Memories

 

 

A Celebration of the Glorious Past

 

     Millions of readers around the world once picked up their copy of Newsweek eager to explore the stories behind that week’s glossy cover. The writers, editors, reporters and photographers who created each edition shared an even greater excitement. They had experienced the thrills, sweats, agonies and sometimes real risks that placed their first draft of history into the readers’ hands. The great old magazine ceased publication in print on December 31, 2012, surviving in digital form alone on the internet. Newsweek returned to paper and ink on March 7, 2014, delivering long, original reports about topics in the news--“monthly content published weekly,” as editor Jim Impoco explains.  We hope he leads it back to glory.  What glory there was!

     From the 1960s through the late 2000s, the three newsmagazines, three TV networks and three newspapers (New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal) dominated public debate and set the national agenda. Newsweek was often the leader, and shared leadership when it wasn’t. The magazine first identified, described, and sometimes even promoted the civil rights revolution of the 1960s and afterward, the youth revolution, the sexual revolution, the women’s rights revolution, the souring of the Vietnam War, the inflation of the 1960s and stagflation of the 1970s, the Reagan revival, the Clinton revival of the Democrats, the Republican comeback, and the gay rights revolution. In scandals, Newsweek broke the Monica Lewinski story that crippled Bill Clinton’s second term and the Bert Lance scandal that crippled Jimmy Carter’s presidency within months of its start.

     Newsweek began in 1933 as a competitor to pioneering Time magazine. It achieved its greatness after being purchased in 1960 by the Graham family, which also owned The Washington Post. Alumni of the staff here record some of their memories, tributes, triumphs and blunders in reporting, photographing and writing for the last 60 years of Newsweek in print.

The Big Picture

     For overviews, read Howard Fineman on the magazine’s general impact and Edward Kosner on Newsweek’s “sense of high purpose.”  Mark Whitaker, Peter Goldman and Bill Cook, among others, describe the magazine’s award-winning civil rights coverage.  Lynn Povich and Eleanor Clift report on Newsweek’s leadership—and wrenching direct involvement in--the women’s revolution.   David Ansen outlines the magazine’s pioneering coverage of AIDS and the gay rights movement.   Dan Klaidman narrates how Newsweek’s classic team reporting and editing produced its coverage of 9/11 and the war against al Qaeda.  Mike Isikoff provides an insider’s take on the magazine’s most sensational scoop, its revelation of the sexual relationship between President Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.

How Newsweek Worked

     Stephen Shepard, Kosner and Robert J. Samuelson describe Newsweek‘s editorial methods and personnel and how issues were actually created  each week.   Ron Meyerson, longtime cover editor, and Jim Colton report how covers got made and photography displayed.

Oz

     The late Osborn Elliott, the editor of the 1960s and part of the 1970s, penned his own obituary telling how he redirected coverage at Newsweek to make it the “hot book,” a central force in interpreting the issues, traumas and dramas of the nation to readers for the last half of the 20th Century and first decade of the 21st.

Great Stories

     Among the most startling stories about individual reporting are Wally McNamee’s description of his coverage of the U.S. invasion of Grenada, Arnaud de Borchgrave’s piece on the 1972 Vietnam peace accords, Bill Cook on a battle in Vietnam, Christopher Harper on the suicide of a thousand religious cult members in Guyana in 1978, Rich Thomas on getting scandalous leaks about the Vatican Bank from the Vatican itself, and Andy Nagorski  on the last days of Leonid Brezhnev.  Chris Dickey provides a war weary catalogue of the dozen wars he covered for Newsweek from 1986 to the present.

     The other pieces present individual anecdotage showing how key interviews can fall accidentally into one’s lap and how months of investigation can come to naught to how advertising got sold and even how folks got hired and fired.

