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Trump magazine cover proves divisive

dpa logodpa 4/02/2017

A magazine cover showing US President Donald Trump holding a decapitated head of Lady Liberty with the slogan "America first" has sparked a divisive reaction.

German news magazine Der Spiegel has provoked strong reactions over the weekend with a cover depicting US President Donald Trump holding the decapitated head of the Statue of Liberty.

The cover depicts Trump holding the Statue of Liberty's severed head in one hand and a bloodied knife in the other. The image is accompanied by Trump's slogan: "America first".

"This Spiegel cover devalues journalism," ran a headline in German daily newspaper Die Welt.

The accompanying article slammed the cover for comparing Donald Trump to Islamic State terrorists and said it was clearly intended to shock and garner attention for Speigel.

German daily Bild also questioned whether the image was appropriate. "Are you allowed to compare Trump to the ISIS slaughterer Jihadi John?" the newspaper wrote in an article online.

A more positive reaction came from The Washington Post, which called the cover "stunning".

Spiegel editor-in-chief Klaus Brinkbaeumer said the cover shows Trump attacking a symbol of freedom.

"In our cover image, the American president is beheading that symbol which has welcomed migrants and refugees to the USA since 1886, and with that democracy and freedom," Brinkbaeumer told dpa.

Brinkbaeumer did not comment on the question of to what extent the representation of Trump was intended to resemble beheadings by the terrorist group Islamic State.

Brinkbaeumer's comments on the cover echo those of Cuban-American artist Edel Rodriguez, who drew the cartoon.

"It's a beheading of democracy, a beheading of a sacred symbol," Rodriguez said, explaining the image to the Washington Post newspaper as a reaction to the Trump administration's immigration ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries.

The striking front page follows a theme of leading news magazines confronting the new US administration's actions in its first weeks.

The New Yorker showed the Statue of Liberty's famous flame extinguished. The Economist cover depicts Trump as a rioter holding a Molotov cocktail, with the tagline "An insurgent in the White House".

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