A mysterious “Newsweek,” 1963

Newsweek's story on the parody

The real Newsweek on a “vicious” parody, Jan. 13, 1964.

Parody OfNewsweekTitle: “Newsweek.” Parody By: Unknown.
Date: “November 18, 1963.” Pages: Unknown. Contributors: Unknown.
Availability: Vanished from the face of the earth, AFAIK.

1963 fake Newsweek cover.Of all the magazine parodies I’ve heard of but never seen, 1963’s anonymous “Newsweek International Edition” is the most puzzling. Calling it “a vicious piece of propaganda,” the real Newsweek for January 13, 1964, laid out the few facts available: “Purporting to be the Nov. 18, 1963, issue of Newsweek with a cover picture of Sen. Barry Goldwater, the hate pamphlet is a mishmash of doctored photographs and inflammatory captions in French and English, apparently designed to foment race hatred and anti-American sentiment. A number of copies were mailed from Europe, but efforts to track down the publishers and distributors have been unsuccessful.”

Newsweek offered $1,000 for info leading to the perpetrators, but apparently no one collected; the magazine never mentioned the parody again. A UPI wire story from the same month said that copies “had been sent to foreign embassies throughout the world. There was no return address and the fake copies bore postmarks from different European cities.” The parody’s use of French and its focus on “race hatred” suggest it might have been intended for readers in France’s former African colonies, but that’s just a guess.

the real November 18, 1963, NewsweekI’m more confident that whoever created this “Newsweek” either hadn’t seen the original recently or assumed potential readers hadn’t. The cover resembles a typical Newsweek from 1949 or ’50, when its lopsided-red-border-and-square-photo format was new and not yet plastered with boxes and banners. Newsweek began stripping away this effluvia in 1961 and by mid-’62 was running full-bleed covers topped only by its underlined name, as in the real November 18, 1963, issue shown here. Whatever his(?) talents as a propagandist, the creator of “Newsweek” was no great shakes as a parodist. — VCR


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