Al Neuharth’s Front-Page Sexism

USAT-NeuharthUSA Today founder Al Neuharth died last week, and his passing made the top of the front page of his newspaper today (4/22/13). 

Seeing him above the fold can only recall a rather famous story about Neuharth’s outburst at a 1983 USA Today editorial meeting. The story seems to have been first told in Peter Prichard’s book The Making of McPaper:

In the window of the newsrack in the conference room, the smiling face of a leaping cheerleader was above the fold–the top half of page one. After all of the editors were seated, Neuharth strode over to the newsrack. He opened the door and then slammed it violently. He did that again and again, banging the door against the rack.

The assembled editors stared, wide-eyed. He had their attention now. “When you run a picture of a clean-cut, all-American girl like this,” Neuharth announced, “get her tits above the fold.”



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.