May 14th, 2012

Cover wars

In the matter of the dueling shock-value Newsweek and Time magazine covers, Ed Driscoll explains it all for you.

And there’s something so disturbing about the Time cover that I’m not putting the image on the blog. It’s certainly not because I’m a prude, or that I’m anti-breastfeeding. I’m very pro.

My objection is not to the woman so much as the boy. If she wants to flaunt herself in whatever fashion, and finds a willing co-conspirator in the now-tabloidesque Time, so be it. But there’s something about using the kid in that way that seems very, very, very wrong. He’s not of the age of consent, just a prop who’s being exploited by his mother and the magazine.

41 Responses to “Cover wars”

  1. NeoConScum Says:

    TOTALLY agree, Landlord. In keeping with an alternative cover I’ve e-mailed you a loo-loo.

  2. gcotharn Says:

    Re First Gay President & Jumping the Shark

    there’s a joke in there, somewhere, tying in shark as phallic symbol, as in: tried to jump the shark, but, instead ….

  3. Mr. Frank Says:

    The cover of Time borders on child pornography. Really. That’s why you feel it is very wrong.

  4. Jim Nicholas Says:

    My first thought on seeing the picture was imagining what that boy will have to cope with on the playground seven or eight years from now.

  5. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    As other commenters have said elsewhere, in our digital age with its ever increasing archival data storage capacities, its easy access to information, and ever increasing search capabilities, this picture will likely follow and haunt this kid throughout his life.

    Wanna bet that there won’t be some supposed “wit,” enemy, or rival of his in high school that will see to it that this picture is known to all his classmates, teachers, and especially potential girlfriends?

    Right up there and far worse than stupid, selfish parents naming their kid Alphonse or Chauncey, Moon Unit or Dweezle, so that he gets teased and probably gets the shit beat out of him in high school.

  6. neo-neocon Says:

    Jim Nicholas: I’m not so sure he’ll have to cope with much of anything on the playground. Bullying is severely policed these days, at least in school. Off school grounds, it’s another story.

  7. neo-neocon Says:

    Wolla Dalbo: and he’ll never be able to run for president :-).

  8. LisaM Says:

    Neo, The schools go to great lengths to let students and parents know that bullying won’t be tolerated, but the reality is that nothing has changed. There are still bullies and victims, and nothing much is done about it. The anti-bullying assemblies and t-shirts are all for show.

  9. Book Says:

    Mr. Frank and Jim have it exactly right. It’s abusive, and people are talking about it, which is exactly what they wanted.

    As for the Gay president thing… well, he did do that little wiggle dance on Ellen back in 08, it did make me wonder.

    A bit.


  10. physicsguy Says:

    Mr Frank came close, but I would say not that it “borders” on child pornography, but actually *is* child porn.

    When I first saw it, I also reacted at a visceral level in the same way as Neo.

  11. Harry the Extremist. Says:

    Neo: “…and he’ll never be able to run for president”

    At least not on the Republican ticket. If he’s a future democrat its either down the memory hole or spun to make it look like a plus.

  12. Curtis Says:

    Bratfeeding lady is a strong champion standing up for bratfeeding rights.

    Our culture is evolving and bratfeeding will not be denied. Gallup polls nearly a majority support full bratfeeding rights and the polls have been moving only upwards since they have been taken.

    Those expressing disgust who claim it is not natural are puritanical right wing religious nuts who must be exposed, ostracized and boycotted. Hate laws must prevent any stigma that might vicitimize bratfeeders.

    Education must enforce the dignity of bratfeeders as individuals and brave human beings. We must also regulate education and free speech to curb the war against bratfeeders-and-anyone-else-who-isn’t-white-rich-and-male Rethuglicans. A special commission needs to be appointed researching the beneficial effects of bratfeeding and establishing helpful materials and sources of support for all these helpless and beleaguered women. A federal cabinet and “safety” czar shoud be appointed to prevent bullying. Soon, perhaps, even men can bratfeed through mechanical means and even surgery. Thankfully, Hollywood will help overcome the war on bratfeeders with thoughful shows and movies. Academia, through bratfeeding studes will soon have a corpus of accepted dogma.

    Bratfeeders of the world, unite. You have only your bras to lose.

  13. Ken Says:

    The breastfeeding debate always makes me think of this.

    Breast feeding is good. So is sex and a lot of other things. They shouldn’t be done in public, though. When I saw the cover of Time, I laughed, then was repulsed when I figured out it was the cover of Time and this was supposed to pass as reporting.

    Then I laughed again when I saw the look on the kids face. It’s the look anyone guy would have if caught with a cute chick’s tit in his mouth. Ha!

  14. neo-neocon Says:

    Harry the Extremist: you know, I was just about to come back to this thread and add “at least not on the Republican ticket” to my previous comment, when I saw you’d beaten me to it.

  15. Paul in Boston Says:

    Best comment so far “Obama is going to make Judy Garland’s birthday a national holiday”.

