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May 2, 2011

What’s Wrong With TIME’s X-ed bin Ladin Cover

1. Laying it on a little thick, aren’t you?

They’re painting the “X” extra heavy. …Like OBL was twice as bad as Hitler was???

2. If you’re al-Qaeda, you get it between the eyes.

3. But  here’s what’s really wrong. In 1945, when they did the first X-out, Hitler had been the scourge of the planet. There was absolutely no ambiguity surrounding his elimination. Fast forward 58 years. The X-out returns, not to realistically portray any equivalency with Hitler so much as enable the Bush Administration’s own blood lust in targeting Iraq and Saddam Hussein for being a bully, a convenient target and a convenient stand-in for bin Ladin. Recall, also, after the U.S. caught Hussein alive, how the cover validates the actions of a kangaroo court and a hasty, ugly hanging at the expense of a legitimate, and potentially international trial.

Now, jump ahead a mere three more years and the X-out is cheapened still further, this time to help showcase the Administration’s killing of the highly (if poorly) built up,  supposed al-Qaeda mastermind, and Bush Administration Anbar poster boy, Abu al-Zarqawi, at a point in time in which the war was going south.

I doubt I would have any qualms at all if TIME had X-ed Hitler, left it alone alone for 66 years, then X-ed bin Ladin. But after X-ing out three Muslims over the past eight years, today’s cover (apart from the question whether bin Laden was even in Hitler’s class) speaks more to targeted assassination — and racism.

(Ending revised for tone.)

Illustration (on last two covers, at least): Tim O’Brien.  Cover dates: May 20, 2011 (bin Laden);  June 19, 2006 (Abu al-Zarqawi); April 21, 2003 (Saddam Hussein); May 7, 1945 (Hitler)

  • http://blog.scoop0901.net/ Scoop0901

    There is nothing wrong with the cover, at all. Racist? Hardly. Which group is fully committed to terrorism and murder? Ding, ding, ding! Even to the point of … well, death. And death bin Laden got.

    • http://ralfast.wordpress.com/ Ralfast

      And which group is that?

  • Enoch Root

    Also: Facial hair.

  • http://growababy.com/ Realhanan

    I too was going to add: No clean-shaved individuals need apply

  • sam

    Racist? You’re an idiot.

  • http://orbcast.ca Coolcat

    Too late? Bin Ladin is behind the Time.

  • Unknown

    “Zarqawi maybe didn’t deserve the X” says Time Managing Editor Stengel on Morning Joe:
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/42875874#42875874

    • http://www.bagnewsnotes.com Michael Shaw

      Great pick up. Notice how situation also called for Stengel to justify, or at least reference the Hussein cover, and he didn’t say a word.

  • Yassie

    although I see your point and I think the X-ing out is not classy at all… I would not consider Bin Laden, or any mass murderer a real Muslim, they don’t represent Islam and they are manipulating this faith for their own benefits. However, there are many people that manipulate other religions for their own agendas and they are not X-ed out on the cover of Time, so I see the point of the article!

  • Speedsk8r27

    To call it racist removes, for you, the burden of credibility. And your spelling: Bin Ladin, really? I’ll bet you were one of the left wing nuts who wanted Gitmo closed; the information on OBL’s courier came from Gitmo, justifying it’s existence and underlying it’s usefulness.

  • DWhite

    Looks like they used Joe Klein for the artist model!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/George-Mokray/767686527 George Mokray

    Artist Tim O’Brien’s blog post on the illustration:
    http://www.drawger.com/tonka/index.php?article_id=12290

  • AdamB

    They call themselves so, but are the murderers *really* Muslims? I don’t think so.

  • AdamB

    They call themselves so, but are the murderers *really* Muslims? I don’t think so.

  • Diz_diane

    Whether they’re Muslims or not or whatever faith they claim, the individuals are the ones who did the horrific acts and I look at it as each one’s individual atrocious acts. Osama bin laden represented himself only. He’s the one on the cover. He’s the horrific murderer. The other’s also in previous covers individually represent themselves because even though they may have had supporters, these are the head people of those who followed these murderers and torturers.

    • Sonia Godt

      How to prevent such atrocities done by men against other men? Learning, Education, Traveling, Understanding how other people minds function. Be opened-minded. There is a long way to go, but
      it can be done, with the help of good will and participate to chose the right people at the Head of the
      Government in Every Country, All over the World. It’s a dream? We have no choice because it’s our
      Planet and that’s the only one we’ve got. Consider this Universe is Huge! …and we are so small!
      When are we going to stop being so petty?

  • http://ralfast.wordpress.com/ Ralfast

    The point here is that by re-using the same imagery, Time magazine is elevating such third-raters as Hussein and Zarqawi to Hitler’s level of threat and the former’s administrations propaganda for them.

  • Guest

    Xpediently SUSPECT!

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