Here comes the cover controversy — again.
For only the second time in 85 years, Time magazine abandoned the traditional red border it uses on its cover. The occasion? The fight against global warming.
But this time — to really make their point — they decided to use the iconic photo from the Battle of Iwo Jima (which is the inspiration for the US Marine Corps War Memorial) and do a little modifying. OK, they actually replaced the flag with a tree. Their goal was to make the comparison that the fight against global warming is similar to the fight of WWII. Veterans are understandably upset. From the article,
“It’s an absolute disgrace,” Donald Mates, an Iwo Jima veteran said. “Whoever did it is going to hell. That’s a mortal sin. God forbid he runs into a Marine that was an Iwo Jima survivor.” Mates also said making the comparison of World War II to global warming was erroneous and disrespectful.“The second world war we knew was there,” Mates said. “There’s a big discussion. Some say there is global warming, some say there isn’t. And to stick a tree in place of a flag on the Iwo Jima picture is just sacrilegious.”
Time is standing behind the decision to use the cover with managing editor Richard Stengel saying that a point of view is needed. “You can’t always just say ‘on the one hand, on the other’ and you decide. People trust us to make decisions. We’re experts in what we do. So I thought, you know what, if we really feel strongly about something let’s just say so.”
Personally, I believe it was a mistake to modify a memorial to fallen soldiers to make a point about something completely different. Fighting global warming is very important, but the efforts to rally support for that cause should not be made at the expense of the sacrifices of others.