As many of us expected, at least one media outlet was bound to have a “Dewey Defeats Truman” moment when covering the 2016 presidential election.
The media pushed the narrative of an inevitable Hillary Clinton victory for so long that they must’ve even bought their own hype. And to their credit, the polls and most election models backed up their prediction. Newsweek was one of those who jumped the gun, and released a special edition of their magazine with the following cover.
Now, does them jumping the gun prove they were completely in the tank for Hillary? Sorta. As CNN pointed out, a version of the magazine with a “President Trump” cover was in the works, but they “made a business decision to only print the Clinton version ahead of time given that she is almost universally favored to win the election on Tuesday.”Still, it was an embarrasing mistake in hindsight, and they were forced to do a rarity in print journalism: issue a recall. Via The New York Post:
A national recall went out Wednesday for the special “Madam President” issue of Newsweek that was prematurely shipped to stores and newsstands across the country. At the same time, the publisher of the magazine will rush the “President Trump” version of the commemorative issue to press on Thursday — so it will get to stores next week.
“Like everybody else, we got it wrong,” said Tony Romando, CEO of Topix Media, the Newsweek partner which produces special issues under the popular brand.
The magazine hit stores Tuesday. While retailers were told not to put issues on sale prior to the election, a handful did.
Romando claims only 17 Clinton magazines were sold — out of 125,000 printed and shipped.
“All wholesalers and retailers have been asked to return any issues they have as we need to clear room for [150,000 copies of] the President Trump issue,” Romando said. “We expect it to sell very well as there is obviously a great demand.”
Well, on the bright side, at least those 17 people who purchased a copy are going to have a valuable part of history to pawn off on eBay down the line.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]