Top weeklies resist featuring Donald Trump on front covers

It took awhile, but the Trump White House is off the hook — at least when it comes to cover treatment by the Big Three weeklies.

New York’s entertaining conversation with David Letterman makes us realize how much we miss a good belly laugh. Once writer David Marchese gets past the beard jokes, the conversation takes sharp turns. The biggest interview “get” Letterman didn’t get? Bob Marley. How he spends his days? “Mostly sit on the edge of the bed and stare at the floor.”

Why today’s TV late-night fare is so soft? “Publicists took over the talk shows. They were the people who booked the guest, and they had six or seven guests, so you had to be awfully nice to Guest A if you wanted to get to Guest B or C.”

The New Yorker settles on Detroit rocker Jack White for its change of pace, a profile on the male half of The White Stripes — the band he started with then-girlfriend Meg White as “an art project with punk-rock theater.” The couple, who married and then divorced, haven’t toured since 2007. But White, a multi-hyphenate in multi-industries, has stayed so busy a friend calls him “Mr. American Work Ethic.” The New Yorker covers it all — from his designing hats, collecting comic books and, of course, wanting to direct.

If graybeard Letterman is Father Time, CEO Evan Spiegel of freshly IPO’d Snap is Baby New Year. Time’s cover is funny business, showing the 26-year-old in a split-a-gut Snapchat filter. “Snapchat is built by and for a generation that wants to use technology to improve its antisocial social life,” writer Joel Stein explains. Smart move: Snap’s market cap today is more than $30 billion.

It’s a crapshoot

The market has been on a tear since the election of Donald Trump. But with all the recent theatrics in the news, some of us may wonder if our paper gains will last much longer than a Snapchat photo.

Fortune’s message isn’t necessarily reassuring. “Even in normal times, economic forecasting is a risky business. In the Trump era, it has become a crapshoot,” editor Alan Murray writes.

We especially liked Shawn Tully’s 10-page take on what Trump could mean for the economy. Without promising answers it offers plenty of food for thought. “Put simply, America has never witnessed such a contradictory mix of free-market and antigrowth policies in the White House. Or a President who operates in such an unorthodox and unpredictable way,” Tully writes.

The only reform Trump can implement that will have lasting positive effects is if the deficit-friendly leader of the free world tackles the national debt crisis. “If President Trump suddenly stops picking fights with retailers and federal judges and starts working on a debt-reduction plan instead, that might be the most promising sign of all,” Tully writes.

If you’re looking for a take on what’s happening to the economy now, Forbes isn’t going to give it to you. The 110-page magazine looks like a relic despite featuring futuristic Craig Venter, known for sequencing the human genome, on the cover.

For example, editor-in-chief Steve Forbes rants about a Calexit, the growing movement to have California secede from the Union, bringing up many references to the Civil War. Forbes calls the idea “preposterous” adding that California “has become a tax and regulatory backwater, imitating the worst practices of stagnant Europe and such global powerhouses as Argentina.”

Another example of poor timing in the magazine is a short blurb on Croc’s, which claims the company has “revival in the works.” Never mind the fact that shortly after Forbes print date, the purveyor of plastic clogs announced its CEO is stepping down, it is closing 160 stores, and it expects flat revenue.

Oddly, the most compelling piece in the magazine was at look at Family Video, a DVD-rental chain that not only is still in business but is also profitable in an era of Netflix streaming. The 750-store retailer remains a popular hangout in flyover states…much like Blockbuster was nearly 20 years ago. “They weren’t very well-run businesses,” CEO Keith Hoogland says of his now-deceased competitors. “They had a lot of debt, leases that were poorly negotiated, and they also were sharing revenue with studios quite a bit.”

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