Magazine article Newsweek

Editor on the Attack; A Top Woman Journalist Strafes Her Colleagues

Magazine article Newsweek

Editor on the Attack; A Top Woman Journalist Strafes Her Colleagues

Article excerpt

Byline: Peg Tyre

Sometime between editing features on Jell-O molds, tummy taming and "Can This Marriage Be Saved?" longtime Ladies' Home Journal editor Myrna Blyth learned how to lob hand grenades. Two years after retiring, Blyth, 64, has written a book--"Spin Sisters: How the Women of the Media Sell Unhappiness and Liberalism to the Women of America"--that has some of the biggest names in television and publishing in an uproar. Equal parts political rant and industry tell-all, the book offers an acid portrait of what Blyth calls a liberal female media cabal. In Blyth's world, Katie, Diane, Barbara and a dozen or so women's-magazine editors are conspiring to rob millions of otherwise intelligent women of their self-confidence and good sense.

Blyth takes aim at what she calls the Girls Club, a sorority of elite gatekeepers who pander to celebrities (gasp!), disguise a liberal agenda in their shows and on their pages, and undermine healthy, independent women with anxiety-provoking stories about health, weight and sex. Blyth knows all this because she's been a member of the club for decades. "I'm partly to blame," she writes, "for creating the negative messages of victimization and unhappiness that bombard women today."

Her mea culpas, though, are brief. After a few paragraphs of self-examination, Blyth, who refused to be interviewed, launches a vitriolic and highly personal attack on the so-called Media Queens. Katie Couric "wants us to believe she's just like us," but she has a $7,500-a-week personal trainer and spends $550 on a cut and color, writes Blyth. …

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