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 discovTime Inc. has requested that all the fake covers be promptly 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 that record actually belongs to Richard Nixon. 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 is dated for March 1, 2009, a date that coincides with the eighth season premiere of "Celebrity Apprentice." Trump is posed arms crossed with his characteristic self-satisfied 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!”
It's pretty impressive looking if you don't know that it's fake. Once you learn it's a dupe though, it's just sad.
“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 reveal it as inauthentic: Its red border is thinner and unframed with white like a real Time cover always is. Its secondary headlines are crowded onto the right side instead of printed across the top and there is not one, but two exclamation points. Enthusiastic punctuation is a genuine Time no-no.
This story is an amusing one, but not shocking. In fact, it fits perfectly into Trump's entire career, personality, taste, and ever-more loosening grip on reality. He's claimed to be an admirable philanthropist, but further evidence indicates quite the alarming 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 was fine with a fake magazine cover in 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 is speckled with real headlines taken 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.