LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A sizzling photo of Gov. Mike Beebe that appears on the cover of this month’s Soirée Magazine ignited controversy when it was revealed that the image was photoshopped to make the politician look like a chiseled, aging hunk.
A number of the magazine’s subscribers say they felt tricked into being aroused by the photo of Beebe, who has adopted the nickname “Arkansas’ Silver Fox” since the issue debuted.
“Don’t get me wrong — there will always be a place in my heart for Mike ‘Hubba Hubba’ Huckabee,” 58-year-old reader Dolores Walltripp said. “But for a few brief hours he was replaced by the current governor. Now that I know the truth, it truly saddens me to learn that Beebe’s photo was retouched to make him look like a simply irresistible piece of mancandy.”
Walltripp isn’t the only woman who was swept off her feet by Beebe’s digitally altered charm. Monica Lewinsky reportedly added the governor to her highly exclusive list of bed-worthy Arkansas politicians, although Beebe has already publicly declined her offer.
Joselyne Miller, editor-in-chief of Soirée Magazine, refused to apologize for the photo touch-up.
“Even without the photoshopping, Mike is a solid ‘8’ on the scale of gubernatorial hotness,” Miller said. “A little airbrushing here and there and you have a jaw-dropping ’10.’ We had one subscriber who thought she’d accidentally been mailed an issue of Playgirl Magazine, and that’s what we in the publishing business like to call ‘success.'”
The Soirée article itself commemorates Beebe’s 32 years in government, a career that he says will end when he leaves office this January. While retirement is allegedly the only thing on his agenda, members of Arkansas’ fashion industry suspect that Beebe will use the magazine cover as a springboard to launch a part-time modeling career.
Little Rock-based menswear designer Charlotte Lasseture said that if the governor even remotely resembles the man on the magazine cover, he will be a hit on the catwalk.
“As a woman who makes suits, I can identify a man who’s made to model,” Lasseture said. “Beebe is like a high-end boutique mannequin that was left behind when the store shut down, only to be rediscovered decades later. Slightly weathered but undeniably eye-catching. And you simply cannot forget his smile.”