Well, no one is ever going to accuse Radar of elevating the discourse: For this month's issue they go lowest common denominator via the tried-and-true custom of superimposing heads on other people's bodies who happen to be naked. In this case, they are inflicting the execrable Tom Ford/Keira Knightley/Scarlett Johanssen Vanity Fair cover on us yet again, this time with images of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Rudy Giuliani. Ew. Though it has obviously achieved the desired effect — Radar's Tyler Gray has already been on MSNBC twice this morning to discuss it (and the politics-themed issue it graces). Folio's Dylan Stableford notes that it's a gimmick that works (he calls it a "Roshan tradition" thanks to the Tom Cruise/George Lois cover, though really the tradition seems to be photoshopping, given the Paris Hilton/George Bush, Prince Harry and Colin Farrell covers), but the question is, will it actually sell? It's not a very, er, appealing cover image — MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski looked at it, expressed revulsion and said "Get it off the screen" — and she tasked Gray to come back to her after it had hit newsstands to report on whether people actually bought it, because she had her doubts. There's no question that it's a mesmerizing image — you really can't look away, possibly because Rudy's head just looks so natural on Tom Ford's skin-crawlingly skeevy body — but it will be genuinely interesting to see how that translates into sales. So far, not surprisingly, it's translating into buzz. The devil's in the follow-up.
p.s. In case anyone's wondering, I don't particularly feel like Hillary's being objectified here — it is clearly a spoof, and hey, she looks pretty good. It's actually Obama who comes off worst, smooth and feminine and clearly not part of the conspiratorial whispering going on quite literally over his head. Sort of not something that emphasizes his raw strength as a candidate — a message that targets one of his weak spots. Whether or not that was intentional, that's an element Radar captured surprisingly effectively.
Hot On The Trail [Radar]
Related, because I can never erase that searing image:
Tom Ford's skeevy, lecherous Vanity Fair [Tomatoes Are Delicious]
Also related in superimposed heads on magazine covers of naked-ish people:
ETP Photoshops Radar, For Kicks [ETP]