TIME cover blasted for over-the-top attempt to make Biden ‘look cool’ ahead of Putin meeting

'DNC press releases aren’t this sycophantic,' one conservative critic wrote

TIME was widely mocked after the magazine unveiled its upcoming cover image on Friday ahead of the upcoming summit between a sunglasses-wearing President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"This cover attempts to make Joe Biden look cool, but even in their flattering depiction of his face -- a drawing because he would look incredibly elderly and weak in a current high-def pic -- he has his typical gaping mouth that makes him look clueless and afraid of Putin who is staring him down with a confident smirk," political satirist Tim Young told Fox News. 

TIME releases a new cover story on the upcoming summit between President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva on June 16. 

TIME releases a new cover story on the upcoming summit between President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva on June 16. 

The illustration features Biden in his signature aviator shades with the headline, "Taking on Putin." 

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TIME spent years publishing unflattering illustrations of former President Donald Trump, complete with a pair of covers showing his "meltdown" stages and another set of covers showing Trump’s Oval Office filling up with water amid a "stormy" situation. But the unflattering Trump illustrations are not the only time the magazine used its cover to cast him in a negative light. 

"I can't help but remember the cover of TIME where their editors pushed a lie by editing a Honduran child they claimed to have been separated from her parents by Trump on the cover with Trump - it turned out the child hadn't been separated at all, but that image had been used to ruin Trump, which was their entire biased game for four years," Young said.

In 2018, it was revealed that a little girl shown in a viral photo crying as a U.S. Border Patrol agent detained her mother – and used by TIME magazine to symbolize the Trump administration's family separation policy –was never separated from her mom, according to her own father. 

TIME, which stood by the controversial cover despite the new information, called it "an image America could not ignore" and interviewed the photographer, as did other outlets. TIME even followed up with another article entirely about the cover and "the story behind" it.

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The magazine even morphed Trump and Putin together ahead of their summit back in 2018. Now that Biden is in office, readers have taken notice of the hypocrisy. 

"Giving him a pipeline of leverage into Europe is NOT taking him on. It’s giving in," former acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Richard Grenell responded, while National Review’s Kyle Smith added, "DNC press releases aren’t this sycophantic."

"Wonder why there was no such 'Trump takes out Soleimani' cover," one reader pondered

Many others have taken to Twitter with feedback on the cover, including Real Clear Politics' Tom Bevan referring to the press inquiring about Biden's ice cream flavor of choice last month. 

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Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report.