New York Magazine Walks Back Trump ‘Loser’ Cover

'Seeing the cover on the newsstand after Election Day makes us cringe.'

A note in this week’s issue of New York magazine about the publication framing President-elect Donald Trump as a “LOSER” on the cover of its previous Oct. 31 issue starts with a paragraph that contains a sentence with two “maybe’s” and a reference to polls “we no longer believe.” Welcome to the quicksand world of post-Nov. 8.

The editors of the magazine admit they very nearly scrapped the cover. As the issue was going to print Friday Oct. 28, the infamous announcement from FBI director James Comey crossed the wire. After what is deemed a “brief reconsideration,” New York stuck with the Barbara Kruger artwork, and the editors write that they cringed post-election at the idea of the issue sitting on newsstands. From the note:

We, and Kruger, had always intended for our cover to convey multiple meanings: certainly that Trump was running behind, but also that America itself was losing, dragged down into a filthy dumb-show campaign. And, Kruger herself adds, “Donald Trump has a keen instinct for locating the most vulnerable place in the character of anyone who disagrees with him — my labeling him with the word he most feared was just a comment on and reenactment of that strategy.” (Not to mention that Trump himself uses single-word epithets so enthusiastically.)

With all due respect, there’s no way any of those other layers were going to override the primary electoral impression given by an issue attached to the final days leading up to the election. The grimacing black and white close-up of Trump with the red sticker-like proclamation of him being a “Loser” tipped yet another media outlet’s conviction that he had no chance.

Previously on FishbowlNY:
New York Calls Trump a ‘Loser’

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.