Jeff Sessions’ photo on the cover of TIME is creepy as hell. pic.twitter.com/C69RHEVXUV— Sarah Lerner (@SarahLerner) March 29, 2018
Time magazine put an image of Jeff Sessions on its cover to accompany reporting about changes the attorney general has implemented in the Justice Department, and the publication’s photo choice has sparked divided social media commentary.
Photographer Philip Montgomery’s photo features Sessions staring straight into the camera with shadows splayed across his face, his eyes glowing. The image’s jarring lighting isn’t the most flattering, and Fox News noted that the photo somewhat resembles the famous Ivan Albright painting “A Face from Georgia.”
The photo evoked a partisan social media response, but both liberal and conservative commentators noted the image didn’t portray Sessions favorably.
One Twitter user described the picture as “creepy as hell,” while a supporter of President Donald Trump wrote that the selection was “A terrible cover photo.”
Could they have made him look any more creepy, don’t get me wrong that is his true colors showing but wow— Minnesota mama (@Minnesotamama3) March 29, 2018
Fox News invoked the recent cover of the Parkland student activists, seeming to contrast the portrayal of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivors with the depiction of the attorney general.
A terrible cover photo. That is really the best you could find? Be better.— KMH (@Korey_Michael) March 29, 2018
The interview included quotes from Sessions about his decision to recuse himself from the federal investigation in President Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, which the president has publicly attacked.
“I think I did the right thing. I don’t think the attorney general can ask everybody else in the department to follow the rules if the attorney general doesn’t follow them," Sessions said.
Just like the partisan regard to the Russia probe, conservatives and liberals seem to have starkly different views of the Time cover. Regardless of political affiliation, though, it seems most users agree the magazine didn’t choose an image that makes Sessions look good.