News & Politics

Two Major Magazines Go There After Trump's Abominable Response to Charlottesville

The New Yorker and the Economist artfully present the president as a white supremacist.

The cover pages of the New Yorker and Economist have criticised President Donald Trump’s defence of a white supremacist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia.

In an editorial, the Economist said Trump is “politically inept, morally barren and temperamentally unfit for office”.

While it said Trump was not himself a white supremacist, the piece accused him of bungling “the simplest of political tests: finding a way to condemn Nazis”, which had earned him the endorsement of David Duke, a former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

“Mr Trump’s seemingly heartfelt defence of those marching to defend Confederate statues spoke to the degree to which white grievance and angry, sour nostalgia is part of his world view.”

A similar New Yorker cover, titled “Blowhard”, presented Trump in a boat blowing wind into a sail shaped like a Ku Klux Klan hood.

“President Trump’s weak pushback to hate groups – as if he was trying not to alienate them as voters – compelled me to take up my pen,” said David Plunkert, the artist behind the issue.

“A picture does a better job showing my thoughts than words do; it can have a light touch on a subject that’s extremely scary,” said the artist.

The president took two days to condemn the KKK and neo-Nazi protesters, eventually saying hate groups were “repugnant”.

But in an anti-media diatribe on Tuesday in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, he reeled back, defending far-right protesters at the Charlottesville rally and laying the blame for the violence equally on what he called the “alt-left”.

The president said there were “very fine people on both sides” of violent demonstrations in which a white nationalist allegedly killed civil rights activist Heather Heyer when his car ploughed into a crowd in the Virginian city.

Self-identifying ethno-nationalists had gathered to protest against the planned removal of a statue of Robert E Lee, the Confederacy’s top general in the American civil war. “You had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, and the press has treated them absolutely unfairly,” Trump said.

Video of the far-right group in Charlottesville showed men chanting “Jews will not replace us”.

Time, another New York-headquartered magazine, did not put Trump on its front cover but showed a person in thick, black boots and draped in a United States flag giving the Nazi salute.

• This article was amended on 18 August 2017 to clarify a reference to the reasons for the protests in Charlottesville.

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