Chris Van Hollen Had His Own Fake Time Magazine Cover

Trump isn’t the only politician to embellish a cover story

Maryland’s Chris Van Hollen distributed a campaign brochure featuring an imitation Time magazine cover during his successful run for Congress in 2002. (Courtesy Nathan L. Gonzales)

Some Democrats have enjoyed mocking President Donald Trump after the revelation that a framed copy of a Time magazine cover that hangs in some of his golf clubs was a fabrication. But not everyone on the Democratic side of the aisle is innocent of faking Time magazine covers.

In 2002, Maryland state Sen. Chris Van Hollen was locked in a competitive Democratic primary in the 8th District in suburban Washington, D.C. The Democratic nomination was critical because Maryland Democrats redrew the district to endanger moderate Republican incumbent Constance A. Morella.

One of Van Hollen’s competitors, state Del. Mark Shriver, appeared on the Aug. 13, 2001 cover of Time magazine as a nephew of President John F. Kennedy for a story headlined “Camelot Lives!” about the next generation of one of the country’s most famous political families.

The Van Hollen campaign responded with a piece of direct mail featuring Van Hollen on the cover of an imitation Time magazine holding a microphone, complete with the same date and familiar red border.

An August 2002 story in The Washington Post, entitled “Van Hollen ‘Cover Story’ Causes Ruckus,” does a good job of summarizing the situation.

According to the Post, Time magazine said the brochure constituted an “unauthorized use of the Time cover and logo” and that its legal department would be contacting the Van Hollen campaign to ask it to stop distributing the brochure.

“No permission was requested in this case, and permission is in fact routinely denied in cases like these,” spokeswoman Diana Pearson told Post reporter Jo Becker. “Only Time editors create Time covers.”

Steven Jost, Van Hollen’s campaign manager at the time, said the brochure was sent to 40,000 households and defended the campaign’s actions as a form of protected political speech. But he also said it would not use the remaining 15,000 copies the campaign ordered.

Van Hollen went on to win that primary, win the general election, and eventually became chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He was elected to the Senate last year and is now chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

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