  16. n.n Says:

    Does this expose the mother or Time editor’s fetish? Perhaps this is simply an overt effort to force normalization of pedophilia and incest. Anyway, this signals a need to review the consequences of both behaviors. Clearly there is a significant minority who are subject to progressive confusion on both topics.

  17. neo-neocon Says:

    LisaM: I don’t agree with you that nothing has changed.

    I agree with you that bullying has hardly been eradicated. Nor do I think it ever will be. But if it occurs on school grounds (and it certainly does) and if it’s reported (which it often, although not always, is), school administrations come down quite hard on it, at least in many school districts (certainly not all).

    I’m of two minds about this. On the one hand, bullying is a part of childhood and part of the toughening-up process of life. On the other hand, sometimes it can be terribly cruel and adult intervention can help defuse the most egregious cases.

  18. Curtis Says:

    Bratfeeding and the human microphone. And we got here, how? Through evolution?

    Yeah, right.

  19. CV Says:

    I’m all in favor of breastfeeding but wouldn’t nurse a toddler, although I respect differing views. The problem with this photo is the defiant and suggestive stance of the cover mom as well as the total lack of respect for the child’s privacy.

    He’ll never be able to escape that photo. I shudder to think of middle school, high school, future wedding toasts!

    Poor kid. But hey, his mom must be feeling very self-actualized….

  20. Parker Says:

    Breastfeeding is natural and good for baby & mom. Breastfeeding beyond the age of 2 IMO is risking an unhealthy attachment between mother & child. The same goes for letting toddlers routinely sleep with mom and/or dad. I have no trouble with breastfeeding in public as long as it is done discreetly, however this photo is in bad taste.

  21. Sgt. Mom Says:

    I was shaking my head over the ‘ickiness’ of it all myself. Yep, breastfeeding does have a place … it helps to have breasts, of course, but I am of the personal opinion that once the kidlet has a couple of opposing teeth the whole breastfeeding thing is off.
    Ya got teeth, kid – the wide world of adult food is open to ya!
    And the Newsweek cover with the President under a rainbow halo. Oh, my dear lord – two once-respectable news weeklies achieving equally risible and ick-making covers in the very same week. THIS is mainstream news media? They both used to be respected, substantial and influental publications. And now? From the rate at which I assume that Henry Luce and Malcolm Muir are revolving in their graves, you could probably generate electricity for a couple of goodsized urban areas.

  22. T Says:


    You should have posted Rush Limbaugh’s parody of this cover.

    When I first saw the Time cover, I thought of Serrano’s “Piss Christ.” Both are shock for the sake of shock. It almost seems as though they designed the cover and then tried to write an article to justify the cover’s publication.

  23. Occam's Beard Says:

    I agree, neo, the Time cover is repellent, and utterly devoid of redeeming social value. It’s intended solely as a circulation builder, and represents yet another coarsening of our long-suffering culture.

    OTOH, in the only bright spot, it is a measure of just how desperate Time (and Newsweek) are to escape their fate: taking a dip in La Brea.

  24. George Pal Says:

    For a metaphor of the socialist State add a dozen more whelps and wipe away the defiant attitude.

  25. OlderandWheezier Says:

    Exactly right, George. Obama and the looney left want government to be a universal “attachment parent” to its citizens – of course there are a couple of differences. For one, they don’t want any of us ever to desire to be weaned off of the mother teat. For another, they don’t want us to notice that while they’re feeding us mother’s milk, they’re bleeding far more out of us.

  26. rickl Says:

    Probably the creepiest thing about the Time cover is the way both of them are looking directly at the camera, daring the viewer to object.

    That photo would be more at home in an “edgy” art gallery exhibition than on the cover of a news magazine.

    I doubt that they are a real mother and child. They are more likely models.

    As for the Newsweek cover, at least they are being more open and blatant about Obama’s halo, instead of the more subliminal portrayals during the 2008 campaign.

  27. texexec Says:

    Who cares what these two dying magazines do anymore?

  28. neo-neocon Says:


    You’re wrong.

    They are absolutely a real mother and child. See this.

  29. rickl Says:

    OK, I didn’t buy the magazine or read the article. But the rest of my comment stands.

  30. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States Says:

    I noticed the captioning was wrong on the Time cover, so

    I fixed it

  31. Oldflyer Says:

    Irony abounds.

    Lately, the leftists and our intellectual betters, but I repeat myself, have come to revere the natural world; to the extent of educating us that homosexuality occurs naturally among certain animal species in the their native habitat. Therefore, homosexuality is a natural state–they say.

    So, it would be helpful if one of them would point me to the animal that does not wean its offspring as soon as it can eat its natural diet. In fact mothers in the wild typically kick the little ones out of the nest, lair, cave, or herd as soon as they can fend for themselves. (Someone can now point out the outlier species in which the young require an abnormally long time to mature.) The animal world, unlike the evolving human one, understands the importance of reproducing the species on a regular schedule, and kids tagging after Mom are a discouraging factor. In some cases the male may see the young as potential competition, and kill them them as soon as they leave their mother’s protection; that is if he hasn’t eaten them in earlier stages. Anthromorphism can be a slippery slope.

