Illustrated, a once iconic magazine and nearly 70-year-old media brand, recently
announced plans to lay off most
or all of its staff.
famous for its outstanding writers and its special editions, most noteworthy of
which was its annual “Swimsuit Edition.” Once flush with subscribers, things
started to go downhill when it was sold off from Time in 2018. Purchased
by a consortium, it has been on increasingly dicey footing ever since, its
decline spurred on by its ever more political and “progressive” tone. The
weekly publication became bi-weekly, then monthly. And now…?
How can this happen, you might ask, at
a time when sports have never been more popular, prevalent, and lucrative? Several
reasons, all related. S.I.’s publishers chose to afflict the magazine with a
litany of “progressive” actions. The sporting journal started pushing a “woke”
agenda. It seemed to increasingly value symbolism over substance, diversity
over veracity, inclusion over merit. It scoffed at “toxic masculinity” and mocked
traditional values. All of this was evidenced in the pathetic changes to the
formerly wildly successful Swimsuit Issue. Soon the likes of Elle Macpherson, Kathy
Ireland, Kate Upton, Tyra Banks, and Cheryl Tiegs were joined by “plus-sized”
models, octogenarians…and eventually men posing as women.
Finally, late last year, reports
surfaced that many recent stories in Sports Illustrated were AI-generated,
though the magazine posted them with bylines to make it appear as if they were
penned by actual writers.
That’s how you destroy an American
icon and a journal of excellence in one generation. And it’s a microcosm of
what’s been happening to America at large.