Houston Chronicle March 22, 2005, 8:16PM
Men's magazine plays a photo prank on the Bush twins
By EYDER PERALTA
The bodies may not be familiar, but the faces sure are. That's Jenna and Barbara Bush — or is it Barbara and Jenna? — supposedly sporting sexy lingerie in Maxim magazine.
As an April fool's joke, Maxim is taking on the Bush twins.
The April issue of the men's magazine, which hit newsstands Tuesday, has a photo illustration of Jenna and Barbara Bush, plumage in the air and sporting lingerie in what is meant to be the aftermath of a pillow fight.
"Born November 25, 1981, this Texas twosome burst into the public eye and our dirtiest dreams — right after Daddy moved into the Oval Office," reads the first paragraph.
As the magazine worked on introducing a new "girl page," said Maxim's executive editor James Heindery, "we thought, 'Who should we prank?' How do you make a girl page and make it a prank? We had to watch our p's and q's. We certainly don't want to step on some people's toes, but it seemed like the Bush twins was the first suggestion that everybody threw out. And we thought there was little chance that we would get in too much trouble because I don't think their father would ever want to talk about this."
It took 25 models and more than 75 paparazzi shots to come up with the concoction, Heindery explained. "We definitely tried to be realistic and not put stick figures on them."
This isn't the first "doctored" photo that magazine buyers have seen lately. Newsweek recently ran a cover that showed Martha Stewart coming out from behind a curtain. That image was Martha's face put on a model's body. It was identified as a photo illustration.
Texas Monthly, for the cover of its annual Bum Steer Awards issue, showed Jessica Simpson wearing a T-shirt that read: "I'm with stupid."
Maxim's photo trickery does have a red ring on the page with "100% FAKE" written in it.
Susan Whitson, press secretary for Laura Bush, said the first lady had not seen the photo and offered a "no comment" after the image was e-mailed to her.
Whether it was for underage drinking or making strange faces at the press, the Bush daughters have made news throughout their dad's tenure.
Overall, however, the news media have restrained their coverage, possibly due to a stern warning by the president.
But now, Heindery said, the twins are fair game.
"We took (the warning) into consideration," Heindery said. "But first of all, the girls made news themselves with their antics. Also when (President Bush) brought them along the campaign trail (in 2004) and had them speak at the convention, it made them fair game."
Michael Musto, columnist for the Village Voice, said Maxim's fake photo may signal open season on the twins.
"But I honestly feel they should send Maxim a thank-you note," he wrote in an e-mail. "The mag made them look beautiful!"
"We haven't gotten any blow-back (yet)," Heindery said. "I think like any good American, they should take (the) joke in stride."