There a time – not long ago – when celebrities’ weddings and their babies were considered the big sellers in the celebrity magazines.
But things are changing, very fast.
There was also a time when a former editor of People magazine, Richard Stolley, laid down some rules for his staff. They included: young is better than old; pretty is better than ugly; television is better than music; movies are better than sports, and anything is better than politics.
But those rules have changed too. The current American presidential campaign, and the people involved, are taking up more and more space in the celebrity mags. Larry Hackett, managing editor of People, told the New York Times: “People are craving it They are really very interested in what’s going on, so we are covering it more than ever”.
So now Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are giving way to politicians – and their wives and families. Of course some might say that the antics and behaviour of some politicians amounts to entertainment anyway. Some would compare it to a television reality show.
Us Weekly has published essays by Bill Clinton and Barack Obama’s wife, Michelle, as well as an interview with Hillary Clinton. But People is not lagging behind. Nothing like it has been seen since JFK posed for Life magazine aboard his sailing boat during the l960 election campaign.
Of course having a woman candidate like Hillary Clinton has helped pull in women readers.
Then there has been the controversial Rev Jeremiah Wright in his offbeat clerical garb – and his equally controversial sermons. It wasn’t like this in the last US election campaign. Most people (and editors) found President Bush and his opponent John Kerry somewhat boring.. US Weekly ran just one big spread about the campaign. This year Hillary Clinton even agreed to critique her own wardrobe – bad as well as good – for US
In fact it has noted that the celebrity magazine are often getting favoured treatment, in comparison to the political magazines . At some press conferences reporters from the serious press are often ignored. It is apparent – for the moment anyway – that in the US magazine world politics is the hot topic.