Under creative director Richard Turley, Bloomberg Businesweek has made the cover of the business magazine an edgy affair that merits as much discussion (if not more) than what's actually inside the magazine.

Sometimes that works brilliantly, as with this cover in the wake of Hurricane Sandy:

Sometimes it is a disaster, as with this cover, which many found racist, with good cause:

Somewhere in the middle, I suppose, is the cover of the July 15 issue:

 

Crude, certainly, though not actually offensive. Mashable spoke to Businessweek about the cover:

"The cover highlights the macho mythology of hedge fund managers, whose returns over the past decade have lagged behind the S&P 500," Josh Tyrangiel, the editor in chief of Businessweek, told Mashable in a statement. "Yes, we're making them the butt of a joke; we're pretty sure they can take it."

Bloomberg News reporter Craig Trudell shared the following response to the cover on Twitter:  "It's only offensive if you have a small hedge fund." Indeed, it's hard to disagree.

However, the deeper question is whether such covers eclipse what's between them: sober, well-reported stories on business. At what point do risque covers actually undermine the reporting they are supposedly advertising? And is the purported audience of Businessweek going to be attracted by such tactics? It's a fine line that Businessweek is walking.