Like an ear-splitting mash-up, the editors at Newsweek have combined together file photos, Photoshop, a royal visit, a tabloid-writer-turned-editor and a posthumous birthday into what may be the tackiest cover story ever. Despite the fact that the former Princess of Wales has been deceased for nearly 14 years, she is once again gracing the cover of what is supposed to be a reputable weekly news magazine. Unfortunately, the bottom line (number of magazines sold) has once again trumped any real news reporting when it comes to our current-day print media.

Photo Illustration by R. Mutt Studios for Newsweek; Source Photo: Tim Graham / Getty Images

Make a visit to the Newsweek site and you will encounter a pop-up advertisement eliciting subscription with the tag-line: “In-depth reporting, insight and analysis.” Yet this week’s cover story is nothing more than tabloid-esque conjecture more fitting of the News of The World or The Quibbler (sorry for the gratuitous Harry Potter reference). Take notice that this is not the first time the Newsweek Editor-in-Chief and Cover Story Author Tina Brown has used a Diana “occasion” to pad her pocketbook; The Diana Chronicles by Tina Brown was released on the tenth anniversary of Diana’s passing. Coincidence? I think not. I find it highly ironic that Ms. Brown suggests Diana would have sued the News of The World for hacking her voicemail and won, when the entire Newsweek story would pass the test for libel if the former Princess were alive to sue.

To accompany the trashy gossip-rag prose, the Newsweek photo department must have worked overtime creating their reincarnation of Princess Diana.  The result is painfully awkward and just as tacky as the tabloid-journalism it accompanies. It’s like Weekend at Bernie’s meets the Windsor’s. Diana does not look life-like, isn’t looking where she would have been looking and her expressions just don’t match the scene.  The photos are so bad that Adobe (the Photoshop publisher) should rescind all the Newsweek licenses for Photoshop and send them a cease and desist order.  If the cover shot were a video, I could  imagine Diana’s Frankensteinian gait and I would be staring at her neck looking for the steel bolts.  When you have thrown all decorum out the door, why not go one step further and CGI her into a sexually explicit scene?  I am sure the Newsweek website would have been afire with hits to see Diana in a compromising position.  If you are making up news, why not make it racy, everyone on Madison Avenue knows sex sells.

Is it not enough that the news media’s Nikon packing jackals killed Princess Diana in the first place, now they want to drag out her body to sell magazines whenever it will maximize their profits. The former princess was destined to become one of the world’s greatest philanthropists before her life was cut short. She had the compassion of Mother Theresa and access to ultimate Rolodex of billionaires, this combination would have allowed her help countless unfortunate citizens of this planet. Unfortunately, this is not what we are reminded of on her 50th birthday. Instead Newsweek chose to picture her as a Kardashian-like, iPhone toting diva with a Monster-in-Law relationship to the newlywed Harry and Kate. Hopefully Harry knows how to carry a grudge and rescinds Tina Brown’s CBE (Commander of the British Empire) once he becomes king.