Hearst heiress wants 'sex rag' Cosmo under wraps

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A grand-daughter of late US newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst kicked off a campaign on Wednesday to put the Hearst-owned Cosmopolitan women's magazine literally under wraps.

Victoria Hearst said Cosmo's editorial focus on sex can be a dangerous influence on children who see it on newsstands - and that it needs to be wrapped, labelled and sold like pornography.

"We're not trying to censor Cosmo," but rather trying to get Hearst management - including chairman William Randolph Hearst III, her cousin - to "man up" and assume responsibility for its racy content.

"We're going to do this until Jesus comes, praise the Lord," said Hearst, a born-again Christian and founder of Praise Him Ministries in Colorado.

Founded in 1886 as a family magazine, Cosmopolitan joined the Hearst media empire in 1906 and became a literary journal.

Its current editorial style dates back to the mid-1960s when then-editor Helen Gurley Brown made it a monthly must-read for "fun fearless females."

It was under Brown that Cosmo "went from family-friendly positive to sex rag," said Victoria Hearst, whose sister Patty Hearst was famously kidnapped and brainwashed by a radical group in 1974.

Hearst's headquarters in New York did not reply to e-mails seeking comment.