President Donald Trump loves to blame a host of the nation's issues on the "fake news media," but funny he never mentioned the fake Time magazine covers decorating his golf clubs.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday that a fake cover featuring the president and some bold, ego-stroking reviews hang on the walls of at least four of his golf courses, from Florida to Scotland. In response to the discovery, Time Inc. has demanded that all the fake covers be removed.
Trump seems to place a lot of value in being on the cover of Time, even boasting about being featured on the cover more than anyone else, although that's a typical Trump lie and Richard Nixon actually sails away with that record. The New York Daily News reports that Trump has been on 14 of the publication's covers in total over the past few decades, a hefty number to be sure, but apparently not enough because he had to commission one, too.
The non-existent issue date of March 1, 2009 coincides with the eighth season premier of "Celebrity Apprentice." Trump is posed arms crossed with his characteristic bratty smirk, perhaps the most real thing about the cover.
“Donald Trump: The ‘Apprentice’ is a television smash!” the headline reads and above the Time logo another headline says in all caps, "TRUMP IS HITTING ON ALL FRONTS . . . EVEN TV!”
“I can confirm that this is not a real TIME cover,” said Kerri Chyka, a spokeswoman for Time Inc. Like any knock-off, if you look closely you can identify the subtle errors that expose it as inauthentic: Its red border is thinner and has no white frame like a real Time cover always has, its secondary headlines are printed on the right side instead of across the top, and there is an excessive two exclamation points. The Washington Post notes that "Time headlines don't yell."
This story is an amusing one, but not shocking. In fact, it fits perfectly into Trump's entire career, personality, taste, and ever-loosening grip on reality. He's touted himself as an admirable philanthropist, but further evidence indicates quite the opposite. The president has puffed up his business success only to have journalists reveal the only thing remarkable about his businesses is their repeated failure. He threw a hissy fit when media photos captured the undisputable truth that his inauguration crowd was pathetically small and launched into yet another tirade about "fake news," yet apparently had no problem commissioning a fake magazine cover for his establishments.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this fake Time cover is the effort someone clearly went to in order to create it. Sure, graphics nowadays make the basics easy enough, but the cover includes real headlines lifted from the March 2, 2009, edition of Time, indicating that this was a fairly well thought-out scheme.
If Trump put as much effort into bettering what is real as he did into his illusions of greatness, America just might have a shot at winning.