The Economic Times - - Around The World -

Ber­lin: Ger­man news mag­a­zine Der Spiegel sparked con­tro­versy on Sun­day with a cover de­pict­ing Trump hold­ing the sev­ered head of the Statue of Lib­erty in one hand and a blood­ied knife in the other. The weekly used for its front page an im­age by US-Cuban artist and po­lit­i­cal refugee Edel Ro­driguez with the Trumpian slo­gan “Amer­ica First” next to it. “On our cover the Amer­i­can pres­i­dent be­heads the sym­bol which has wel­comed mi­grants and refugees to the United States since 1886, and with democ­racy and free­dom,” Spiegel’s chief ed­i­tor Klaus Brinkbaeumer told Ger­man news agency DPA. The im­age, which shows an orange face fea­ture­less save for a wide-open mouth, was seized upon for dis­cus­sion by other me­dia out­lets in Ger­many and be­yond. Bild tabloid saw a di­rect par­al­lel with Mo­hammed Emwazi, the Bri­tish na­tional known by the pseu­do­nym “Ji­hadi John”, who was seen in sev­eral videos show­ing the be­head­ing of Is­lamic State hostages. Speak­ing to Bild, the vice-pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, Alexan­der Graf Lamb­s­dorff of Ger­many’s lib­eral Free Democrats, slammed the im­age as be­ing in “bad taste” and one which “plays on the lives of ter­ror vic­tims in a very nasty man­ner.” Lib­eral con­ser­va­tive broad­sheet Frank­furter All­ge­meine Zeitung for its part warned that if the me­dia de­monised Trump that could play into his hands. “The Spiegel cover is just what Trump needs — a dis­torted im­age of him which he can use to fur­ther his own dis­torted im­age of the press,” it said. The paper added that such images could un­der­pin Trump sup­port­ers’ be­liefs that the me­dia is bi­ased against him and “be­long to the es­tab­lish­ment, which he is al­legedly up against.” Con­ser­va­tive daily Die Welt, which like Bild be­longs to the Axel Springer pub­lish­ing group, crit­i­cised the Spiegel cover for “de­valu­ing jour­nal­ism”. AFP RC

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