Time magazine’s cover for its Sept. 16 issue features a picture of contented-looking Russian president Vladimir Putin, complete with a black background and a damning caption that declares “America’s weak and waffling, Russia’s rich and resurgent.”

But Time’s editors are shielding Americans from the demoralizing picture, putting a cheerful, sky-blue photo on the covers of magazines distributed in the United States.

“It’s time to pay college athletes,” says the chirpy, non-political U.S. cover, which shows a ball-carrying football player with arm outstretched.

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