Magazine cover editors felt compelled to use their most visible platform to comment on what appeared to be Donald J. Trump’s support of white supremacist demonstrators in his waffling statements following the violent protests and counter-protests in Charlottesville, Va., this past week.
Both The Economist and The New Yorker chose to depict Trump’s blowhard statements as blowing support for the KKK, utilizing the group’s trademark eye-holed hoodies as a bullhorn and boat sail, respectively.
“President Trump’s weak pushback to hate groups — as if he was trying not to alienate them as voters — compelled me to take up my pen,” explained David Plunkert, illustrator of The New Yorker’s “Blowhard” cover, who seldom takes on political subject matter, but said he was personally motivated to weigh in this week.
“A picture does a better job showing my thoughts than words do; it can have a light touch on a subject that’s extremely scary,” he explained.
Time magazine, meanwhile, turned its cover over to the meta theme of “Hate In America,” but utilized an image evoking a Nazi salute supporting an American flag.
“Having long petted and pampered the demons of racial politics, President Trump should have known his response would get maximum attention. Most successful leaders, certainly most Presidents, preach an American gospel about freedom, justice, imagination, ambition,” Time magazine Editor-in-Chief Nancy Gibbs explained, adding: “They invoke enduring values in the service of both achieving goals and healing wounds. But that is not this President’s liturgy. Instead of summoning our better angels, he strums deep chords of grievance and resentment: The world is not a community; it’s a business. If you’re not winning, you’re losing. And anyone who invests in a common good or a shared sacrifice is a sucker.”