Jennifer Lawrence Posing in Front of Statue of Liberty for Vogue Triggers Breitbart Editor

Statue of Liberty
Immigration continues to be a hotly debated topic during the Trump administration. Breitbart editor John Carney recently took issue with a cover of Vogue featuring the Statue of Liberty as a backdrop to a portrait of movie star Jennifer Lawrence. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Updated | The Statue of Liberty continues to inspire controversy, the latest being its appearance on the September cover of fashion magazine Vogue, serving as the backdrop to a portrait of movie star Jennifer Lawrence.

Breitbart economics and finance editor John Carney complained in a tweet about the cover and proposed a new fashion section for Breitbart's news website. "We're going to have to create a full #MAGA shadow cultural industry because the Opposition Media can't even do fashion without attacking us," he wrote on Thursday. "Seriously, I think we could do really well with @BreitbartNews Fashion. Lots of women who would like their fashion without leftism."

Vogue Director of Communications Zara Rahim replied to Carney to say the cover was shot in June, but he refused to back down, continuing to tweet in support of his argument, displaying recent covers from The New Yorker, the New York Daily News and even German magazine Der Spiegel, all using the statue to comment on President Donald Trump's policies on immigration (Newsweek featured the Statue of Liberty on a cover in March, dressed up as an immigration officer.)

"Damn. You guys are right. The Weaponization of the Statue of Liberty against immigration reform is a figment of my imagination," Carney wrote. He then retweeted the cover of a book by his Breitbart colleague Raheem Kassam, the London bureau's editor-in-chief, which features the Statue of Liberty covered in a burqa—this time with no comment over the representation of the iconic monument that has come to symbolize American values.

This isn't the first time this week that the Statue of Liberty has been at the center of debate. Conservative commentators took issue with California Representative Lou Correa's decision to hang a painting in his office of Lady Liberty wearing a hijab, an artwork created by a Californian high school student for the Congressional Art Competition.

The Statue of Liberty—and the "New Colossus" poem inscribed within it—was also the object of a heated exchange between senior White House aide Stephen Miller and CNN reporter Jim Acosta last week, after Trump endorsed a bill known as the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act, which aims to cut the number of people legally allowed to immigrate to America.

While Carney joked about being "triggered by statues," his attack on Vogue landed the magazine in hot water with other Twitter users. Kassam singled out Rahim for her past work for the campaigns of Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama as evidence of a supposed bias.

Twitter users also unearthed Vogue's controversial 2011 article celebrating Syrian ruler Bashar al-Assad's wife Asma al-Assad as "a rose in the desert," published as her husband's refusal to step down in face of mass demonstrations had plunged the country into civil war. (The article was then taken down, but as The Atlantic noted at the time, "the internet doesn't forget a story like this easily.")

The U.S. edition of the fashion magazine, edited by Anna Wintour, routinely profiles female leaders. Former first lady Michelle Obama appeared three times on the cover, in March 2009, April 2012 and December 2016. First lady Melania Trump, who first appeared on the magazine's cover in February 2005 after her wedding to Donald in January that year, may also get a new cover.

In an interview with The Business of Fashion in April, Wintour said she "can't imagine that we wouldn't at some point cover the first lady," although nothing has been planned as yet.

The article has been updated to correct the date of publication of the Vogue article on Asma al-Assad.