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Tilting at Windmills

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July 13, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

THAT NEW YORKER COVER....I blogged a few hours ago about Ryan Lizza's Obama piece in the current issue of the New Yorker, but at the time I hadn't seen the cover that went along with it. Now I have, because when I browsed through my RSS feed after dinner it turned out that the entire (liberal) world was pretty seriously pissed off about it.

I had two reactions, myself. To be honest, my first one was that it was kinda funny, a clever way of mocking all the conservative BS that's been circulating about the Obamas.

But at the risk of seeming humorless, that reaction didn't last too long. Maybe it's because this kind of satire just doesn't work, no matter how well it's done. But mostly it's because a few minutes thought convinced me it was gutless. If artist Barry Blitt had some real cojones, he would have drawn the same cover but shown it as a gigantic word bubble coming out of John McCain's mouth — implying, you see, that this is how McCain wants the world to view Obama. But he didn't. Because that would have been unfair. And McCain would have complained about it. And for some reason, the risk that a failed satire would unfairly defame McCain is somehow seen as worse than the risk that a failed satire would unfairly defame Obama.

So: gutless. And whatever else you can say about it, good satire is never gutless.

Kevin Drum 11:51 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (237)

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Comments

what a crock of sh1t

Posted by: jimmy schmita on July 13, 2008 at 11:53 PM | PERMALINK

I like to read the New Yorker, especially when waiting for a vasectomy or for getting the insides my colon photographed by means of a camera inserted into my innards by means of a flexible tube, but this cover takes the fun out of the otherwise happy occasions.

Posted by: gregor on July 13, 2008 at 11:56 PM | PERMALINK

The cover is horrible -- what about the people who don't get the joke? But what I am trying to tell myself in consolation is that the inevitable discussion around this cover might well have the effect of innoculating Obama against a whole string of Republican attacks. That might be wishful thinking...we'll see.

Posted by: lisainvan on July 14, 2008 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

As Atrios said, it turns out you can say n*, so long as you say "oh, but I meant it ironically!"

I cannot believe how utterly disrespectful this is.

And you're right, it's totally cowardly and just bad, bad satire. The writer didn't go after McCain, why? This image of Obama doens't spring full grown from nowhere--it's part of a coordinated campaign, and a good satirist (as opposed to a useful idiot) identifies where this incongrous image comes from. McCain dressed up as Nixon, or something. McCain's Rovian staffer, dreaming at the back of the plane, or whispering in the press' ear.

This is why liberals lose elections. We not only think it's OK to devour our own, we ONLY think it's OK to devour our own.

It's such a freaking cliche. Liberal publication slams the liberals.

I am so sick of these moribound, BORING LOSERS.

Posted by: anonymous on July 14, 2008 at 12:01 AM | PERMALINK

It reminds me of North Korea's nuclear test - a show of force designed to frighten off its opponents, which instead proved to be little more than a pathetic embarrassment for its own side.

Or the Times' article on Vicki Iseman - something that should have been a devastating, campaign-ending expose, but that ended up being gutted and watered down by the pusillanimous Times editors, and actually had the reverse effect of rallying conservatives around McCain.

CAN'T ANYBODY PLAY THIS GAME?

Posted by: lampwick on July 14, 2008 at 12:02 AM | PERMALINK

You don't think it's good satire because it didn't involve McCain's thoughts? Dude, draw your own if it's not satirical in the right way for you. That cover is a rightwing nightmare satire, not just McCain's. And I'm not sure McCain would think that way anyhow, he's a jerk willing to let others say and think those things, but I honestly think his fears about Obama are more about losing than about the Oval Office turning into Anti-America Central.

I think it's a fun cover that hits all the right wrong notes. I really love the footwear.

If next week's cover has a flightsuited McCain in front of "Mission Never Accomplished" and "Support the Troops in Eastasia" banners, would that make you happier?

Posted by: jon on July 14, 2008 at 12:03 AM | PERMALINK

If you want to see a major freak out, look at the DKos diary on the subject.

My question, and I think it is very important, is what is the cover titled? I'll reserve judgment until I find out.

