They have tried to recast themselves as the New York Times Magazine, as a Southern California Lifestyle Thing like Sunset Magazine, as maybe four other things. Nothing works.
This week they managed to hit a new low with a feature article on a young woman named Cory Kennedy.
Cory has been internet famous since she was 15, which was in 2005. Someone took pictures of her and posted them, and the phenomenon grew as those things can. She is a pretty girl, and her prettiness is of the gamine waif variety. She will look 15 until she's 25.
The Times Magazine article is the typical deploring/promoting titillation piece. They at once portray her as the "grew up too fast" pop culture victim and as a high-flying teen hottie. They play this game very well. They also made sure to post forty-four pictures of her to accompany the article on the Net.
Ephebophilic disasters like this aren't new. The current crop probably started with the Guess? ads in the 1980s. The "new" men's magazines are all over it. It's creepy. The way this article presented it was particularly damaging, though. She's presented as someone who did this of her own initiative and was in charge all along. It started when she was 15. This appears to confirm predators' belief that their young victims are behaving as adults and not being manipulated.
Edie Sedgwick died in her 20s. I wonder how long Cory will make it?