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Meanwhile, In Other Popularity Contests Across The Country…
Actor Shia Labeouf (Just Barely) Beats A Dead Horse

You know what’s (almost) as embarrassing as finding out you’re this-close from edging out Richard Nixon in the category of “Worst Presidents Ever?” Finding out you almost lost the Vanity Fair cover to a dead animal.

GRAYDON Carter doesn’t believe in flogging a dead horse. The Vanity Fair editor-in-chief said neigh to the idea of putting Barbaro on the August cover. Instead, “Transformers” star Shia Labeouf got the nod. Sources say Barbaro - the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner who captured hearts after he shattered a hind leg in the Preakness and struggled for months to survive - actually market-tested higher than Labeouf. But Carter vetoed the equine cover. So Shia is featured, saving the actor from being beaten by a dead horse. A VF spokeswoman said, “We don’t comment on covers.”

We can’t decide whether our favorite part is the gratuitous punning (Photo finish! Beaten by a dead horse!) or the fact that Barbaro actually market-tested higher than Labeouf.

Either way, we’re glad the Transformers star ultimately triumphed over Barbaro—even if he did only win by a nose.

Jul 6, 2007 · Link · 16 Responses
Comments (16)
No. 1 B. Thompson says:

Obviously, Carter has no idea about the impact or significance of Barbaro. Her decision not to use Barbaro on the cover was, no doubt, a costly one. Barbaro would have generated far more sales than some actor can. Although I am glad to see Vanity Fair including an article on this amazing horse, it’s a shame that the magazine’s editor has such poor vision.

Posted: Jul 6, 2007 at 2:44 pm
No. 2 Kathleenk9 says:

There is a reason Barbaro market-tested higher than, whoever that was on the cover. Barbaro is far better looking and far better known!!!! I wouldn’t have bought the magazine if it weren’t for the Barbaro article and probably won’t buy one again. For many of us a photo of a beautiful, magnificent creature is more eye catching and interesting then yet another boring Hollywood nobody!

Posted: Jul 6, 2007 at 4:42 pm
No. 3 Barbaro Lover says:

Personally I would have bought the magazine if Barbaro was on the cover.

Posted: Jul 6, 2007 at 4:43 pm
No. 4 1819suny says:

Well, I think you blew it big time. There are thousands of FOBs (Fans Of Barbaro) accross this country. Most of them are women in the age group you target. Over 700 of them, total strangers to each other, travelled thousands of miles by car and by plane to celebrate Barbaro’s birthday celebration at Delaware Park on April 29th. These same fans have raised over half a million dollars to fight laminitis (the disease that killed Barbaro) and horse slaughter. Over 800 horses have been saved from slaughter and found homes. Now who is that actor again? Oh some cute boy who is on tv. Do you get my point?
The only reason I am buying your August issue is because of Barbaro. Maybe you should do another issue with him on the cover detailing the Barbaro effect that has been made on this country. The facts behind this are far more interesting. Alice in Ludington, MI

Posted: Jul 6, 2007 at 6:09 pm
No. 5 Cynthia Santovena says:

Barbaro is truelly special. Your magazine lives in a world that embraces the mundane and all the cebrities that entail it. I have been saying for years these celebrities don’t walk on water, perform miracles or anything special about them. THEY ARE BORING, just like your magazine. Barbaro is magic. Barbaro is superatural. The only reason I am buying your hum drum magazine and it’s pitiful one-dimensional existance is to read the article of the most transcendental creature the recent world has known; Barbaro. Barbara is a huge gorgeous God Spark packaged on four legs and a mane.

Posted: Jul 6, 2007 at 7:14 pm
No. 6 Cynthia Santovena says:

Barbaro is truelly special. Your magazine lives in a world that embraces the mundane and all the celebrities that entail it. I have been saying for years these celebrities don’t walk on water, perform miracles or anything special about them. THEY ARE BORING, just like your magazine. Barbaro is magic. Barbaro is supernatural. The only reason I am buying your hum drum magazine and it’s pitiful one-dimensional existance is to read the article of the most transcendental creature the recent world has known; Barbaro. Barbar is a huge gorgeous God Spark packaged on four legs and a mane.

Posted: Jul 6, 2007 at 7:17 pm
No. 7 barbarawr12 says:

I intend on buying your August issue only because of the BEAUTIFUL proud magnificent BARBARO. He has brought more people together to save lives and help other horses and other animals also. It was fate that what happened to Barbaro happened. But it isn’t fate that it brought together a group known around the world. We will continue on in Barbaro’s name.

If BARBARO was on the cover of your magazine I would already own this issue. Not having to go buy it because I just found out that BARBARO is in it. You would have had a lot more sales if BARBARO was on the cover. It is your lose.

Posted: Jul 6, 2007 at 8:45 pm
No. 8 BobbieB. says:

Barbaro on the cover? I would buy it instantly, but now I will have to look through it to see if it is worth the money to buy it.

Puns are so lame- what kind of juvenile mind thinks they are funny??? Especially about a horse that was worth more than all the people at this mundane little pulp joint.