Posted by: Sam L on July 14, 2008 at 12:08 AM | PERMALINK

I don't even see how it goes with Lizza's story which does not address the smears at all. His is a straight reporting of Obama's political history -- and a pretty good one.

This is just a gratitious piece of crap that will be facing outward at every Barnes & Noble magazine rack in the country. I doubt many people will get beyond the cover and most will probabaly think that it justifies their worst impressions of Obama.

Posted by: Teresa on July 14, 2008 at 12:10 AM | PERMALINK

If next week's cover has a flightsuited McCain in front of "Mission Never Accomplished" and "Support the Troops in Eastasia" banners, would that make you happier?
Posted by: jon

They wouldn't do it ... because they're pussies. That's (partly) the point.

I think it's a fun cover that hits all the right wrong notes. I really love the footwear.

I'm proud of you for being clever enough to see through it ... I don't give the ignorant and uninformed voter as much credit.

Posted by: Gonads on July 14, 2008 at 12:12 AM | PERMALINK

My email to Barry Blitt (the artist) and The New Yorker:

So, Mr. Blitt, you think your 'satire' illustration on the New Yorker shows how preposterous those charges of being a moslem are? You are truly clueless, and if you need some days to think about why you have participated in the kind of debasing of our poliitcal system, then you should change occupations. The flag in the fire and Bin Laden's picture were nice incendiary touches, too. Is your objective another Crystal Night, and trains of jews, gays, minorities, and other non-Aryans headed for the ovens?

Honestly, this is the worst I've seen of Rovian sleaze, and that says something. It will take some time before the stink of your work is removed from my mind. You really grew up a couple generations too late: the 1930's Nazi propagandists couldn't have resisted your work. After all, the thick liips, fat nose, pile of children's bones leftover from dinner would have been great satire on the Jews.

You owe the nation and the world a very sincere apology, and the New Yorker's publisher and editor should consider just what should be done to rectify this gross injustice. This is not satire. It is race hate, religious hate, and political hate. It is an invitation to violence, lawbreaking, and cultural war.

Posted by: JimPortlandOR on July 14, 2008 at 12:12 AM | PERMALINK

I think we are all grateful that Kevin is a pundit and not a Satirical Political Cartoonist.

I really don't like the cover because it just seems flip, and the impression people will take away from it - that I took away from it - is that New Yorker readers (like me, I subscribe) think that Osama & flag burning are just big jokes, and further that patriotism is just a big joke, and we're all elitist snobs. The cover is a disaster.

Posted by: will on July 14, 2008 at 12:27 AM | PERMALINK

OK, let's face it, the media aren't going to be helpful to Obama this season. (Duh.) He's going to have to fight this by paying for ads.

Go on, give the man some money.

Posted by: Ed on July 14, 2008 at 12:31 AM | PERMALINK

This fellow needs to be retired immediately. I`m sure he`ll be able to live well with his checks from Karl Rove.

What scum.

"The mind is its own place,
and in itself can make a heaven of hell,
and a hell of heaven." - John Milton

Posted by: daCascadian on July 14, 2008 at 12:31 AM | PERMALINK

My question, and I think it is very important, is what is the cover titled? I'll reserve judgment until I find out.

My answer, and I think it's more important, is that you're already on familiar terms with the image, and you're not likely to find out whatever caption might be beneath it. If you do, you'll be one of an incredibly small handful of people. The fact that the image to text ratio is in the neighborhood of hundreds-to-one, and that the image is in color & on the cover of the magazine, means that folks aren't going to be standing around their water coolers talking about the caption. Because of that, the cartoonist & the editors at the magazine will view the whole thing as a huge success. And it will serve to confirm the beliefs/suspicions of no small number of people who will point to it & say, "See? Even liberal New Yorkers know that they're radical Muslims!"

I suppose, though, that The New Yorker's editors should be credited for omitting the watermelon rinds & fried chicken bones.

Posted by: junebug on July 14, 2008 at 12:35 AM | PERMALINK

jerry ... I probably should be more sympathetic to the perpetual persecution of white men and christians in america.

