Newsweek magazine had egg on its face on Wednesday after some 125,000 copies of its latest issue – headlined "Madame President" – were distributed to retailers.
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Newsweek followed good journalistic practice in preparing two post-election issues – each proclaiming the election of a different president. Where it went wrong was in printing the Hillary Clinton version and allowing it to be widley distributed.
The magazines, which carried the cover line “Hillary Clinton’s historic journey to the White House,” have new been recalled, according to the New York Post.
At the same time, the publisher is rushing to produce the Trump commemorative edition, which is unlikely to be available before next week.
“Like everybody else, we got it wrong,” said Tony Romando, CEO of Topix Media, the Newsweek partner which produces special issues of the magazine.
Believing that Clinton was going to win the election, Topix shipped only the Clinton issue to stores. Retailers were told not to put the magazine on sale prior to the election, but a handful did.
According to Newsweek (Clinton edition), “On election day, Americans across the country roundly rejected the kind of fear and hate-based conservatism peddled by Donald Trump... The highest glass ceiling in the western world had finally shattered.”
For those with long memories, the Newsweek farce was reminiscent of the Chicago Daily Tribune's famous headline “Dewey Defeats Truman” after the 1948 U.S. presidential election.
As it turned out, Harry Truman beat his Republican challenger, Thomas Dewey. A smiling Truman was photographed with a copy of the newspaper that had once referred to him as a "nincompoop."