Newsweek’s unflattering cover story on Donald Trump landed online earlier in the week, with the magazine painting a picture of the president that’s like a reverse Dorian Gray without any enthusiasm to continue doing the job he was elected to do. The story, titled “Trump, America’s Boy King: Golf and Television Won’t Make America Great Again,” is bad enough, but now it has a cover that cuts right to the heart of the president and won’t be appearing on the walls of Mar-a-Lago any time soon:
The cover features Trump slumped in a recliner while junk food is strewn over his lap and the words “Lazy Boy” float in front, defining him as the low-energy president that had appeared in reports since he assumed the office in January. It’s a striking image, supported by a piece full of them that are not a compliment to Trump’s time in office:
When the weekend concludes, Trump returns to the D.C. swamp with all the enthusiasm of an office lackey slouching toward his cubicle on Monday morning. Only six months in, he seems “a most unhappy warrior,” in the words of Trump biographer and CNN commentator Michael D’Antonio. The scowl that haunts his face, the monotone he uses to deliver official pronouncements: These suggest a second-term lame duck dreaming of a lucrative post-Washington book deal…
[He] sits and stews, like Al Bundy, the shoe-selling protagonist of Married … With Children, the sitcom of roiling white discontent that predicted Trump better than any political scientist or pundit. Unsatisfying job, ungrateful children, all around him a nation in decline. Bundy dreams of the days when he was a high school football star; Trump, of his election-night romp through the Upper Midwest.
Nobody wants to be compared to Al Bundy, especially not the guy who claims to win all the time and touts his success at every turn. But it is certainly a funny situation to imagine and only the latest sitcom to earn comparisons to the Trump administration — there’s a lot of Larry David in there too. Maybe Trump can Photoshop this cover too so it looks like he’s Professor X or in a floating war chair, leading the nation to battle with his team of X-Men. Then Newsweek can ask him to take it down just like Time did the last time he tried to get creative.
Most thought that the cover was a joke before Newsweek and several reports confirmed that it was indeed real and hitting stands next week. The reveal came a little too late to get a mention from the president at his West Virginia rally, all before his extended vacation, but some folks managed to create an image of what that might’ve looked like:
Others were just surprised that Newsweek was taking aim at the president and speculated what he would be most offended about. Clearly it would be that he’s still clad in his trademark suit and not his lounging clothes. We’ll just have to wait and see what he has to say once the issue comes out. If anything, you can be assured that fake news will evoked at some point.