Green Room

TIME Obama and Bush Cover Galleries

posted at 9:44 am on December 15, 2009 by

In light of the recent news that Bella Pelosi is among the finalists for TIME Magazine’s person of the year award, let’s take a moment to look back at TIME’s gloriously partisan coverage of the 44th president and his predecessor.

As good a place to start as any is with a quick reminder that TIME published perhaps the most revelatory piece in existence on Team Obama, uncovering the inspiration behind the audacious presidential campaign: and it was, to be sure, Diet Coke.

Way to scale new heights of journalism there, TIME.

So far, President Obama has been blessed with 28 appearances on TIME’s cover, with the first dating from October 23, 2006, and the most recent taking place yesterday, December 14, 2009.  For a gallery of all the covers, click on the pic below (yes, it’ll take you to my blog, where the shrine is displayed in its full splendor.  I did try to put it on here, but could only get the gallery to display all the covers in a single vertical column, which diminishes their impact significantly):


President Bush has also graced the cover of TIME on 28 occasions.  The first was June 21, 1999, and the most recent August 03, 2009 (prior to the August ’09 appearance, though, Dubya last appeared on the cover on November 6, 2006).  In a no doubt calculated snub, TIME didn’t even include him in the cover montages of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2007, 2008 or 2009 – but unlike the present occupant of the White House, I doubt that this bothered Bush in the slightest.  Click the pic again to be taken to the gallery of TIME Bush covers:


Both men have appeared on the cover the same number of times, but there the similarities end.  The difference in tone of the coverage will not come as a surprise to anyone who can read (or even see), and Obama’s potential future appearances are infinite, whereas Georgie-boy will only be rolled out again whenever TIME feels the urge to indulge in some more Blame Bush Doctrine fallacy.

Finally, a sliver of good news.  At the end of 2008, TIME discontinued publication of its Canadian edition, which had been in existence for over 60 years.  TIME somehow still manages to shift around 3.4 million copies of its magazines each week, although this has declined from a weekly circulation of 4.1 million in 2006.  And, despite its recent overhaul, TIME’s moribund health does not yet seem to be improving.

Perhaps they should just go the whole hog and put Obama on the cover every week, instead of merely every month.

Surely The One can save them?


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Didn’t there used to be a journalistically decent newsmagazine named TIME? Whatever happened to it?

rbj on December 15, 2009 at 10:06 AM

rbj, to paraphrase the president: That is not the TIME that I know.

Since the overhaul, it’s become even more lunatic Left, not that it was much better beforehand.

Still, Newsweek is even more obsequious, somehow.

Track-A-'Crat on December 15, 2009 at 10:34 AM

Bush and The One have been on the cover of Time the same number of times although Bush was in office 8 years and The One only 1? Wow.

Recent overhaul? Don’t you mean Newsweek? Their covers are even worse. Check out last weeks (sorry, could only find the foreign versions)

Pervygrin on December 15, 2009 at 11:29 AM

Used to read both Time and Newsweek.

Got tired of having to fact-check, having to point out false arguments, and of paying for mags I often threw straight into the recycling bin.

Now, I only read ’em when at the doctors’ office, and then only if I can’t find Car & Driver or a similar fact-based publication.


acat on December 15, 2009 at 11:30 AM

Ah, brings me back to the late 90s and early 00s, when I read that trash and thought it was relevant. Thank you Hot Air and the internets overall for teaching me that it is, in fact, not very relevant at all.

thebrokenrattle on December 15, 2009 at 11:32 AM

Pervygrin – yep, although the covers for both started from before they took office and, especially in Obama’s case, will continue to appear long after they’ve left.

Newsweek’s overhaul was more thorough, although TIME also underwent changes in 2007. They were more stylistic, but impacted on the writing side, as well.

You’re right about Newsweek’s cover being even worse – I’ve a post on that to follow.

acat – heh, same here. I only ever give it a very quick glance when it’s lying around somewhere, and, even then, the titles of the articles alone are usually enough to make me drop it back on the pile.

thebrokenrattle – the range of opinions available now is incomparable to anything that has come before. I learn as much – if not more – from all the comments that accompany articles, as I do from the articles themselves. A truly free press is a wonderful thing, so long as the Democrats permit its existence…

Track-A-'Crat on December 15, 2009 at 11:48 AM

Perhaps they should just go the whole hog and put Obama on the cover every week, instead of merely every month.

Every month? Isn’t it more like every other cover?

crazy_legs on December 15, 2009 at 1:56 PM

crazy_legs – it certainly seems that way. Since his first guest-starring role, Barry has appeared on nearly 20 percent of TIME covers. As with his time in office, though, it just feels like much, much more.

Track-A-'Crat on December 15, 2009 at 2:43 PM