The ‘New’ Newsweek’s Nuclear Power Puffery

There was a lot of chatter about editor Tina Brown and the “new” Newsweek, which debuted last week. None of it struck me as all that interesting–a column up front from Leslie Gelb warning about the threat of Arab democracy and an anti-Social Security harangue from Robert Samuelson made it feel very much like the “old” Newsweek.

One other piece stood out, and only more so this week–a warm profile of the executive in charge of France’s nuclear power company, Areva. The subhead was “France’s Most Powerful Businesswoman Believes Now Is the Time for the Next Atomic Boom.” And the piece led with this:

The Middle East is in turmoil, oil prices have skyrocketed, the cost of gas is through the roof. All of which is good news–if you’re Anne Lauvergeon.

While Newsweek notes that the “world may still need convincing” about nuclear power, the magazine doesn’t seem to be so conflicted:

To understand how nuclear energy has morphed in the public consciousness from apocalyptic villain to “clean, green” renewable energy, look no further than Lauvergeon.

Puff pieces about Areva aren’t anything new–60 Minutes had one in 2007 that we took apart here. It’s hard to beat this one for bad timing, though.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.