Time Editor Keeps Defending Cover: Nobody Using Photo Knew ‘That They Had Not Been Separated’


Time magazine Editor-in-Chief Edward Felsenthal is still standing by the publication’s cover amid an ongoing firestorm of controversy, saying its image of a distraught immigrant “symbolized this moment in America.”

“I think John Moore‘s photo was and will remain an iconic one,” he told CNN’s Brian Stelter Sunday, referring to the shot of a 2-year-old Honduran girl crying in McAllen, TX where her mother was being searched by a border patrol agent. While it was widely speculated the two may have been separated, it was revealed last week they are being housed together.

“We chose the photo because this little girl became the face of this story on front pages and home pages and TV screens and Facebook feeds,” Felsenthal said of Time‘s latest cover, which shows the girl superimposed over a red backdrop, standing beneath President Donald Trump. To their left are the words, “Welcome to America.”

While critics have called use of Moore’s image misleading, Felsenthal told Stelter “none of us in the media who used the photo knew what had happened to the girl after this precise moment.”

“And I think part of the power of the image is that unknown,” he added. “This was a girl facing–who’s coming to America, has just completed one terrifying journey, and whatever its contours, whatever happens to her faces another very frightening journey as well.”

RELATED: Time’s Defense of Its Cover is the Wrong Move for Anyone Who Cares About the Media (or Immigrants)

While Time is continuing to defend the cover, it had to issue a correction to a web story last week, which misstated that the girl was separated from her mother.

“We did make an error, which obviously I regret and hate making errors any time,” Felsenthal said, explaining that the publication “quickly and transparently corrected that.”

While Moore had never stated the two had been split up, Felsenthal said Time “didn’t know, nobody using this photo knew on Monday or Tuesday knew that they had not been separated.”

Watch the clip above, via CNN.

[Image via screengrab]

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