Updated: May 20, 2017 5:47:33 pm
As much as Time magazine is known for its iconic covers, it is known for its controversial ones. It made the headlines once again, with a cover depicting the domes of the St. Basil’s Cathedral – an important symbol of Moscow – taking over the White House.
On May 15, the White House was in crisis. News broke that the President had been accused of doling out sensitive, top-secret, classified information to the Russian Ambassador and the Russian Foreign Minister in a private meeting. This news came as a corroborator to the controversy that was already spinning the White House on its head: the news regarding the abrupt firing of FBI Director, James B. Comey.
The timing was pertinent: he was fired right at a time when the Russia investigation (which looked into whether Trump’s presidential campaign had links with Russian intelligence) was coming to a boil. The reason, Trump insisted, was that Comey’s firing was “recommended” by the Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, who felt that he had made several mistakes while investigating Hillary Clinton’s private emails case.
The controversy accelerated when the former FBI director released a memo on May 16, which mentioned that Trump had demanded Comey to put a lid on the former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn’s investigation. The memo mentioned that Trump had asked Comey to, “let [the investigation] go”. Many have drawn parallels between Comey and Archibald Cox, a special prosecutor who was investigating Richard Nixon’s Presidential campaign back in 1973, when Nixon demanded Cox’s firing, and eventually got it done.
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Time magazine has received considerable backlash from the conservatives for its cover that shows the White House’s metamorphoses into Russia’s St. Basil’s Cathedral almost complete. The conservatives accuse the magazine of abandoning its journalistic, objective worldview and becoming an organ for strong, far-left opinion. The publication has also been accused of plagiarism, that it has copied MAD magazine’s cover:
Yet, the cover is bold, blatant and portent in its symbolical imagery, for it spells out the situation in America as it is without beating around the bush. For a United States President to disclose information on matters relating to intelligence sources specifically relating to ISIS’ terrorism, is problematic. It will possibly be detrimental to the country’s foreign intelligence relations — and this speaks volumes about Trump’s ability to lead a nation. And the cover relays just that: Trump has handed over the right to lead America to the Kremlin.
Time magazine has been vocal, and pointedly visual, about its opinion on Trump. Last year in August, it depicted Trump – who, at that time was running the Presidential race – as a caricature that was ‘melting’. The title that accompanied the image was “Meltdown”. Later, the magazine went a step further and showed his caricature in a completely deformed state, with a title that said, “Total Meltdown”. Interestingly, Time did name Trump as 2016’s Person of the Year, which raised several brows. But the magazine went a step ahead and provided a telling subtitle: “The President of the Divided States of America”. Then, in February 2017, TIME released a cover that depicted Trump, with a deadpan expression and wind-blown hair, sitting in the Oval Office in the midst of what seemed to be, presumably, a self-created storm.
Many other publications, such as The New York Times have been vociferous in condemning Trump and his actions since the very beginning, which led the President to label the Times as “failing”. Recently, Spanish magazine Tapas also released an interesting cover.
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