Time Mag Doctors Reagan Photo, Making Him Cry in Defeat
Call Tom Cruise and pass out the vitamins because conservatives are officially sad. It seems Time magazine is trying to top last week’s “Verdict on Cheney” cover that photoshopped storm clouds over the lightning-rod vice president. The cover for the March 26 issue shows a close-up headshot of the late Ronald Reagan who appears to have a single tear on his cheek, ala Iron Eyes Cody. The “photo illustration” is accompanied by the caption, “How The Right Went Wrong,” referring to “these gloomy and uncertain days” for conservatives.
Both images are hoaxes. Iron Eyes Cody was featured in one of the most memorable environmentalist promotions that showed a lone “Indian” crying about littering and pollution with a single tear sliding down his cheek in the final shot. Iron Eyes Cody was known as the “crying Indian,” but his family knew him as Espera DeCorti, the son of Italian immigrants. This cover is as accurate as that fake glycerine tear that gently slid down Iron Eyes Cody’s cheek.
Radar Online states that Time table of contents gives the “somewhat cryptic” credits for the cover in small print as, “Photograph by David Hume Kennerly. Tear by Tim O’Brian” but does not specifically state that it the cover is photoshopped. Time responded to Radar, defending their cover:
Time regularly runs conceptual covers, as we did last week with the "Verdict on Cheney" cover, depicting the vice president standing under storm clouds." (That image was far less subtle in its artificiality, but fair point.) "This week's cover image is clearly credited on the table of contents page, naming both the photographer of the Reagan photo and the illustrator of the tear."
Radar goes on to say that this appears to be new style of Time's managing editor, Rick Stengel, who was an adviser and speechwriter for former Democratic presidential candidate, Bill Bradley and even stated last year that he wanted the magazine to "have a stronger point of view about things." In 2000, Stengel even said after working on the Bradley campaign that the "he-said-she-said idea of ‘objectivity’ often makes a journalist a neutral vessel of distortion. Correcting a candidate’s mistake is not subjective; it’s objective." So, he makes it clear that objectivity and neutrality are not the goal for his version of Time magazine. Radar asks how the cover will effect conservatives:
The use of a striking but fabricated image is consistent with the vision laid out by new managing editor Rick Stengel, who has said he wants Time to be more like The Economist—the British newsweekly that often features humorous photo illustrations on its cover. Still, one wonders: Is the wording of the credit enough to make its provenance clear to unsophisticated readers? And, equally important, how will the conservative acolytes who worship Reagan as a demigod feel about seeing a faked image of their hero used for a story criticizing the movement he championed?
Yeah, that’s what Reagan would do. He’d give up and cry in defeat. As Michael Reagan pointed out on Thursday’s “Your World With Neal Cavuto” on Fox, after the recent electoral set-backs, Reagan wouldn’t surrender and cry but would instead fire up conservatives and work to win back those lost seats in the next election.
Would Time have photoshopped a tear onto JFK when the Republicans swept both houses in 2002 and the Democratic Party was kicked out of power, and would they have used a similar trick with a picture of LBJ when Clinton signed the 1996 welfare reform act? Time’s new editor wanted to overhaul the magazine, and it looks like they are ignoring their conservative customers to do it.
Update: links added and background given on Stengel