Lots of people hated Niall Ferguson's "Hit the Road Barack" cover story for the August 27 Newsweek, but we learned on Friday it also sold a bundle, so we're getting ready for more front-page trolling from the weekly. As Advertising Age's Nat Ives notes, data from Magazine Network shows the issue "could double Newsweek's newsstand average," and was on track to be one of the magazine's biggest three sellers since 2010.
Every magazine wants buzz around their cover stories, but hopefully not the kind of buzz Ferguson's got. From the minute the piece hit the Web, people were cutting it down as inaccurate trolling, from The New York Times' Paul Krugman, who sardonically instructed Ferguson on how to check facts, to The Atlantic's James Fallows, who apologized for Ferguson on behalf of all Harvard alumnae. Seeing as how Newsweek's next cover story, which ran on Monday, includes a "so what" defense of Lance Armstrong's doping, we're not expecting Newsweek's editor Tina Brown to stop trolling anytime soon. After all, it's working.