The Whirligig of TIME

The New Republic is feeling a tad photo-plagiarized today. TIME magazine’s new Obama/Clinton cover is, it says, pretty similar to its own ultra-eerie Hillbama art. (Down, in fact, to the tagline: “There can only be one,” TIME notes, while TNR reminds us that “We have to choose one.”)

But don’t fret, TNR! TIME isn’t ripping you off…if anything, it’s ripping off Newsweek. And you’re ripping off Conan O’Brien. And you’re all ripping off…Picasso.

But it’s all good! It’s all derivative! It’s not plagiarism, it’s appreciation…an homage, if you will!

In fact, as Rick Stengel clarified today (via Jeff Bercovici), the TIME cover is actually meant to pay tribute to the NBA playoffs’ add campaign:

The campaign’s slogan? “There can only be one.”

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Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.