Time magazine’s cover story emerging on Thursday is naturally, Donald Trump Jr. in black and white, behind the words “Red Handed: The Russia Scandal Hits Home.”
It’s also natural and expected that Time writer David Von Drehle predicted a monster storm: “Like a farmer forecasting the weather by the ache in his knee, Washington has a feeling that this storm could be a monster. And the twinge that forecast the deluge was Donald Trump Jr. facing a camera and issuing what sounded a little like an apology. Which is an ominous sign in an Administration that means never having to say you're sorry.”
Von Drehle admitted that there’s a “long way to go” in proving collusion, but “whether the Trump team with the Russians or not, they certainly wanted to.”
And that is downright unpatrotic, the magazine insists: “But while partisanship is one thing, Russia has long been an entirely different matter. From Damascus to Turtle Bay, from oil fields to outer space, Russia is a fierce rival of the U.S. and has been for generations. What politician jumps in bed with Russia?”
One answer is Sen. Ted Kennedy in 1984, as historian Paul Kengor has documented. And then there is the leftist media. Today, Time magazine says Russia has been a “fierce rival for generations.” But in 1990, Time’s Strobe Talbott – who would eventually become Bill Clinton’s Deputy Secretary of State – wrote a story headlined "Gorbachev is helping the West by showing that the Soviet threat isn't what it used to be - and what's more, that it never was."
Time magazine’s real “Red Handed” cover story was the one offering the honorific “Man of the Decade” to Gorbachev in an obvious snub of Ronald Reagan as the Soviet Union crumbled. Imagine either Donald Trump uncorking an oily tribute to a Russian like these people did:
“The supreme leader of an atheistic state was baptized as a child. Now, in a sense, Gorbachev means to accomplish the salvation of an entire society that has gone astray....Much more than that, Gorbachev is a visionary enacting a range of complex and sometimes contradictory roles. He is simultaneously the communist Pope and the Soviet Martin Luther, the apparatchik as Magellan and McLuhan. The Man of the Decade is a global navigator.”
— Time Senior Writer Lance Morrow, January 1, 1990.
“With a Western-style politician’s charm and a homey touch, he became, as Time put it, ‘a symbol of hope for a new kind of Soviet Union: more open, more concerned with the welfare of its citizens and less with the spread of its ideology and system abroad.’ What did spread, at home and abroad, was a fever of democratic reform.”
— Time in its double-issue dated Dec. 31, 2001/Jan. 7, 2002, explaining why it selected the former Soviet dictator as “Man of the Year” in 1987 and 1989.
Time also honored Gorbachev several times after the Soviet Union hit the ash heap of history, like this summary from May 3, 1993: "What do you do for an encore after ending the Cold War and reversing the arms race? How about saving the planet? That's the latest assignment for Mikhail Gorbachev, having assumed the presidency of the International Green Cross, a new environmental organization.
An MRC Special Report from 2009 called Better Off Red? by Rich Noyes and Scott Whitlock documented how as the U.S.S.R. dissolved as a Communist Party superpower, as well as its satellite dictatorships in Eastern Europe, Time magazine’s group of Red-handed suck-ups repeatedly insisted the end of communism would be a bitter pill for Russians to swallow. So they weren't pro-Russia, just pro-communism:
“Under communism few grew rich, but few went hungry; in many cases people enjoyed surprisingly high levels of prosperity. In Poland, for example, wealthy entrepreneurs were able to afford Western luxury automobiles; in Czechoslovakia ownership of second homes was common. Now many may no longer be able to enjoy such extravagance.”
— Time Warsaw correspondent John Borrell, December 3, 1990 news story.
“In towns like Pushkino (pop. 90,000), many Russians view the tumult sweeping Moscow with more anxiety and skepticism than do their big-city compatriots....They wonder if the destruction of Soviet communism will bring them anything more than uncertainty and hardship.”
— Time reporter (and future Obama press secretary) James Carney, September 9, 1991.
“Inefficient as the old communist economy was, it did provide jobs of a sort for everybody and a steady, if meager, supply of basic goods at low, subsidized prices; Soviet citizens for more than 70 years were conditioned to expect that from their government. Says a Moscow worker: ‘We had everything during [Leonid] Brezhnev’s times. There was sausage in the stores. We could buy vodka. Things were normal.’”
— Time Associate Editor George J. Church, September 23, 1991.
“The painful shift to a market system has pushed thousands of citizens, once able to maintain an acceptable living standard with the help of government subsidies and benefits, below the poverty line. Homelessness, derided by the communists as a plague of the West, is becoming common-place. The old Soviet guarantees of work, housing, and low fixed prices are gone, and the welfare net, designed to catch the rare social dropout, has sprung gaping holes.”
— Time Moscow reporter Ann M. Simmons in a July 13, 1992 article subheadlined: “The capitalist revolution is bringing the plagues of poverty, homelessness and unemployment to Russians, who miss the safety net of the old system.”
Time’s support of the communist regime even extended to its attempts to undermine America through spying. Witness, if you will, Time writer (and future Obama State Department official) Richard Stengel trashing Whittaker Chambers, and not the Soviet spy in the State Department he unveiled, Alger Hiss.
“Whittaker Chambers was mostly right about communism and Alger Hiss, but he was a nasty piece of work and nobody likes a snitch. Even Joe McCarthy may have been on to something, but he was a crude and cruel man who ruined people’s lives for 48-point type. You might call this the When Bad People Spoil Good Things school of history.”
— Richard Stengel writing on "Dubious Influences" on “Heroes and Icons” for the June 14, 1999 Time magazine.