FHM India's December issue features a cover pic of Pakistani actress and reality TV star Veena Malik in her birthday suit, leg and arms strategically placed to cover up her most special places. Malik claims she was digitally undressed—but is she trying to cover up the truth (cue suspenseful sound effect)?
How bad is the Great Magazine Die-Off? Thanks to the internet, it's the most terrifying media recession yet. Because for once the living shall envy the dead, if the fates of print-to-online-only publications are any guide. You'll recall most recently the example of Radar Online, turned to celebrity mush by AMI. A tipster also pointed us to the sad state of FHM,which went online-only in early 2007 and was sold to Bauer Publishing at the end of last year. Here's an excerpt from FHMOnline.com's awful, awful review of raunch-com Role Models:
Former penis-molder, photographer, and FHM editor-at-large (before he was fired for making vaguely derogatory comments about Howard Stern's girlfriend Beth Ostrosky) Jake Bronstein has always been a bit jacknapey, but his latest stunt is rather amusing, if only for the sheer head-scratchingness of how he managed to pull off stealing a four-foot-long poster of Beth Ostrosky from the FHM offices.
Talk about editorial commitment: Teen wank-mag FHM's November cover features "a scantily clad Brooke Hogan." So what, you ask? (Another good question would be "Brooke who?" but we'll let that slide.) Well, for some reason liquor companies prefer to advertise in magazines whose cover models are old enough to drink, a distinction which the 18-year-old Ms. Hogan has yet to achieve. FHM president Dana Fields says that the liquor companies have simply moved their ads to the December issue and that FHM does not expect to lose any revenue on the November number, primarily because advance research suggests that David Amsden will be buying most of the copies.
• Jane magazine continues its quest to lower lowest common denominator. [Jane]
• Heidi Klum is African, too? With Seal? Who actually is kind of African, or like African-British or something? Now we're just confused. Insert apartheid joke here. [Flickr]
• Tom Cruise cuts deal with third most likeable owner in professional sports. If you're working from a list that only also includes Mark Cuban and Al Davis. [LAT]
• World's oldest person dies at 116. World's youngest people continue never to call, never to write. [CNN]
• Bush to commemorate one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina with three minutes of silently not paying attention. [Yahoo]
• Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Debbie going to fuck East Coast's brains out. [The Bad Pitch Blog]
• FHM lays off five staffers, forced to return company badges, bathroom keys, and mysoginistic concepts of women as objects solely for the sexual gratification of illiterate men. [FishbowlNY]
• Here is a picture of Rachel Sklar's dad. Whatever, Garfield's not the only one who hates Mondays. [HuffPo]
Once again, the decency mandarins at Grand Central Station have dictated that while cleavage (both mammalian and assalian) and even the occasional side-boob are acceptable, the dreaded underboob featured (again) on the cover of FHM must be concealed by a newsstand modesty placard. Mediabistro notes that the August issue, featuring swimmer Amanda Beard on the cover — she's an Olympic breaststroke specialist, no surprise — joins the previous month's ish in the annals of salacious southern demispheres. What's not addressed is that the fountain of watery spray also visible on the cover appears to be jetting directly from Beard's groin.
• Emap considers sale of FHM to Hearst. More interesting — unless Keith Kelly is kidding, which is doesn't seem like he is — there will be a secret ceremony Nov. 28 at which outgoing Time Inc. EIC Norm Pearlstine will pass a Vatican-like miter to successor John Huey. Time Warner brass and Time Inc. top editors will be in attendance, alongside, we assume, a goodly contingent of Freemasons. [NYP]
• Bob Woodward's no ordinary reporter, says Jon Friedman [MW]
• But he's also no Judy, says Jack Shafer. [Slate]
• Wall Street agrees that newspapers are dying. Which could very well become self-fulfilling. [IHT]
• Amusingly baronial former newspaper publisher Conrad Black indicted on eight counts of fraud. [CS-T]
• Ziff Davis shutters Sync. [Jossip]
• Heretofore-believed-to-be-mild-mannered Jim Romenesko is, in fact, the scourge of college journalists everywhere. [Slate]
If our reader survey demographics are any indication, none of you have seen the inside of a Wal-mart in, well, ever, so maybe this is irrelevant, but I thought I'd post it anyway. Wal-mart has decided to remove Maxim, Stuff and FHM from its magazine rack. Dennis Publishing, which owns Maxim and Stuff, reports that Wal-mart accounts for less than 3% of its sales, so it's probably fair to assume that this doesn't mean the demise of babes-n-beer jokes or the ubiquitous "charticles" (chart = article) for those who can't read more than 100 words at a time. The magazines are being removed under pressure from Christian groups who find the covers too "racy." (Wal-mart has also banned specific issues of magazines, refusing to sell one issue of In Style that included an "artfully arranged" photo of Kate Hudson nude.) I'm not one to criticize Wal-Mart for being a massive soul-destroying retail chain, as I think there's something to be said for price efficiencies, but you have to love a store whose policy is "we won't sell laddie mags because god knows what sort of trouble those would start (think of the children!) but we have a special on Remington 500sfree ammo with every purchase!" (Oh, and here's a free John Deere mesh cap as well. You can mail it to your cousin in Williamsburg, where it will be worn with fashionable irony.) Maybe they just need a waiting period for buying lad mags. Force the lads to register! Laddie mags don't kill people; people kill people!
Three racy men's magazines banned by Wal-mart [NYT]
Best values for hunting season! [Wal-mart]