    Well, back to the Time example. I am confident that the kid will have problems. If he doesn’t have internal ones, that picture will come back to haunt him at some point, and in some way, despite any well intentioned prohibitions against bullying.

  32. Yackums Says:

    I wouldn’t worry about this kid getting bullied…none of his age cohort will ever read Time.

  33. Susanamantha Says:

    Yackums –
    Elizabeth Warren never thought anyone would check up on her Indian “heritage”. Nowadays, it’s all fair game. His mother has a touch of exhibitionism and she could very possibly continue this as her son ages. If so, this photo will be an albatross around his neck.

  34. Ken Says:

    I’m all in favor of breastfeeding – CV

    Breastfeeding is natural and good for baby & mom. – Parker

    The above two statements display the disconnect of what the debate is about. The debate is whether or not it is okay to do this in public. To state that you are “in favor of breastfeeding” or that it “is natural and good” is to completely miss the point, or to dishonestly suggest that those who think breastfeeding should not be done in public is “against” breast feeding or think it’s “unnatural”, both of which are absurd. Either way, who ever starts their arguments in favor of public breastfeeding with statements similar to the above two aren’t thinking clearly about what is being debated.

    I linked to a video above to show just how stupid the above two comments are. There are other things that nearly everyone is “in favor or” and thinks is “natural and good”, but should still be done in private.

    Get an effing clue.

  35. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    Well, I’m in favor of breast feeding too, but either in private or, if in public, in as unobtrusive a way as possible. I am definitely not in favor of in your face “demonstrations” of breast feeding in public, trying to make a political point. This is not Lesotho or the Congo, where bare breasts are likely commonplace, so please don’t just whip your breast out in public, make no attempt at subtlety or a decent cover-up, and then glare at anyone who dares to object.

    But, while I am in favor of breast feeding for all the physical and psychological benefits it gives to both children and mothers, at some point weaning must be done, and after a reasonable time breastfeeding, what was normal and healthy starts to be abnormal and unhealthy i.e. the whole attachment/erotic thing, so well covered by Freud and others.

    As I commented above, I think this mother—no doubt all “feminist,” and enjoying the hell out of poking all those rubes out there in the eye–is real proud of the “statement” she made (and no doubt, as a model, glad, too, for (the collateral or perhaps primary benefit of) all the publicity she garnered but, in doing so, in taking care of her “needs” and her “politics,” she’s just hung a stinking albatross around her infant son’s neck, probably for the rest of his life; an “unforced error” that will likely make his life much more difficult than it needed to be, not to mention likely condemning him to many hours on a therapist’s couch—all so that she could make her little “statement.”

  36. CV Says:


    Based on the tone and content of your first comment, I skipped your original video link.

    You may think this debate is merely about public breastfeeding (which can and should be done discreetly, unlike the Time cover) but I would beg to differ.

    If you took even a short spin around the blogosphere, you’ll see that this cover has sparked debates about the merits of breastfeeding in general, whether breastfeeding should be done in public, the appropriate age to stop breastfeeding a baby or toddler, breastfeeding as depicted in religious imagery, whether or not there is a sexual subtext to the Time photo, the possible exploitation of the toddler in the photo, the desperate actions of once-powerful newsweeklies like Time to boost readership, etc.

    Is that enough of a “clue” for you? Perhaps you yourself could use one.

  37. LisaM Says:

    Breastfeeding is one of those subjects, like global warming, that leftists use to posture themselves as more enlightened than the rest of us. I was a 41-year old, nursing my first and only child, while working full time. More than once I had liberals try to make me feel guilty for supplementing with formula when I had to.

    Several years ago NY floated a trial balloon about mandating breastfeeding until the baby reached a certain age. A fellow member of a parenting board that I beloned to, a Berkeley liberal, was all in favor of that. She was also rabidly pro-abortion. I asked her, “What happened to my body, my choice? Or are you trying to tell us that formula is worse for babies than abortion?” The leftists dropped out of that conversation without another peep.

  38. Rob Says:

    They can call it “breastfeeding” if they want to. Given the child’s age, I call it molestation. The kid is essentially getting to second base with his mother.

  39. Parker Says:

    “Get an effing clue.”


    Obviously you, assuming you are XY, are not a father and have not one iota of knowledge about babies. Young babies need to nurse frequently. Would you have the mother and child sequestered from appearing in public until frequent feeding is necessary? If so, justify it or STFU.

    I rarely say this to anyone, no matter what the provocation, but you are f*&%#@) ignorant and have not the slightest clue about which you type. Fold it 5 ways and place it gently where the sun does not shine.


  40. Parker Says:

    Excuse me Ken, I should have typed “until frequent breast feeding is NOT necessary”. However, the invitation to fold it 5 ways still stands. Let me know if you need assistance in proper placement.

  41. gcotharn Says:

    “Photographing a grown woman’s exposed breast is one thing, but putting a helpless kid in camouflage cargo pants? Inexcusable.”
    – Boobs Radley

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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