TIME’s ‘Elephant’ Cover Stirs Big Reaction

Readers and media outlets debate the magazine's cover which comments on the size of Chris Christie's influence

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TIME Christie Cover
Photograph by Dennis Van Tine / ABACA USA

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who romped in a re-election victory Tuesday night and has become a leader in the Republican Party, is featured on the magazine’s cover this week.

Inside the print edition, the story about the Jersey boy and Springsteen fanatic was headlined, “Born to Run.” It’s a look at why the governor and former prosecutor might be his party’s most serious presidential contender in 2016.

On the cover, TIME called Christie, “The Elephant in the Room.” The cover points readers to a package of three stories, including a look at Christie’s game plan for seeking a Presidential nomination, an excerpt from Double Down by TIME’s Mark Halperin and New York‘s John Heilemann on the turmoil surrounding Christie’s vetting as a possible vice president candidate for Mitt Romney and a column by Joe Scarborough about how Christie can unite Republicans. The overarching themes of the package: Christie’s outsized influence in his party and the discomfort he causes some fellow Republicans who consider him, well, the elephant in the room.

The reaction was swift from critics and fans alike—with many choosing to focus on a single interpretation of the cover.

“TIME magazine makes a fat joke for its cover on Chris Christie,” Salon wrote.

Business Insider had a different view: “The new issue of TIME features a brilliant triple entendre featuring Chris Christie.”

Early Thursday afternoon, a poll on the Huffington Post showed a near even split between those who thought the cover in poor taste and those who thought, “What’s the problem?”

Talk of Christie’s weight—a topic the governor has openly addressed—has often swirled around discussion of his political ambitions. Christie himself has made light of his weight. Appearing on “The Late Show with David Letterman” in February, he told the host that the jokes about his size don’t bother him that much.

“If it’s not funny, I don’t laugh. But I’ve never felt like it was, you know, anything that really bugged me all that much, no,” Christie said. The governor then interrupted the interview to eat a donut.

48 comments
LRS123
LRS123

I think the Governor Christie cover is insulting and disrespectful. I get the double meaning and it may be clever, but that does not mean it is right to publish it. Think about how you or someone you love would feel if they were mocked like this. Civility is at an all time low when a respected publication such as Time would publish something as crude and demeaning is this. I am sure Governor Christie has developed a thick skin to handle such insults, but that doesn't mean he should have to deal with them from Time or any other nationally respected news source. Shame on you!

fritz_seaman
fritz_seaman

The worst thing about this cover, is it should have Bobby Henline!! A war vet who was burned, and the only surviver of 2 Hum-Vees, hit by an IED!!

NickGiannini
NickGiannini

Im more offended at the x rayed penis they have going into his mouth.

dstrouse
dstrouse

No the next cover should not be a donkey but a picture of Obama with a Pinochle nose (level 4). And the caption- Lies, Lies, Lies from the top.  And the articles can cronicle lies of all sorts since 2009 by Obama on Obamacare, Benghazi and many other items.  Rep Wilson was right ans so is Sarah Palin., 

JohnKTudekSr.
JohnKTudekSr.

As a young adult, I was a faithful subscriber to TIME magazine. I left because of it's leftist leaning. Now it's very crude, and rude, remarks about NJ Gov Christie, make me lose all respect whatsoever for this puerile piece of trash.

versod
versod

Since Time is into caricatures, they can show how fair and balanced they are by putting that Donkey in the White House on their next cover

cc920
cc920

Time magazine says in their blog, "the cover is in reference to the size of his influence, not his waistband." This statement is an obvious lie. You think everything involved in approving this tagline and cover didn't realize this was an intentional jab at his weight? They knew and they wanted the publicity to sell more magazines. Time magazine would not dare to use the same title if this was a female. What makes it okay for Gov. Christie? 'Clever'? Is that the new word we're using for hate nowadays?

katwoman
katwoman

Clearly Time was playing with us by posting a picture of a republican who they don't like, and who happens to be overweight, along with a title that includes the word Elephant. But in the end, it was insulting and a low blow.

katwoman
katwoman

I am a democrat. I don't need to see a photo of fat Hillary on the cover, nor any other politician if it comes with an insulting title like the one included on this week's cover. If Time Magazine can't be respectful, why bother buying, reading, or publishing your magazine? Clean up your act Time!

Nancianne
Nancianne

I am waiting for you to put a similar photo of Fat hillary your cover. If you don't I will NOT resubscribe.   

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

And herein, displayed for all to see, is a typical knee-jerk reaction from supposedly "educated" people - “TIME magazine makes a fat joke for its cover on Chris Christie, - Salon”

It was obvious for anyone who has been following politics in this country that the elephant referenced Christy as a counter to the extreme culture that has high jacked the Republican party. 

And these people not only write the news they vote!

