Inquirer: Fake Aquino Time cover ‘honest mistake’ but...

Screenshot of the digital edition of Inquirer's Page One, April 20, 2013

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Philippine Daily Inquirer apologized for publishing a fake Time magazine cover featuring President Benigno Aquino III on the frontpage of its April 20 issue. 

The photo Inquirer used was an Internet meme and was not one of the 7 cover portraits Timereleased for its 100 Most Influential People in the World issue. 

While Aquino was part of the Time 100 list, he was not chosen for the magazine cover. The photo used for the meme depicted the chief executive with his mouth agape. 

"We stand corrected. It was an honest mistake," said a short statement issued by the Inquirer's editor-in-chief Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc.

She did not say who gave the paper the picture, which had the Filipino leader saying in its caption: "I'm just the face of the whole country."

Aquino spokesman Ricky Carandang told AFP he did not wish to comment.

The picture though remained on the paper's website on Saturday afternoon.

See the full frontpage here from inquirer.net: 

Inquirer also acknowledged the mistake via its @Team_Inquirer Twitter account on Saturday, April 20. The tweets were retweeted on its verified @inquirerdotnet account.

“An honest mistake, but we do wish President Aquino was on the cover of Time Mag’s ‘100 Most Influential’ issue,” Inquirer tweeted.

In another tweet, @Team_Inquirer said, “Kudos to eagle-eyed tweeps who called our attention to the fake Time Mag cover. It was an oversight on our part. Thanks for the feedback!”

An honest mistake, but we do wish President Aquino was on the cover of Time Mag's'100 Most Influential' issue. — Phil. Daily Inquirer (@Team_Inquirer) April 20, 2013

Kudos to eagle-eyed tweeps who called our attention to the fake Time Mag cover. It was an oversight on our part. Thanks for the feedback! — Phil. Daily Inquirer (@Team_Inquirer) April 20, 2013

Time chose only 7 out of the 100 honorees for its cover portraits: Jay Z, US Senator Rand Paul, Jennifer Lawrence, Bollywood star Aamir Khan, Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzai, Space X and Tesla founder Elon Musk, and Chinese athlete Li Na.

‘Showbiz Government’ thanks PDI

On its frontpage, Inquirer put the fake magazine cover of Aquino beside its story, “TIME’S 100: PNoy: Honor belongs to the Filipino people.”

The photo was captioned, “PRESIDENT AQUINO on Time magazine cover: I’m just the face of the whole country.”   

While Inquirer even credited Time Magazine for the photo, the meme appeared on the Facebook page of “Showbiz Government.”

“Showbiz Government” was quick to claim credit for the image. In a Facebook post sharing Inquirer’s frontpage, it said, “Thank you very much Philippine Daily Inquirer for publishing our MEMEs to (sic) your FRONT PAGE…. ;-)))."

Netizens weigh in

One of the leading broadsheets in the Philippines, Inquirer has had its share of frontpage boo-boos.

During the impeachment trial of former Chief Justice Renato Corona, the Inquirer also apologized for a montage of unflattering photos of witness Demetrio Vicente that media watchdogs criticized as “unflattering at least and malicious at most.”

Here are some reactions to the Inquirer’s latest frontpage blunder, and to its apology:

Shocking fake cover of TIME Magazine on the front page of PDI today. I dare to ask, do you guys have TIME subscription? @ team_inquirer — Timo Edsel (@timoftr) April 20, 2013

Phil. Daily Inquirer uses a fake Time cover on its front page--sobrang fail! instagram.com/p/YUaD-xvKih/ — Carla Villanueva (@staircasewit4) April 20, 2013 

@ team_inquirer a very "balanced" wish. Nice to see PDI finally owning up to its political BIAS. — Clanwolf (@Clanwolf) April 20, 2013 

@ team_inquirer exercise more diligence please! — Millette M Burgos (@kutilpa) April 20, 2013 

 – with a report from Agence France-Presse / Rappler.com