The cover photo shows Jamie Lynne Grumet, 26, a stay-at-home California mother breast feeding her (rather large) three year old son. Grumet says she's given up reasoning with strangers who see her son nursing and threaten "to call social services on me or that it's child molestation."
Some questioned why the magazine used the photo of Grumet, a slim blonde pretty enough to be a model, to illustrate a story about a style of childrearing that's been around for a generation. Well, that's just silly, of course we all know why Time would do such a thing. Sensationalism. Pure and simple.
The cover inspired X-rated jokes along with plenty of attention on the morning news shows as well as a skit on Saturday Night Live. Regular folks chimed in too - Bobbi Miller, a mother of six who lives in Arkansas, expressed disapproval in a phone interview, "Even a cow knows when to wean their child. It's almost on the verge of voyeurism."
Yeah, voyeurism, that's it. What I was waiting for were the inevitable parodies. I couldn't resist creating my own. I pulled out all the stops and went for a double controversy. I brought religion into it. Parody is meant to shock - however the original cover is shocking enough making the challenge for us just how do we raise the bar. Easy - add religion.
So, of the all parodies I saw this was my favorite. Yet it was a bit safe and a little too easy. Politics is the first choice of parodies. While it's quite good it doesn't really shock.
Now here's mine... You be the judge; did Time go to far or did I?
(My apologies to the Pope)