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

The most controversial foreign magazine covers of 2017

Americans aren’t the only people who freak out when they see magazine covers that clash with their worldview or sensibilities.
What follows is a review of some of the most controversial foreign magazine covers of the year, as discussed mostly by English-language media.

U.S. magazines have been reserved in their coverage of President Donald Trump compared with foreign magazines.
Ireland’s political and cultural magazine Village suggested that a sniper assassinate Trump. Its February cover showed Trump in the crosshairs with the headline “Why not.”
(See articles by Fox News, the Sun and Belfast Telegraph.)

The Feb. 4 issue of German news magazine Der Spiegel showed Trump with a bloody butcher knife and holding the decapitated head of Lady Liberty.
(See articles by BBC News and Business Insider.)

German news magazine Stern depicted Trump giving a Nazi salute while draped in an American flag on its Aug. 24 issue. The cover headline “Sein Kampf,” or “His Struggle” is a play on Adolf Hitler’s 1925 book “Mein Kampf.”
(See articles by the Daily Mail, the Hill and USA Today.)

First Lady Melania Trump’s appearance on the February cover of Vanity Fair Mexico provoked outrage for being insensitive to Mexico’s poor. She posed sitting at a dining table with a bowl of jewelry and using a fork to twirl a necklace like spaghetti.
(See articles by the Guardian and USA Today.)

Canadian news magazine Maclean’s painted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in an unfavorable light with a Photoshopped cover that gave him a balding head like his father.
(See article by Narcity.)

The July 31 issue of India Today pissed off mainland China by illustrating the country without disputed territories Tibet and Taiwan.
(See articles by Adweek, Times Now and South China Morning Post.)

A cover of Japanese magazine Brutus had Taiwanese media outlets up in arms, upset at how their country was portrayed. Some thought the photo of Guohua-jie, a street in Tainan famous for its fine cuisine, intentionally tried to convey a low standard of living.
(See articles by and Taiwan News.)

Animal rights activists hated a cover of Brides Indonesia that used an endangered orangutan as a prop.
(See article by Coconuts Bali.)

French music magazine Les Inrockuptibles was harshly criticized for putting on its cover rock star Bertrand Cantat who was convicted of murdering his girlfriend. The cover treatment seemed to glorify Cantat.
(See articles by the Guardian, New York Times and BBC.)

French sports magazine L'Équipe dared to focus on the impact of menstruation in sports for its Feb. 18 cover story “The champions break the last taboo of the sport.”
(See article by Liberation.)

Brazilian weekly news magazine Istoé came under fire for featuring only white faces on its “Brazilians of the year” cover – underneath a headline that asked why “angry racism” still exists. (See article by the Guardian.)

Actor George Clooney blasted French magazine Voici for publishing pictures of his newborn twins on its cover. He claimed photographers trespassed on his property and violated his privacy to take the photos.
(See articles by the Economic Times, the Hollywood Reporter, Gossip Cop and Mirror.)

Victoria’s Secret model Sara Sampaio said French publication Lui magazine pressured her to pose nude on set and published topless photos of her that were in violation of her “no nudity” contract. Sampaio exposes a nipple on the cover of the magazine.
(See articles by People, Fashionista, Celebrity Hive, Glamour and the Daily Star.)

French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was the center of controversy for a front cover blaming terrorist attacks in Europe on Islam. A cover illustration in August depicted two blood-soaked pedestrians after being hit by a speeding van, with the caption: “Islam is the religion of peace eternal.”
(See articles by the Daily Mail, Town Hall and Anadolu Agency.)

Muslim commentators accused model Gigi Hadid of wearing a hijab as a “fashion statement” rather than religious apparel on the cover of the first issue of Vogue Arabia in March. Critics also accused the half-Palestinian model of “cultural appropriation.”
(See article by the Daily Mail.)

Singer and beauty entrepreneur Rihanna was criticized for cultural appropriation for dressing as Egyptian Queen Nefertiti on the November cover of Vogue Arabia.
(See articles by the Huffington Post and Stylecaster.)

Britain’s Evening Standard apologized for using Photoshop to remove an ornate hair braid from a picture of singer Solange Knowles on the Oct. 20 cover of its ES Magazine.
(See articles by Hello Giggles, Spin, Glamour and The Drum.)

Grazia UK magazine apologized to actress Lupita Nyong’o for using a photo on its cover that smoothed her natural hair and removed a curly ponytail.
(See articles by the Daily Mail, People, Page Six and the Telegraph.)

Actress and model Emily Ratajkowski slammed French magazine Madame Figaro for Photoshopping her breasts and lips on its cover.
(See articles by the Daily Mail, Allure, People and InStyle.)

Related reading:

The most controversial U.S. magazine covers of 2017