DMC
DMC

So, lots of people think that this is a stab at Chris Christie's weight. Know one came to the conclusion that Christie as a REPUBLICAN, which is symbolized as an ELEPHANT, had anything to do with the headline on this cover??  Think about it. The ones that automatically assumed that the headline was about his weight are the one's that are RUDE.

dorcare
dorcare

shame on time for their OBVIOUS mention of his weight...you can tell us your interpretation but it's bull----surprised at your tabloid leanings !

AnneMarieReidyBorenstein
AnneMarieReidyBorenstein

RUDE RUDE RUDE. The American way, these days. Disgusted. I'm not a Republican, but I admire his realworld strength. Christie has earned the respect TIME denied him.

chatterflox
chatterflox

This Jersey guy loves this cover...anything that gives Christie publicity is ok with me...Now how about an outline shot of thunderthighs on your next cover...you know who she is, and we all know she needs some publicity too.

Tanit
Tanit

TIME is one of many magazines that is no longer relevant to modern day news. To be honest I have not seen someone reading or purchasing the magazine in years. Who really cares?

windpedlar
windpedlar

Trying to keep up with MAD magazine.  

DenEstr
DenEstr

Time Magazine should put Obama in the shadows like this cover and statement should say that "Time Magazine goes through Obama's Backdoor from his Black Hole." 

jamesgordon777
jamesgordon777

His  nose  looks  nothing  like an  elephants  trunk, I  don't  know  why  anyone  would  get upset , People  are  gust thin  skinned and  sensitive these  days.  Besides Pinocchio had a  big  nose  and  he was  not  a  bad  dude .

patrice535
patrice535

Haven't read Time in years but saw this cover on another website.  I'm indifferent to Christie but take offense at the juvenile cover, no matter who the subject might have been.  Time is generally irrelevant so this gave it 15 minutes of fame again.

Charyl5
Charyl5

Totally inappropriate...poor choice of words......you had to know this would be offensive to many people.  This man, however, who I totally respect.....is tough....and that's a great quality....  Glad he won the election!

TessFaison
TessFaison

Are you people at time magazine in 1st grade? Ridiculous.

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

It was one of the stories in the top half of Phila local news tonight.

Pollopa
Pollopa

Shouldn't "Big" in the title be in quotation marks as well?

S_Deemer
S_Deemer

If Christie is OK with the cover, I'm OK with it. It is a clever triple entendre, but it's also understandable how some people could be put off. But, I'll bet it sells issues, which is what covers are for. A lot of people were offended by Rolling Stone's Dzhokhar Tsarnaev cover. Editors can't please everybody. 

PhillipNoe
PhillipNoe

He's NOT what this country needs. We need leaders that aren't afraid to face very real global climate change crisis.

He made it clear climate change is not a priority saying, “candidly, I don't have time to deal with it... It's not a main concern for me. ... You know what? If you asked of these people in Union Beach I don't think they give a damn [about climate change]."

Join the efforts to get our leaders to lead us to a sustainable future. Business as usual is dangerous!
http://exhaustinghabitability.com/

BrandonK
BrandonK

I get that it's a double- or triple-entendre, but the first thing people will see is that it's a fat joke.  That's pretty rude, guys.

Azrimgiab
Azrimgiab

fu*k you time magazine. No difference between you and huffington post now.

versod
versod

@AlphaJuliette 

Would it bother you then if their next cover was all about The Donkey in The White House?

Arimathean
Arimathean

@Tanit 

"It's not relevant," he says, as he reads and comments on the magazine's website.

Nancianne
Nancianne

@PhillipNoe Christie can Beat horrible hillary and that is the MOST important thing !!!!

Tanit
Tanit

Really, Really,,,, C'mon Phillip Al Gore has been exposed as a complete and total fraud and has become a multi millionaire by fooling the masses, all the while creating one of the largest carbon foot prints known to man. If anything is dangerous it is this type of thinking contrary to evidence and reality. Global Warming = $$$$$ Climate Change = NO $$$$$.

Hollywooddeed
Hollywooddeed

@Azrimgiab  If you don't like it, don't read it.  This is America and that what that mouse thingy is for.

formerlyjames
formerlyjames

@Azrimgiab 

I regret to inform you that if you intended an insult to Time, it falls flat for many informed readers.

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

@versod 

You mean as in The @ss in the White House?  Yes, that would bother me because we adults try to refrain from the juvenile name calling that does nothing to further real, honest and considered discussion.

As I mentioned in my original post the comment about the Elephant in the room referred to Christie being the obvious anti Tea Party potential candidate in 2016 and was not about his weight.

Tanit
Tanit

Let's see ,,,,, a total of 23 comments. Irrelevant might not be correct, closer to obsolete.

Tanit
Tanit

Well let's see a total of 23 comments,,,,,,, not completely irrelevant, but pretty close.

PhillipNoe
PhillipNoe

@Tanit  Your comment was adolescent.  It reflects your argument.

Tanit
Tanit

Typical liberal response. Did not notice your website before. Now it all makes sense.