BOSTON, MA – Editors of the prestigious New England Journal were left scrambling this week to quell a firestorm of bad publicity after copies of a planned swimsuit edition were leaked to the public. The illustrious publication had apparently hoped to replicate the timeless success of Sports Illustrated with a similar swimsuit special, entitled “Scholarly Bodies: Top Physicians Submit It All for Peer Review.” Unfortunately, a flurry of high-profile complaints forced editors to scuttle the endeavor before copies went out for worldwide distribution
Some who saw the leaked issue complained that the photos, especially the front page cover of famous medical pioneer Sir William Osler, were disrespectful to the profession; however, the staff responsible for the special edition have been quick to defend their work.
“Osler would be proud of his beach body. After all, readers are tired of the same old trials of this cancer drug versus that cancer drug and the same old mortality benefit data. People want to see what academics look like in spandex!” said the journal’s graphics editor, Catherine Slomster.
“Opponents said we were objectifying doctors and cheapening the profession. We argued that we made a valiant effort to objectify all types of people equally – including men, women, clinicians, scientists, and many more.” said Slomster.
Bringing the issue to printing was no easy task for its creators.
“Even with the promise of extra airbrushing, we had a hard time getting researchers to sign up to pose. People didn’t really seem to understand what a big lift this could give to their professional profile,” said Curator of Innovative Content, Roberto Wellerton.
The abandoned project was the brainchild of the Journal’s marketing director, Adele LaRoux, who was brought in last fall from Vogue to “spice up” the publication. A public release on Monday explained that “while she is to be praised for her efforts to boost readership, Ms. LaRoux has been asked to resign due to her lapse in judgement with regard to the character and tradition of our esteemed publication.”
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