Newsweek editor-in-chief Tina Brown is so, so very edgy, which probably explains the use of "freakin'" on the cover of the April 25 issue.
The indispensable Urban Dictionary defines freakin as a replacement for f----ng when used before a large audience. Does Newsweek has enough readers to justify that use? It's safe to say the old fogies at the Washington Post Co., former owner of the still No. 2 weekly, would never splash freakin' on Newsweek’s cover.
Urban Dictionary has other definitions of freakin', including an “unusual gyration carried out at dance clubs in the north of England (Think rave), having sex in a circular motion (Go figure) and a "word used by cowards who are too scared to say f-----g" (Sounds a bit harsh).
The Newsweek freakin' in question is part of a subhead for a story about the grim economic prospects of unemployed middle aged men, or has Tina calls a member of that hard-pressed group: "The Beached White Male."
Let’s go to Newsweek’s cover. "He had a Big Job, a Big Office, a Big Bonus. Now He's All Washed Up and Doesn’t Have a Freakin' Prayer."
That description is sadly apt for many Newsweek staffers who were let go, both before and after arrival of the Chief Daily Beaster. Tina, an employee of IAC/Interactive boss Barry Diller, made her grand entry at Newsweek late last year after a courtship with the just departed Sidney Harman.
In the current Newsweek, Brown gives the inside skinny about how she was "charmed" by 91-year-old Harman. This week’s “My Turn” column was penned by Harman and deals with his determination to beat cancer.
Back to another teaser on the cover: "Obama Finally Grows a Spine" heralds a piece about the president manning up against Privatize (Rep.) Ryan’s assault on Medicare. The spine reference is tricky. Obama has grown and lost more spines during his administration than any president that I can remember.
Good luck, Tina.