For a little thought experiment, go to the website of Newsweek'sinternationaledition. There, running down the left side of the page, are threecovers, all the same, for the European, Asian, and Latin Americaneditions of the October 2 issue.
Each has a dramatic shot of a Taliban fighter shouldering an RPG(rocket-propelled grenade). The cover headline is: "LosingAfghanistan," pointing to a devastating piece on our Afghan War by RonMoreau, Sami Yousafzai, and Michael Hirsh, "The Rise ofJihadistan." which sports this subhead: "Five years after theAfghan invasion, the Taliban are fighting back hard, carving out asanctuary where they--and Al Qaeda's leaders--can operate freely." Thepiece begins: "You don't have to drive very far from Kabul these daysto find the Taliban." (In fact, the magazine's reporters found agathering of 100 of them in a village just a two-hour drive south of theAfghan capital.)
Now, go back to the internationaledition and take another look. Scrolldown the page to the cover which doesn't match the others. That's the one forNewsweek's US edition. No Taliban fighter. No RPG.Instead, a photo of an ash-blond woman with three young children dressedin white, one in her arms, and the headline: "My Life in Pictures." The woman turns out to be Annie Liebovitz, photographer of the stars,and the story by Cathleen McGuigan, "Through HerLens," has this Taliban-free first line: "Annie Leibovitz is tiredand nursing a cold, and she' s just flown back to New York on thered-eye from Los Angeles, where she spent two days shooting AngelinaJolie for Vogue."
"The Rise of Jihadism" is still inside, of course; now, a secondarystory. After all, Angelina Jolie is ours, while a distant botch of awar in Afghanistan..? As the magazine's editors clearly concluded,while the rest of the world considers the return of the Taliban, let useat cake.