The ‘New Yorker’ Trump Clown Cover Depicts The Presidency As A “National Nightmare”

The New Yorker
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On Monday, nearly one year after Donald Trump was elected president, a new cover of the New Yorker depicts Trump as a "dangerous clown," according to Carter Goodrich, the artist behind the cover. The cover, called "October Surprise," shows Trump, complete with a sinister grin, dressed as a clown and emerging from the woods.

The issue will run the day before Halloween, but The New Yorker unveiled the image eight days before its release on Twitter. In an interview with the magazine detailing his reason for the cover, Goodrich said that his “whole life has been disrupted” by the Trump presidency, calling it a "national nightmare." Goodrich also said that Trump is "already a cartoon villain, infantile, and strange."

“I’m still just as stunned now as I was a year ago, on Election Night,” Goodrich said about the cover. “I have been asked to work on movies about him. I can’t do it; most satire seems to lighten what feels to me like a dire situation. He’s already a cartoon villain, infantile and strange.”

Some Twitter users have compared the cover to Pennywise, the antagonist clown from It, Stephen King's horror film and book of the same name, referring to Trump as "Donnywise" in reactions to the cover on social media.

The cover comes in the wake of the controversy surrounding President Trump and his reported statements regarding soldiers who were killed during the Oct. 4 Niger attack. But that isn't the only issue Trump is under fire for right now.

The president has also recently been criticized for trying to stop an undocumented teenager from receiving an abortion as well as for his proposed health care policy changes to Obamacare. Trump has also been slammed by critics for repeatedly tweeting about the NFL, as players continue to kneel in protest during the national anthem.

"Two dozen NFL players continue to kneel during the National Anthem, showing total disrespect to our Flag & Country," Trump tweeted on Monday. "No leadership in NFL!"

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This isn't the first time the New Yorker has featured Trump on one of its covers. During an August issue called "Blowhard" by artist David Plunkert, the magazine featured an image of Trump in a boat with a sail resembling the hoods of the Ku Klux Klan members. The cover was meant to reference Trump inadvertently supporting white nationalism through his controversial statements blaming "both sides" for the deadly violence that occurred during the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which left dozens injured and one person dead. In a press conference after the riots, Trump said there were "very fine people on both sides" of the protest, which included Neo-Nazis.

“A picture does a better job showing my thoughts than words do; it can have a light touch on a subject that’s extremely scary," Plunkert said in an interview about the cover.

Other magazines have also used covers to make bold statements about Trump. A cover by The Economist echoed the sentiments depicted in the KKK New Yorker cover, portraying Trump as bellowing into a white megaphone resembling the eye holes of a Ku Klux Klan hood.

A February TIME cover showed Trump sitting in his office while a storm raged on around him, but the president was seemingly unaffected by it. The cover was meant to portray how Trump was able to evade the media scandals throughout his campaign in order to still get elected president. And another New Yorker cover, published in July 2015, shows Trump doing a belly flop into a pool of Republican lawmakers during the primary race, implying that he was making a splash in the election but was also destined to make things more difficult for the GOP through his divisive statements.

Although controversial covers aren't new, magazine covers can be a powerful way to address pivotal moments in today's political climate and in the case of Trump, his latest political scandals. The "Donnywise" one shows just that.