New Delhi: A fake TIME magazine cover mocking US President Donald Trump has resurfaced on social media, after his recent loss in the presidential elections. The cover has a headline that reads “Time to go” and shows a silhouetted figure walking out of a door.
But this isn’t the only instance when fake TIME covers have surfaced. There have been many in the past, including one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The fake Trump cover had first appeared in May. Columnist and author Shobhaa De had tweeted the picture with a caption saying, “Pure brilliance!”
Pure brilliance!! pic.twitter.com/4iWIHsvz8x
— Shobhaa De (@DeShobhaa) May 25, 2020
Where there were some giveaways like a missing date on the top right corner and the “time.com” on the bottom right corner, a spokesperson for the magazine had also confirmed to Reuters at the time that the cover was not authentic.
Author Gyan Prakash had also tweeted the fake cover in May saying, “He finally gets a Time cover! Not fake one this time.”
He finally gets a Time cover! Not fake one this time. pic.twitter.com/X4PHRRAONb
— Gyan Prakash (@Prakashzone) May 23, 2020
Prakash was referring to an incident in June 2017 when a framed TIME cover, dated 1 March 2009 and featuring Trump and the headline “Donald Trump: The ‘Apprentice’ is a television smash!” [sic], was seen hanging in the president’s golf clubs.
The magazine had then asked the Trump administration to remove the fake cover.
Other fake TIME magazine covers
In October 2017, Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., had uploaded a fake TIME magazine cover on Instagram featuring his father as Superman and donning a full-grown beard. The post received more than 60,000 likes.
Internet users were quick to point out that the post was not authentic. Some also accused Trump’s son of “fetishizing” his dad in an inappropriate manner.
Relatable. When I'm under FBI investigation I like to bide my time by fetishizing my dad in eroticized viking cosplay.
— Adam Goldberg is not defecting (@TheAdamGoldberg) October 21, 2017
In November 2019, a US state department official and Trump appointee, Mina Chang, created a fake TIME magazine cover bearing her face while interviewing for the state department position. She also spoke about it in an interview in 2017.
A Twitter user at the time had pointed out the discrepancy in a barcode located at the lower right corner.
Look at the barcode from the fake cover
9 876543210 1234567
— zedster (@z3dster) November 12, 2019
Chang subsequently resigned after it was found that she had falsely obtained a Harvard degree and exaggerated parts of her resumé.
Last December, a photoshopped TIME magazine cover featuring Prime Minister Modi breastfeeding the media did the rounds on social media.
Cricketer-turned-politician Kirti Azad had then tweeted the picture, before subsequently deleting it, saying, “…One of the most reputed magazines of the world, has this to say about Indian media, how our Prime Minister @narendramodi breast feeds them. Isn’t it true?”
Azad was suspended by the BJP in 2015 after criticising fellow party member and Union minister Arun Jaitley over alleged corruption in the Delhi & District Cricket Association.
The morphed image of PM Modi was borrowed from a political cartoon published in the Los Angeles Times on 12 May 2012 with the headline: “Republican Party suckles at the breast of Big Business”.
The cartoon featured a blonde woman carrying a briefcase that read “CORPORATE CAMPAIGN DONATIONS” and the Republican Party was depicted as an infant suckling her breast.
In 2017, a similar photoshopped TIME cover featuring Congress leader Rahul Gandhi breastfeeding Pakistan, represented as an infant, had also gone viral.