|This article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2011)|
|First issue||September 1995|
|Company||Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S.|
George was a glossy monthly magazine centered on the theme of politics-as-lifestyle co-founded by John F. Kennedy, Jr. and Michael J. Berman with publisher Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. in New York City in September 1995. Its tagline was "Not Just Politics as Usual". It was published from 1995 to 2001.
George departed from the format of traditional political publications, whose audience primarily comprised people in or around the political world. The general template for George was similar to magazines such as Esquire or Vanity Fair. The consistent underlying theme was to marry the themes of celebrity and media with the subject of politics in such a way that the general public would find political news and discourse about politics more interesting to read.
- Paul Begala
- George Clooney
- Ann Coulter
- Al D'Amato
- Al Franken
- Stephen Glass
- Norman Mailer
- Steve Miller
- W. Thomas Smith, Jr.
- Jackie Stallone
- Naomi Wolf
- Rush Limbaugh
When it first appeared, George attracted great interest, and for a brief period had the largest circulation of any political magazine in the nation, partly due to the celebrity status of Kennedy, but it soon began losing money. Kennedy later complained that the magazine was not taken seriously in the publishing world.
Critics called George "the political magazine for people who don't understand politics", assailing it for "stripping any and all discussion of political issues from its coverage of politics". In a feature in its final issue, Spy magazine asserted that the magazine's premise was flawed; there was no real convergence of politics and celebrity lifestyles.
After Kennedy was killed in an air crash with his wife and sister-in-law on July 16, 1999, the magazine was bought out by Hachette Filipacchi Magazines and continued for over a year, with Frank Lalli as editor-in-chief. With falling advertising sales, the magazine ceased publication in early 2001.
On October 11, 2005, Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government held a panel discussion titled "Not Just Politics as Usual", which commemorated the tenth anniversary of the magazine's launch. The panel was moderated by Tom Brokaw and featured appearances by other journalists.
In popular culture
- On September 18, 1995, John F. Kennedy Jr. appeared as one of Murphy Brown's many secretaries on the TV series of the same name, and gave her a copy of George with a mock-up of Murphy on the cover and a year subscription as a wedding present (despite learning before giving the present that the wedding had been called off), to which she was less than receptive.
- In the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode, "Revenge of the Creature" (first aired February 1, 1997), Crow T. Robot is seen reading an issue of George.
- In an unexplored plot point of the pilot episode of The West Wing (first aired September 22, 1999), the "current" issue of George features fictional Deputy Chief-of-Staff Josh Lyman on the cover. The magazine is on his desk during his character's introduction. Later in the episode, he signs the cover of the magazine for a female Florida State University student, who approaches him in a diner.
- Bercovici, Jeff. Hachette delivers death ax to George. Media Life Magazine. 2001.
- "CNN Transcript: Reliable Sources: 'George' Folds.". Transcripts.cnn.com. 2001-01-06. Retrieved 2011-12-28.
- Can George survive without JFK Jr.?
- IOP Honors George Magazine at Forum
- Kennedy School Press Release: George Magazine Anniversary Forum
- George Magazine To Fold In March
- Without its founder, JFK Jnr's `George' folds
- Transcript from Reliable Sources