Time Magazine Asks ‘Is Truth Dead?’ in Trump Era

Editor writes, “It is vital that we be able to believe our President; it is also vital that we know what he believes, and why”

The latest issue of Time magazine pays homage to one of its most famous covers by asking, “Is Truth Dead?”

For its April 8, 1966 issue, Time asked “Is God Dead?” on its cover. It marked the first time the magazine published a cover solely with text, according to Time. The publication notes that the decision to run its first cover without art was made after Time Inc. founder Henry Luce wrote in a letter to then-editor Otto Fuerbringer,  “The only artist who could paint a portrait of God is God.”

“It is no less ironic today than it was a half-century ago to use such brashness in a stark TIME setting to pose this timely and thought-provoking question,” says typographer Kent Lew, who developed the body copy typeface used in the magazine, published Thursday. “A fitting homage.”

The new version accompanies a story written by managing editor Nancy Gibbs asking if truth dies when “a president can’t be taken at his word.”

The original cover story was “about the state of the church as the health of the deity,” when “97% of Americans told pollsters they believed in God,” Gibbs wrote.

She continued: “Half a century later, I suspect that about as many would say they believe in Truth, and yet we find ourselves having an intense debate over its role and power in the face of a President who treats it like a toy.”

President Trump has made a series of unverified claims on Twitter and regularly refers to mainstream media as “fake news.”

Gibbs ponders, “Does it count as lying if he believes what he says?”

The cover story concludes with the message: “As citizens, it is vital that we be able to believe our President; it is also vital that we know what he believes, and why. This President has made both a severe challenge.”