Osama Bin Laden Time Magazine Cover: Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

News 2011/05/04 23:00:00
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Time magazine saves its big red X for the worst of the worst. In fact, it has only busted it out four times in its history: once for Nazi mastermind Adolph Hitler in 1945 and in a special edition coming out on Thursday, Osama bin Laden.

But with the other two instances coming within the past decade (former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003 and alleged al Qaeda mastermind Abu al-Zarqawi in 2006) and both related to Muslims, The Huffington Post wondered if maybe the news weekly was laying things on a little thick.

Noting that the bin Laden "X" was painted on extra thick (like Osama bin Laden was twice as bad as Hitler was?), the Post's Michael Shaw wrote, "In 1945 when they did the first X-out, Hitler had been the scourge of the planet. There was absolutely no ambiguity surrounding his elimination. Fast forward 58 years. The X-out returns, not to realistically portray any equivalency with Hitler so much as enable the Bush Administration's own blood lust in targeting Iraq and Saddam Hussein for being a bully, a convenient target and a convenient stand-in for bin Laden. Recall, also, after the U.S. caught Hussein alive, how the cover validates the actions of a kangaroo court and a hasty, ugly hanging at the expense of a legitimate and potentially international trial."

Shaw said he'd probably have no qualms if Time had X-ed Hitler, left the cover treatment alone for 66 years and then applied it to bin Laden.

"But after X-ing out three Muslims over the past eight years, today's cover (apart from the question whether bin Laden was even in Hitler's class) speaks more to targeted assassination -- and racism," he wrote.

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  • george.carty.142 2013/02/22 19:21:37 (edited)
    Thumbs up
    Agree with it for bin Laden, but I'm not so sure for Saddam Hussein or Zarqawi. Bin Laden was a true enemy of AMERICA in a way that Zarqawi (mostly murdered other Iraqis) or even Saddam Hussein (most of whose victims were Iraqi, Kuwaiti or Iranian) were not.

    Incidentally, why wasn't there a Time magazine cover at the end of 1991 with a big black X through the Soviet flag?
  • peter j... george.... 2014/10/20 02:16:47
  • dexter 2011/05/06 12:55:26
  • StG44 2011/05/06 10:35:56
    Thumbs down
    I am sick of this comparison between Osama Bin Laden and Adolf Hitler! Adolf Hitler was a hero and Osama Bin Laden was a coward!!
  • MyK StG44 2011/05/06 11:34:23
    i guess your just trying to be a sh*thead? congratz, you pulled it off in spades
  • George ... StG44 2013/09/30 17:49:47
    George The Greek
    Hitler was no hero, he was a great leader and convinced a nation to follow him. USAMA BIN LADEN WAS a coward that didn't do anything. He was the poster boy for a terrorist organization and that's it. He was just a puppet with unlimited funds for war. Hitler was a hero to his people until he decided to go to war on 2fronts even though his general's told him not to. Either way both were evil sociopaths and didn't deserve to exist. In the end one killed himself the other was killed. If you believe the narrative. It's really sick and pointless to argue about it.
  • Steve 2011/05/06 09:33:30
    Thumbs up
    Maybe shaw is afraid we aren't being politically correct enough. Although unless he is a muslim himself I highly doubt the muslims would have any more tolerance for him than they do for the rest of us. I just don't understand how people can call for tolerance and special treatment for a group that would eliminate them if the opportunity presented itself.
  • KingdomNow 2011/05/06 08:17:49
    Thumbs up
    Dollar-wise, terrorist suspect Osama bin Laden cost the US more dollars than Hitler -To the tune of at least three and a half billion and counting.

    Bin Laden also succeeded in dividing the US like Hitler could never accomplish.

    Hitler could not compete with murderers on the scale of Stalin or Mao.

    Bin Laden stands in a class of his own. He challenged the most powerful country in the world with a handful of fervent followers and changed nearly every aspect of daily American life for over a decade and for decades to come -In that light, Hitler isn't even on the radar.
  • george.... KingdomNow 2013/02/22 19:30:54
    No, Hitler was far worse than Stalin -- it's just that he was stopped before he could fully put his evil plans into effect. Look up "Generalplan Ost", or read the "Anglo/American Nazi War" on Alternatehistory.com to see what the Nazis were ultimately about.
  • KingdomNow george.... 2013/10/03 06:09:27
    Do you think Stalin was satisfied with Russia and Eastern Europe? A potential murder is not a murder. Stalin made lists of random people to kill just to keep his people terrified. He was far worse than Hitler could dream of because he didn't care who was murdered. Hitler had a list but that list wasn't so long. Stalin made his killers provide lists of who they killed and checked them to make sure nobody's name appeared more than once -He had a photographic memory and a repeated name meant death for the guy who made the list.
  • Peon of the Masses 2011/05/06 07:33:53 (edited)
    Thumbs down
    Peon of the Masses
    He's nothing like hitler, to do so would diminish hitler's infamy. Mao, Che and Stalin should have been there, and soon Castro should be there with the big red x, too.