 

Rich Thomas and Bill Cook

 

Contributors

 

George Alexander

      Woke Up Women

Jonathan Alter

      The Glory Days

Anonymous

      Elfin the Boss

      Kissinger's Saudi Gambit

      The GOPPER

David Ansen

       Newsweek Covers AIDS

John Barry

      Casey at the Bat

Dick Bausch

      How News-Week Lost Its Hyphen

      The Phil Graham Effect

Arnaud de Borchgrave

      End of War Scoop 1972

Eleanor Clift

      The White House

Jim Colton

       Editing the Pictures

       Fast Edit Eddie

Bill Cook

      Selma's Bloody Sunday

      Battle of Plei Me

Christopher Dickey

       Life on the Front Lines

Tom DeFrank

      Carter & the Potomac Rule

Jim Doyle

      Expensive Accounts

Osborn Elliott

      Oz's Last Edit

Howard Fineman

      Newsweek's Spirit Lives On

Nikki Finke

      Augusta to Havana

Dave Friedman

      The Resident Genius

Peter Goldman

      Karl Fleming and Civil Rights

      High, Higher ̶ Hired

      Remembering Michael Hastings

Mary Hager

      The New York Times--and More

Henry Hubbard

      Bureau Snapshots

Christopher Harper

      The Jonestown Slaughter

      My Canadian Hostage Call

Michael Isikoff

       Lewinsky—the Ultimate Drama

Daniel Klaidman

       The Day of Infamy

Edward Kosner

       A Sense of High Purpose

      Watergate – An Editor’s Take

Milan Kubic

      Grahams Buy Newsweek

Lynn Langway

      Secrets of an Accidental Writer

Lindy Leo

      The Wire Room

Mary Lord

      A Deadly Secret

Jerry Lubenow

      The Art of Getting People to Talk

Wally McNamee

      Invasion of Grenada

Tony Marro

      Nixon, Klan, FBI & Shortcake

Larry Martz

      Church vs. State

Ron Meyerson

      My Favorite Cover

Clem Morgello

      Oz Elliott—The Fallback

Ron Moreau

      Behind the Lines, Vietnam

Andrew Nagorski

      Brezhnev’s Final Days

Lynn Povich

     The Good Girls Revolt

Robert J. Samuelson

      How Newsweek Washington Worked

Elaine Shannon and John Walcott

      Two to Remember

Stephen B. Shepard

      How Newsweek Worked

Ed Smith

       The D.B.Cooper Cover that Never Ran

       Newsweek and the Law

       The Times, Newsweek, and the Post

Evan Thomas

      Monica and 911

      Bush the Wimp

Rich Thomas

      Innocence Abroad

      Graham as Boss, From Below

      Graham the Ad Huckster

      The Key to Kay's Revolving Door

      Evan the Natural

David R. Slavitt

      Nabokov Gets Me Hired

Joe Werner

      Newsweek's Magic Numbers-1965

Bruce van Voorst

      Foreign Affairs

Mark Whitaker

       Leadership in Civil Rights

Amanda Zimmerman

      Dinner for Stew Alsop

 

Copyright © NewsweekMemories 2012-2014

All rights reserved

 

Past issues of Newsweek can be obtained at

www.pastpaper.com/List-Newsweek-htm

Double Take: Wally McNamee shot this iconic, award-winning Cold War photo at a 1973 poolside reception in Richard Nixon's San Clemente, CA, retreat.  Henry Kissinger had just walked away trailing his date, Hollywood actress Jill St. John. Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev cast a thoroughly Western eye as his interpreter, according to McNamee, whispered, "Oh, Hollywood, a Bond girl."

 

 

Video At the Wake: Newsweek's Talking Heads

   A celebration—and wake--for the paper and ink edition of Newsweek drew more than 300 former staffers January 14, 2013 to halls  at  the Graduate School of Journalism of City University of New York.  The event, like any reunion, was informal, intimate, and discursive. The speakers, in order of appearance, were former national affairs editor Stephen Shepard, host of the event and dean of the school;  Dorinda Elliott, a former writer and reporter and daughter of 1960s-70s editor Osborn Elliott;  late 1970s editor Edward KosnerSusan Fraker, speaking for and about her late husband and 1990s editor Maynard Parker; 1998 to 2006 editor Mark Whitaker; Stephen Shepard on the Newsweek Prize; and Dave Friedman, who organized the event.

 

Here is the LINK to the Speaker videos.

 

Here is another LINK to the videos of historic covers and  Newsweek people that were shown at the wake.