Time Cover Highlights Depression, But Story Downplays Threat
It’s almost like yelling, “There’s not a fire” in a crowded theater. It’s enough to get the audience’s attention by startling them, even though the alarm isn’t supported by reality.
Such is the case with the cover of the new issue of Time magazine, which features a photograph of a Depression-era soup line and a headline, “The New Hard Times.”
However at the bottom of the cover in much smaller print – “No, this isn’t Depression 2.0.” And the article itself suggests a preventative measure to ward off a Depression – government intervention.
When Time magazine editor Richard Stengel appeared on MSNBC’s Oct. 2 “Morning Joe” and unveiled the cover, he was greeted with confusion from co-hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough.
“There’s no doubt a lot of Americans are confused also,”
Stengel dismissed Scarborough’s criticism and said Scarborough was not seeing the effects of the economic hardship from his lofty perch in
However, Scarborough – a former congressman from
“Go to Best Buys, go to Best Buys in
Stengel maintained that people are feeling it – they’re unable to get loans, which is not exactly the same thing as waiting in a line for a handout to keep from going hungry.
“It is all on credit, but what’s happening much more frequently now is that people are connecting the dots between Wall Street and
The cover story article, by Harvard historian Niall Ferguson, draws several comparisons and distinctions between now and then, but he concludes “Depression 2.0” can be averted – through government intervention.
“But while we certainly face a global slowdown, we may yet avoid another depression,”
“Finally, the possibility still exists (though the odds are slimmer than they were a year ago) that the Asian and Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds could step in to recapitalize
Time magazine’s one-foot-in, one-foot-out attempt to use Great Depression alarmism to promote its cover story is just one example of how the media have engaged exaggerations. A recent Business & Media Institute report, “The Great Media Depression,” revealed the media compared current economic conditions to the Great Depression more than 70 times in the first six months of 2008.
Time isn’t new to controversial, eye-catching cover images. Its April 28 issue featured a doctored version of the famous