Controversial Cartoon Spiegel’s Trump Cover Sparks Furor

While Spiegel’s editor-in-chief Klaus Brinkbäumer said the magazine’s cover is a stance for democracy and freedom, detractors have called the cartoon tasteless and said it trivializes the threat of Islamic extremism.
Der Spiegel’s editor in chief Mr. Brinkbäumer has said under U.S. President Trump, freedom is “seriously endangered.”

The cover of this week’s issue of German news magazine Der Spiegel has attracted strong criticism in Germany and abroad, with some accusing the influential weekly of a lack of journalistic integrity.

The cover of the latest issue published Saturday shows a cartoon figure of U.S. President Donald Trump holding up the bleeding head of the Statue of Liberty in one hand, and a bloodstained knife in the other. Beneath the image, caption reads, “America First”.

The cover, created by Cuban-American cartoonist Edel Rodriguez, caused outrage even among people who oppose Mr. Trump.

Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, a member of the Germany’s Free Democrats and vice president of the European Parliament, told tabloid Bild the cover “plays on the lives of terror victims in a very nasty way.”

German daily Die Welt called the cover “hysterical” and said it “damages journalism.”

Der Spiegel’s editor in chief Klaus Brinkbäumer told Reuters TV he was surprised at how people had reacted to the illustration and said his magazine is “defending democracy.”

Mr. Brinkbäumer wrote in an editorial that Mr. Trump, whom he compared to Nero, a notoriously cruel Roman emperor, was “attempting a coup from the top.”