TIME magazine is causing quite a stir with its latest cover, featuring the White House morphing into St Basil’s Cathedral, an iconic building located in Moscow’s Red Square.
The cover accompanies an article which takes an in-depth look at how Russia influenced the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
According to the article, the Russians did more than just hack email accounts in the run-up to the election. More than a dozen senior intelligence officers and others investigating Russia’s influence told TIME that the Russians used algorithms to isolate and target segments of the social media landscape.
TIME reports that algorithms were used to determine groups “hot-button issues” and identify “followers” among them, pinpointing those most susceptible to suggestion. Messages were then manually crafted to influence people, with the ultimate goal of changing political opinion.
It’s spy movie stuff, and although it’s hard to measure just how successful these efforts were, Donald Trump – against seemingly all odds – is President.
Since Trump took office, the White House has been rocked by controversies, with most of them surrounding Trump’s alleged ties to Russia.
The new TIME cover makes no bones about it: Russia’s influence on the U.S. is very, very real and not a liberal fantasy cooked up to placate the “snowflakes” crushed by Hilary Clinton’s shock loss.
Matt Vella, Executive Editor of TIME, tweeted that this was the first time in a decade since the magazine opted for a cover without a headline. The image says it all really: The Cold War is back, baby and frankly, the U.S. is losing.
— Matt Vella (@mattvella) May 18, 2017
TIME also did an animated version of the cover, and thankfully someone added the Tetris theme music. Gawd bless the interwebz.
— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) May 18, 2017
Naturally, the cover did also attract the ire of the MAGA crowd who refuse to give up on their Dear Leader:
— Democrats for Trump (@YoungDems4Trump) May 18, 2017
And there is always that one person who has to get all finicky about the details:
about that TIME cover…
St Basil’s Cathedral isn’t really “red.”
St Basil’s isn’t “The Kremlin.”
Are we seriously doing this?
— May Fatigue Li'l 🌳 (@karengeier) May 18, 2017
Trump, who was TIME’s Person of the Year in 2016, has yet to respond to the cover.
On Wednesday, he told a crowd of graduating cadets that he was the most unfairly treated politician ever and on Thursday he once again showed he has no sense of history, tweeting:
This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 18, 2017
Ironically, the McCarthy witch hunts – the actual greatest in American political history – were about the very thing Trump is accused of: involvement with the Russians.