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Five Pop Culture Cover Fails

Years ago, I declared New York Magazine to be better than the big-apple periodical institution The New Yorker, but now it looks like they’ve been forced to a bi-weekly model.  Call me crazy, but perhaps they shouldn’t have been so quick to give away a digital copy to print subscribers, or spend their money on expensive direct-to-door delivery in Manhattan.

Not that we needed another reason to fear the elephant in the printing house that “Print Is Dead.”
Here are five perfectly disastrous pop-culture print cover stories from the past that are best left out of the archives…

In no particular order…
Rolling Stone, September 6, 1990
Declaring It’s M.C. Hammer Time on the same cover you declare Faith No More is “most unlikely to succeed” is pretty much Rock n Roll suicide.  But, then, Rolling Stone has had their share of embarrassing cover stories, landing themselves in hot water most recently with their August Boston Bomber faux pas.  
None of this matters, as Rolling Stone hasn’t been taken seriously in years, with the exception of college stoners who read it for the back-page bong ads. 
Premiere Magazine, June 1993
Arnold was on top of the action movie world with early 90s hits Total Recall and T2, so you really can’t blame the editors of Premiere Magazine for putting him on the cover of their Ultimate Summer Movie Guide.  
Unfortunately for Arnold, the promo gig was The Last Action Hero, which went on to collect 6 Golden Raspberry Award nominations and bad write ups from the critics.  
Strangely, Arnold’s film career and Premiere Magazine folded in the US around the same time, although their output still does well overseas.
Dynamite, #18 (1975)
For any kid in the late 70s, early 80s, Dynamite Magazine was the one-and-only news source of anything that ever mattered in the world.  
Published by Scholastic, and circulated within Elementary Schools better than anything Nancy Reagan could try to say “no” to in the 80s, Dynamite introduced us to the soft-horror fix of Count Morbida, the wit and wisdom of Hot Stuff and the relevant issues facing our youth in Bummers
Once and a while there was a miss, however.  Take for example this early issue dedicated to the 1975 series The Invisible Man, a series that would be instantly forgotten  two years later.  Once Star Wars came along, it’s safe to say most obscure early 70s Sci-Fi pop culture was wiped clean out of our memory banks.

Newsweek, August 5, 2002
Remember when M. Night Shyamalan was taking Hollywood by storm with plot twists and scary rubber alien suits?  Newsweek felt he was the hottest new storyteller in Hollywood, humbly declaring him the “next Spielberg.”
Hollywood’s a bitch though, and over 10 years later Shyamalan’s almost impossible to find in the billing of his last film After Earth.  The director went on to alienate much of the audience fan-base he had built at the time of this cover story.
You never know though.  Hollywood loves a comeback.  
Newsweek is back on newsstands in a new physical edition next month after a year-long print hiatus. But, is Shyamalan get ready to be called the “next Christopher Nolan?”
Time, September 14, 2009
What’s strange about Time declaring Jay Leno the future of Television (seriously) isn’t how off it is now, but how off it was in 2009.
In 2009, Time should have known better that the future of Television would be (and is) choice.  
Well, “choice” and in the case of The Tonight Show it’s Jimmy Fallon.

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