The actors, such as the one on your cover, will come and go ( no pun intended for the juvenile)
but there is, and always will be , only one Barbaro. You are too shallow to appreciate him and his effect but many millions do, and you missed it. You are supposedly in the press, and you missed it. All I can say is God bless you poor people.

Posted: Jul 6, 2007 at 8:55 pm
No. 9 Cynthia Santovena says:

Go to timwoolleyracing.com and see all the infinite outpouring of love and the terrific works, ie promoting for anti-horse slaughter in the USA and rescuing some of these horses bound for slaughter. All done in the name of Barbaro. What the hell has Shia Labeouf done??? Except thier egos begging for attention like other celebrities. Vanity Fair embraces the boring and uninspirational while putting aside the magical and supernatural special chosen ones that will change the world for the better: Barbaro.

Posted: Jul 7, 2007 at 5:48 pm
No. 10 Aleta Pahl says:

I will buy a copy for only one reason: the article about Barbaro. This Kentucky Derby winner was one of the “great athletes” of our time, not to mention one of the bravest and heroic beings we will remember all of our lives. Shia Labeouf is still unknown to most of us over 40 women. I think we wish him well, but “jokes” about “dead horses” smacks of total ignorance to the importance of Barbaro’s story and his legacy…not to mention bad taste. Let’s show some respect here.

Posted: Jul 8, 2007 at 2:27 am
No. 11 JoyceJ says:

How unfortunate that Ms. Graydon Carter has failed to understand the impact of Barbaro. Her “pun” about beating a dead horse is not only tasteless but has certainly shown that she has no concept of how such careless comments alienate people, if it was indeed careless rather than intended.
I was planning on purchasing the magazine but I will defer. Barbaro on the cover would not only have been ground-breaking; it would have undoubtedly attracted much more attention then another Hollywood wanna-be. Barbaro’s star power has been proven; what has this young man done to impact the course of lives? The “Barbaro Effect” has been responsible for significant strides in animal welfare, an issue which should be of concern to all Americans. Thousands of strangers have come together as Friends of Barbaro and have not only changed each others lives; we have saved many horses from the horror of slaughter, all in the name of Barbaro. Can Mr. Labeouf say he has had such an impact; can you, Ms. Carter?
I had always thought of Vanity Fair as one of the “upper crust” of magazines. Now I see you as no different from “Soap Opera Digest” or “TV Guide.” You really missed the mark on this one.

Posted: Jul 8, 2007 at 3:56 am
No. 12 Anna says:

Ms. Carter obviously does not get it.

While I treasure the memories and the photographs of Barbaro, Vanity Fair’s issue will not be part of those treasured memories.

It’s far less about the fact that Barbaro’s not on the cover than it is about the attitude over the decision.

This one horse pulled people together in a way I’ve never seen any one human do. And while he’s gone, his influence is not only thriving, but growing.

Posted: Jul 8, 2007 at 7:34 am
No. 13 gustes says:

I was checking my favourite site Tim Wolleyracing .com, and saw a mention of the article on Barbaro in Vanity Fair, I, like many others rushed out to purchase this magazine, but all our local stores did not have it, I was in the process (phone in hand) to subscribe to this magazine, when I started to read the blogs on the article…needless to say I hung up, VF you missed getting a few subscribers on this, I have resouces who will send me the article, no need to let you have the money I can do more good with it by donating the annual subscription to a Barbaro fund. Carole C

Posted: Jul 9, 2007 at 9:36 am
No. 14 chi says:

As a print and online publisher (not to mention an FOB), from a business perspective, Ms. Carter missed a prime opportunity to not only trump her peers and competition, but to also align VF with a powerful market of consumers that would be loyal to VF simply because she went out on the proverbial limb and PUT Barbaro on the cover!

The Barbaro story inside was approved by Ms. Carter. Kudos for identifying that such a unique story was what your readers wanted — why not go the extra mile with a beautiful cover of America’s Horse?

That would have been a no-brainer, win-win for VF (and it’s stock holders!) in a very competitive industry and market!

Better yet, it would have proved that you are up on current events if you had announced that a portion of the proceeds of THE BARBARO issue would be donated to laminitis research, or The Barbaro Fund. Wow! What an angle/concept!!! THAT’S thinking outside the box!!! Thoroughbred Times and Bloodhorse Magazine all SOLD OUT several printings when Barbaro was on the cover!!! Obviously, you don’t do your research.

Posted: Jul 9, 2007 at 11:33 am
No. 15 Media Blitz / Jossip says:

[…] Graydon Carter may have inadvertently made a big mistake in choosing Shia Laboeuf over that far more lucrative dead […]

Posted: Jul 10, 2007 at 11:43 am
No. 16 Media Blitz at MyQaeda Celebrity Fashion Blog says:

[…] Graydon Carter may have inadvertently made a big mistake in choosing Shia Laboeuf over that far more lucrative dead […]

Posted: Aug 2, 2007 at 11:53 am
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