Time magazine breastfeeding cover image sparks debate - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Time magazine breastfeeding cover image sparks debate

Source: FOX News

NEW YORK -- Time magazine's latest cover, which features an attractive 26-year-old mother breastfeeding her toddler son, sparked strong reaction Thursday, with industry experts calling it everything from a cheap shot to a "desperate" move.

The story, under the cover headline "Are You Mom Enough?"  is about Dr. Bill Sears, a parenting educator who advocates extreme child-rearing techniques.

Industry insiders told FOXNews.com they think the move is Time's attempt shock its way into the news cycle.

"There is no question the morning shows and The View are going to be all over this, and Time can claim to be talked about (if not read)," said Glynnis MacNicol, a journalist who covers media.

Whether the move sells magazines is trickier, MacNicol added.

"People tend to see the cover online or on television, read or listen to what people are saying about it, and go on with their day. The engagement rarely goes past the cover image to the inside pages let alone the subscription form. This sort of cover suggests Time is getting increasingly desperate to garner people's attention."

Media analyst Brad Adgate of Horizon Media agreed, and added that some subscribers may go so far as to cancel their subscription due to the cover.

"You could eventually run the risk of having newsstands covering up the magazine like a Walmart or banning it if it goes too far," he said.

It didn't take long for Hollywood to weigh in. Actress Alyssa Milano, who had a baby last year, exclaimed on Twitter that the magazine was exploiting breastfeeding mothers.

"@Time no! You missed the mark! You're supposed to be making it easier for breast-feeding moms. Your cover is exploitive & extreme," Milano tweeted.

A spokesman for Time magazine directed FOXNews.com to an interview that Rick Stengel, Time's managing editor, gave to Forbes Thursday morning, admitting the magazine was courting controversy.

"To me, the whole point of a magazine cover is to get your attention," Stengel said. "From the moment that we started talking about this story as a cover possibility, it was like I couldn't get out of the meetings. There was so much opinion and passion about it and discussion. What that told me is, boy, this is a story that people care a lot about."

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