The message behind Time magazine’s latest cover is so glaringly obvious the editors decided no further comment was necessary.
For the first time in 10 years, the cover features no additional text in the form of a headline or caption — just a picture of the White House getting taken over by the Kremlin.
Time’s cover is a response to the bizarre, apparently unprecedented situation in Washington, D.C., in which a large part of the political establishment is wondering whether the leader of the free world is, in fact, a Russian puppet.
President Donald Trump has only added fuel to the fire with a series of high-profile missteps, including sharing classified information with Russian officials and firing former FBI director Jim Comey, who was investigating links between Russia and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, as well as Trump himself.
Liberal news media outlets are speculating breathlessly about impeachment, although this is almost certainly premature and possibly wishful thinking. Still, Americans are left to wonder about the basic integrity of their government, and guess what comes next.
Well, Time doesn’t seem to have many doubts on that score, judging by the accompanying article, titled “Inside Russia’s Social Media War on America,” which warns: “Marrying a hundred years of expertise in influence operations to the new world of social media, Russia may finally have gained the ability it long sought but never fully achieved in the Cold War: to alter the course of events in the U.S. by manipulating public opinion.”
While dramatic, it’s worth noting the Time cover isn’t exactly original: the December 2016 issue of MAD magazine also featured a cartoon showing the famous domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral juxtaposed on the White House (though not on the cover).