Time (Magazine) Flies off Course on Constitution

By:  Jack Kenny
07/05/2011
       
Time (Magazine) Flies off Course on Constitution

Asked about newspaper publishers who opposed his presidential candidacy in 1952, Adlai Stevenson was prepared with a characteristically witty rejoinder:

"Their job is to separate the wheat from the chaff and then print the chaff, " the Illinois Democrat said.

Editors and publishers are still printing the chaff, as was made clear once again by the issue of Time magazine that came out last week with a cover date of July 4. It was the magazine's "Tenth Annual History Issue" and the cover story on the Constitution came with the intriguing headline, "Does it Still Matter?" The image on the cover suggests Time's answer. It depicts a partially shredded copy of the venerable document. Does it mean that "We the People" have torn the Constitution apart with our quarrels over a document that has been "in constant crisis since 1787," according to the small print on the cover? Well, the article, written by managing editor Richard Stengel, claims the Constitution is not in crisis. "Today's debates represent conflict, not crisis. Conflict is at the core of our politics and the Constitution is designed to manage it," Stengel writes. "A crisis is when the Constitution breaks down. We're not in danger of that."

 

Asked about newspaper publishers who opposed his presidential candidacy in 1952, Adlai Stevenson was prepared with a characteristically witty rejoinder:

"Their job is to separate the wheat from the chaff and then print the chaff, " the Illinois Democrat said.

Editors and publishers are still printing the chaff, as was made clear once again by the issue of Time magazine that came out last week with a cover date of July 4. It was the magazine's "Tenth Annual History Issue" and the cover story on the Constitution came with the intriguing headline, "Does it Still Matter?" The image on the cover suggests Time's answer. It depicts a partially shredded copy of the venerable document. Does it mean that "We the People" have torn the Constitution apart with our quarrels over a document that has been "in constant crisis since 1787," according to the small print on the cover? Well, the article, written by managing editor Richard Stengel, claims the Constitution is not in crisis. "Today's debates represent conflict, not crisis. Conflict is at the core of our politics and the Constitution is designed to manage it," Stengel writes. "A crisis is when the Constitution breaks down. We're not in danger of that."

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