    Oh, and pulling the race card for such an irrelevant subject? That invalidates every word the author has ever written or uttered, since he's obviously full of sh*t and doesn't know the meaning of the term race.
  • george.... Peon of... 2013/02/22 19:25:04
    Che maybe should have been there, but not Mao or Stalin as they both died of natural causes rather than being killed by their enemies.
  • George ... Peon of... 2013/09/30 17:58:24 (edited)
  • theunbubba 2011/05/06 05:34:07
    Thumbs up
    It's not laying it on thick. Maybe they should have done one for Pol Pot. Would that make you feel better? Bad guys are bad guys. I thought this wasn't about religion?
  • George ... theunbubba 2013/09/30 18:13:38
  • TiagoLopez 2011/05/06 04:01:37
  • vgt1107 2011/05/06 01:46:57
    Thumbs up
    who cares? it's the publisher's decision not the public's,
  • Ken H. 2011/05/06 01:03:29
    Thumbs up
    Ken H.
    I'd say while he is a little fish compared to say Hitler or Stalin, he's still in the same bucket.
  • Sherri 2011/05/06 00:33:15
    Thumbs up
    I think it's appropriate...I can't think of anyone else who so closely resembles Hitler and his goals. It wasn't as if OBL only hated or targeted the US, he affected the world.
  • george.... Sherri 2013/02/23 10:51:12
    I thought Bin Laden's goal was to unify all Muslim countries into a single superstate ruled by Sharia law. Never heard anything about genocidal expansionism against "inferior races" in pursuit of an autarkic/Malthusian geopolitical vision, which is what Hitler's Nazis were all about.
  • dawn 2011/05/05 23:06:58
    Thumbs down
    The only picture on the cover should be the one with the bullet in his head!
  • cinbadl dawn 2011/05/05 23:32:53
  • john n dawn 2011/05/08 03:25:23
  • john n john n 2011/05/08 03:26:28
    john n
    Revised for Mother's Day!
  • Kay 2011/05/05 22:55:09
    Thumbs down
    Rhetoric... liberals can't get away from it.
  • sakljdadjslfkj 2011/05/05 22:51:35
    Thumbs down
    *Respect for the dead.
  • john n sakljda... 2011/05/06 04:19:59
    john n
    Respect for the dead; that deserve to be respected!
  • Adam 2011/05/05 22:51:19
  • john n Adam 2011/05/06 04:36:40
    john n
    If BL had the chance he would have killed just as many people. What made him more dangerous then Hitler is AH had a specific group targeted and had to hide them from the public eye before he could exterminate them. BL killed randomly without prejudice as to who he murdered or where.
  • Peon of... john n 2011/05/06 07:41:26
    Peon of the Masses
    He didn't kill randomly. He killed according to traditional and time honored Islamic practice. Infidels, apostates, women, half hearted muslims, jews, etc.
  • john n Peon of... 2011/05/08 03:36:22
    john n
    In what time did they honor conspiring to fly planes into buildings?
  • john n john n 2011/05/08 03:47:36
  • john n john n 2011/05/08 03:50:32
    john n
    NELSON 2011
  • george.... Peon of... 2013/02/22 19:27:37
    No, like many terrorists he aimed to destroy the center ground and drive people to the extremes. That's why extremists often come in pairs (such as Nazis and Communists, or Likud and Hamas).
  • Jeb Roberts 1 %'er - POTL -... 2011/05/05 22:42:17
  • SSG Shah Jeb Rob... 2011/05/06 03:18:59
    SSG Shah
    You are so stupid! Osama did not represent the Muslims, just like the pedophilic priests do not represent all Catholics, or Hitler representing all Germans. When you are on a public forum, at least be border-line educated so as not to embarrass yourself. Osama represents extremists(terrorists), not Muslims. Hitler represented extremists(Nazis), not Germans.
  • Jeb Rob... SSG Shah 2011/05/06 04:12:42
  • Sherri Jeb Rob... 2011/05/06 06:22:28
    "Are you stating that it's cool to take some of the qu'ran and disregard the other cause it does not fit into how you think people should act."

    @Jeb...sounds like how people interpret the Bible. I don't think that too many people actually believe that anyone who commits adultery should be stoned to death, or that anyone who does work on the Sabbath should be put to death!

    By the way, when was the last time you read the Quran?
  • Peon of... Sherri 2011/05/06 07:44:12
    Peon of the Masses
    Technically, you are an apostate and slated for death if you cherry pick the koran.
  • Jeb Rob... Sherri 2011/05/06 10:01:19
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