Why didn't someone at Businessweek realize this cover would be offensive?

BWcover.jpg Maybe for the same reason that it's taken nearly a full week for media watchers to make a stink over it. I find is amazing that this illustration, which shows blacks and Hispanics in caricature grabbing for cash in the midst of a housing rebound, only received significant attention after CJR's Ryan Chittum pointed it out early this morning (the issue came out last Thursday). Has everybody become so inured to tastelessness that something so over the top manages to get a pass? Or does BW's reputation for provocative covers leaves readers wondering where the top is these days? (Full disclosure: The issue has been sitting on my desk all week.) If this had been published in a conservative publication, can you imagine how many milliseconds would have gone by before howls of protest? "Our cover illustration got strong reactions, which we regret," Josh Tyrangiel, Businessweek's editor-in-chief, said in a statement to Yahoo! News. "If we had to do it over again we'd do it differently." From CJR:

The narrative of the crash on the right has been the blame-minority-borrowers line, sometimes via dog whistle, often via bullhorn. It's a narrative that has, not coincidentally, dovetailed with "Obamaphone" baloney, the ACORN pseudo-scandal, and Southern politicians calling the first black president "food-stamp president," and is meant to take the focus off the ultimate culprits: mortgage lenders with no scruples and the Wall Street banks who financed them. In fact, though, the record is clear: minorities were disproportionately targeted by predatory lending, which has always gone hand in hand with subprime. Even when they qualified for prime loans that similar-circumstance whites got, they were pushed into higher-interest subprimes.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
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