A Nazi salute, KKK hoods and Donald Trump: Magazine covers after Charlottesville are jarring

US President Donald Trump has assigned a measure of significance to Time and the Economist, which makes those publications’ latest covers all the more notable.

US President Donald Trump collects magazine covers, but he probably won’t want to keep these.

The latest from the Economist depicts the president bellowing into a white, conical megaphone – with eye holes that lend the appearance of a Ku Klux Klan hood.

The clear implication is that Trump has amplified the message of white supremacists by failing to treat them as any more blameworthy than the counter-protesters with whom they clashed in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend.

German news magazine Der Spiegel. The caption next to the cover image translates as "The true face of Donald Trump".

German news magazine Der Spiegel. The caption next to the cover image translates as “The true face of Donald Trump”.

Time magazine’s new cover image features a boot-clad white man behind an American flag, held aloft at a 45-degree angle by a pole whose ornament is an outstretched hand, creating the effect of a Nazi salute.

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The New Yorker has Trump in a boat, blowing into a white sail that looks like a KKK hood. Its title: “Blowhard”. 

Europe’s getting in on the act too. The cover of respected German weekly news magazine Der Spiegel depicts Trump wearing a KKK hood, next to a caption that translates as “The true face of Donald Trump.”

I mentioned Trump’s fascination with magazine covers to set up a point: he can try to ignore the images that adorn titles like the Economist, Time and the New Yorker or dismiss them as insignificant, but the undeniable reality is that he considers them important.

We’re talking about the man who displayed a phony, fawning Time cover in several of his golf clubs. To Trump, magazine covers are status symbols.

Trump has signalled that he values what the Economist and Time publish. He tends to judge news outlets by their polls, and the Economist was one of his favourites during the campaign.

Trump has said it is “a great honour” to be featured on the cover of Time.

The president has assigned a measure of significance to Time and the Economist, which makes those publications’ latest covers all the more notable.

And though he has not expressed any affection for the New Yorker, his former communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, put the magazine on the radar of people who otherwise might not pay attention to it when he gave that memorably profane interview to Ryan Lizza last month.

Trump’s opinions of news outlets – not to mention political issues, his own advisers and pretty much everything else – are subject to wild fluctuations, of course, but it will be hard to pretend that he doesn’t care about these images.

 


 – The Washington Post

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