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Time plays fair with Coulter

| Friday, April 22, 2005

Ann Coulter probably shouldn't complain too much about what she calls that "elongated funhouse photo" of her on the cover of Time .

Yes, it is silly. Yes, as Time's "Ms. Right" said on TV this week, in the photo her feet "are the size of the Atlantic Ocean" and her head "is the size of a tiny little ant."

But the distorted portrait was probably just Time's way of making the smart, funny, blond right-wing pundit pay for all the free publicity and books she'll sell because of John Cloud's 5,800-word mega-profile.

Anti-Coulter forces are in a tizzy over Time's critical but even-handed look at the public and private sides of a "conservative flamethrower" and serial best-selling author who Time says might be "the most divisive figure in the public eye."

Media Matters for America, the left-wing media Web, whines that Cloud "glorifies her legal work, whitewashes her habitual lies, and downplays her grossly inappropriate rhetoric."

But anyone who doesn't already automatically love or hate Coulter will find that Time's package is as fair and balanced as anything you'll ever get from any news outlet to the left of Fox News.

Meanwhile, with its typical low level of media hoopla, the American Society of Magazine Editors held its 40th annual National Magazine Awards show last week in New York City.

The winners, as always, were worthy, fairly predictable and -- since they are chosen by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism -- uniformly liberal in their political persuasions.

The New Yorker , a perennial power that has won more awards (44) than any magazine, picked up five "Ellies," which are the mag industry's equivalent of an Oscar. Or, as the editors would prefer, a Pulitzer Prize.

The New Yorker won the general excellence award for magazines with a circulation between 1 million and 2 million, plus prizes for reporting, reviews and profile writing. Seymour Hersh's troika of articles exposing the torture of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison won the public service award.

The biggest surprise this year was said to be that Martha Stewart won two awards and that she came in person to pick them up. Stewart's prizes included one for Martha Stewart Weddings in the 250,000-to-500,000 circulation category for general excellence.

If you go to ASME's Web site, www.magazine.org , you can find a complete list of every nominee and winner, plus links to the magazines and the winning articles. It's a good way to catch up on articles you've missed. Just don't look for Ann Coulter's name.

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