Taking covers

The advent of spring means a lot of things, not least of which is the release of Sports Illustrated's eagerly awaited and top-selling yearly swimsuit issue. Unfortunately, many library patrons, who have undoubtedly come to rely on the magazine as their roadmap to haute swimwear as well as feminine pulchritude, will have to purchase their 2007 bikinis without any guidance. That's because Sports Illustrated has unilaterally decided to halt dissemination of its swimsuit edition to schools and public libraries, bowing to critics who complain that it's become too racy. Lynne Weaver works at Randolph-Macon Women's College library, and she says "everybody's furious" that neither she nor her colleagues had any say in whether their institution received this issue or not. "If for any reason we would choose not to get an issue, that's up to us," she said. So if the nation's spring breakers are looking a little drab this year, we have Sports Illustrated to blame. And if Sports Illustrated sells more copies than ever before, it's probably because the politically-correct marketing genius who devised this plan understood that even more people will head to newsstands to find out for themselves just how racy the issue has in fact become.

"Is magazine a bad sport for swimsuit issue ban?," by Alana Semuels, Los Angeles Times, March 9, 2007