Media catfight: Mireille Silcoff versus Moses Znaimer

Media catfight: Mireille Silcoff versus Moses Znaimer

Nothing’s better than a good ol’ fashioned media catfight—even when the cats involved are on the sixth of their nine lives. Last week, Weekend Post contributor Mireille Silcoff wrote about her dislike of Zoomer, an upscale lifestyle magazine aimed at the 45-plus crowd: “It is also the most depressing magazine I have read in a long time. Flipping through the pages of Zoomer is the magazine equivalent of watching an unmedicated schizophrenic have a conversation with himself about aging,” she writes, referring to the juxtaposition of ads and articles. (The editorial promotes accepting one’s age while the ads use buzz words like “stopping the clock” and “defying aging.”)

Today Moses Znaimer, the media tycoon who founded Zoomer as well as CityTV and MuchMusic, responded to Silcoff’s editorial by writing about her “own fear of, and discomfort with, aging.” He continues:

Zoomer is comprehensive, not ‘schizophrenic.’ Is a women’s magazine schizophrenic because it offers recipes as well as stories about violence against women in the Congo? … How one responds to aging is a deeply personal choice and Zoomer offers its readers the option to embrace the challenges and changes aging brings without feeling pressured into any one mould.

Znaimer concludes by offering a free Zoomer subscription to Silcoff and her mom.

Snap! We’re not siding with anyone here, as both present valid arguments. On one hand, Silcoff is right in calling out the contradictories that magazines like Zoomer offer: be comfortable with oneself as long as it fits within the ideological view of beauty (the magazine is edited by former Flare editor Suzanne Boyd). On the other hand, not everyone over 45 wants to move to Florida and call it quits. Some want to stay abreast of trends or have a little nip-tuck.  Zoomer is trying to capture both demographics.

It’s not earth-shattering news that magazines like Cosmo, Men’s Health and Zoomer contain paradoxical messages. (This month’s Cosmo—well, every month’s Cosmo—tells women how to get what they want while satisfying their man in bed.) Can’t we all just be happy that the profiles of two print publications have been raised in an era where the Internet reigns supreme?

• Mireille Silcoff: Against Zoomerism [National Post]
• Moses Znaimer responds [National Post]