Time magazine mocked for fawning cover with Biden in aviators ‘taking on Putin’

Time magazine’s fawning cover of Joe Biden looking younger with Vladimir Putin in his aviator sunglasses is Twitter‘s newest meme playground, with the president’s critics ripping into the publication.   

In Time’s tweet introducing the cover, the magazine wrote: ‘Biden takes on Putin,’ which elicited an onslaught of snippy jokes about 78-year-old Biden’s age and gifs of Putin laughing on Twitter. 

‘What in the hell kind of fan fiction comic book is this cover?’ one user said.

Another tweet said it made the president look like a ‘Hollywood movie villain.’ 

‘He’s wearing sunglasses because he’s sleeping,’ another Twitter user said, playing off Donald Trump’s snarky nickname for Biden ‘Sleepy Joe’. 

Time published the cover as Biden prepares to meet with Putin at a summit in Geneva next week. 

‘Good luck to Biden in dealing with President Putin—don’t fall asleep during the meeting, and please give him my warmest regards,’ Trump said in an emailed statement. 

Time magazine has come under fire for its fawning cover of Joe Biden looking younger with Vladimir Putin reflected in his aviator sunglasses

Time magazine has come under fire for its fawning cover of Joe Biden looking younger with Vladimir Putin reflected in his aviator sunglasses 

The cover elicited an onslaught of jokes and jabs from the president's critics

The cover elicited an onslaught of jokes and jabs from the president’s critics

Another Twitter user said Time should’ve used the picture of the 1989 film Weekend at Bernie’s, where two guys prop up their employer – who’s wearing aviator glasses – and pretend he’s alive. 

 Biden spent his first full day on a European tour meeting British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday. 

He’s scheduled to spend the next week meeting world leaders before sitting down with Putin on Wednesday in Geneva, Switzerland.

Biden and his officials have said they see his trip to Europe as a chance to reassert American leadership after Trump and his administration were accused by critics of being soft on Putin.  

White House officials have not yet said whether the two leaders will hold a joint press conference. 

The US-Russia relationship has been in the headlines throughout Trump’s administration. 

Based on replies to Time magazine’s cover, Twitter doesn’t think that will happen.  

‘Imagine thinking an establishment stooge will be able to take on a man who practically rebuilt the Russian state from scratch,’ a Twitter user said.  

A meme underneath the actual cover is an exact copy, except instead of Putin in the aviators, it’s a picture of Biden falling up the stairs to Air Force One at the end of March. 

Biden played that gaffe off with a smile and saluted the reporters and photographers. He fell again in rainy weather in May and reacted the same way.   

Outside of the Twitter rabbit hole of gifs, memes and criticisms is the reason for the highly anticipated and polarizing meeting between Biden and Putin.    

In 2018, Trump told reporters he accepted Putin’s denial his country interfered in the 2016 election, sending officials to do public relations damage control.

‘As president, I had a great and very productive meeting in Helsinki, Finland, with President Putin of Russia,’ said Trump in his message.

‘Despite the belated Fake News portrayal of the meeting, the United States won much, including the respect of President Putin and Russia.’  

Intelligence agencies concluded that the Kremlin sought to tilt the election in Trump’s favor as part of an effort to undermine American democracy and install a weaker leader than Hillary Clinton. 

 But Trump said it was the meddling of his own country’s investigators that threatened to impede his administration. 

Trump was roundly condemned for accepting Putin's denials of election interference. US intelligence agencies believed the Kremlin worked to tilt the election in Trump's favor as the least threatening candidate to their interests

Trump was roundly condemned for accepting Putin’s denials of election interference. US intelligence agencies believed the Kremlin worked to tilt the election in Trump’s favor as the least threatening candidate to their interests

In a Wednesday speech from Britain, Biden said, ‘I’m headed to the G7, then to the NATO ministerial and then to meet with Mr. Putin to let him know what I want him to know.

Biden is on an eight-day swing through Europe and is due to meet Putin in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday after meeting G7, NATO and European Union leaders

Biden is on an eight-day swing through Europe and is due to meet Putin in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday after meeting G7, NATO and European Union leaders

‘We’re not seeking conflict with Russia. We want a stable predictable relationship,’ he said. 

‘I’ve been clear: the United States will respond in a robust and meaningful way if the Russian government engages in harmful activities.’

When he sits down with Putin, Biden will privately pressure Putin on everything from attacks by Russian-based hackers on American businesses, to the jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny and covert efforts by the Kremlin to interfere in elections.  

Back in the Twitterverse, Biden’s comments play to a meme that spoofed the popular video game (turned into a recent movie) Mortal Combat with Biden and the White House on one side vs. Putin and the Kremlin on the other. 

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