... and yet, for some reason, I keep getting nauseous when some halfwit brings it up and equates it with anti-black and anti-muslim bigotry.

Posted by: Gonads on July 14, 2008 at 12:35 AM | PERMALINK

Of course it's offensive. Funny as all hell, too, admit it. You're alone in front of the computer. You can laugh if you want to.

But at the same time, if they don't do something similar to McSham and Cindy then it's very, very wrong.

Posted by: thersites on July 14, 2008 at 12:38 AM | PERMALINK

I don't think I've ever seen a New Yorker cover as complex as the one you describe. They're always sort of simple and slightly obscure and almost never "good satire".

Posted by: B on July 14, 2008 at 12:40 AM | PERMALINK

Of course it's offensive. Funny as all hell, too, admit it.

I call myself a "laugh slut" because I will laugh at almost anything and I didn't laugh. The first time I saw it, I thought someone might have been faking a New Yorker cover.

Drum is spot on - IMO - it's not risky so it's not well done. If it had some context, like a room full of tiny Karl Roves drawing away - that would be funny.

The cartoonist fired and missed badly.

Posted by: Miss Otis on July 14, 2008 at 12:48 AM | PERMALINK

I'm having a really hard time finding the humor in this. And with humor, time really doesn't help. If you don't laugh the first time, you never will. They better follow this up with an equally humorless and offensive attack on McCain. But they won't.

Posted by: fostert on July 14, 2008 at 12:57 AM | PERMALINK

Satire, eh? In what way, exactly? It's a racist and inflammatory portrayal of the first black major-party candidate, vaguely reminiscent of the worst posters from the 1800s. So, what's the comment the New Yorker is making about it that makes it a satire? Does it exaggerate the claims of the rabid right? Sadly, no, that being impossible. Does it mock them, or merely ape them? And what of the many people unfamiliar with the political position of The New Yorker, walking by newsstands in airports, on streets and everywhere else the magazine is sold? Are we to assume that they will 'get' the arch irony of this picture? Is there something inherent in the image that obviously puts it over the top into satire, in an era when insane political rhetoric is GOP stock-in-trade? How does The New Yorker portraying their delusions on the cover do anything to undermine or attack them?

Even if you agree that this is an ironic satirical masterpiece, why is it the cover?

And will next week's cover be a picture of McCain in the Oval Office, with a drugged-out Cindy McCain dressed as a prostitute, popping pills, while the Constitution burns in the fire, and McCain, wrapped in an American flag, waterboards a dark-skinned man under the guidance of a Vietnamese interrogator? Somehow, I doubt it.

Posted by: biggerbox on July 14, 2008 at 12:57 AM | PERMALINK

Miss Otis, I guess you been out-slutted. At least this one time.

It was the flag in the fireplace that made me laugh out loud.

Posted by: thersites on July 14, 2008 at 12:58 AM | PERMALINK

Sample comments from the Politico's thread...

It's about time someone told the truth about these two...they're just poster children for the left over 60s radical, America hating, Black Power movement.

That is exactly how many folks picture those two - (for real) Love it..! - Sam -

Too funny! Hey, the truth hurts. Can anyone tell me what religion Obama was before his wife brought him to the infamous house of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright? Yep, you guessed it, he was a Muslim.....and still would be if it was "politically correct"....

Well Osama's, oops I mean Obama's half brother has recently come out and stated that Obama was raised a moslem as a youngster. So if the turban fits...... And his wife, she's an ultraleftwing America hater, so the Angela Davis fro and the AK fit her perfectly. I'd say the cover is spot on. Think that I'll pin it up in my office it should prove to be quite a conversation piece.

That last comment chilled me. How many bigots are going to print this cover up and put it above their desks?

Posted by: DaveW on July 14, 2008 at 1:01 AM | PERMALINK

The cover is eighth-rate, as far as satire goes. It's an unimaginative illustration of what the right-wing imagines Obama to be. The fact that the right will seize on this illustration and will paste it everywhere on the web will, presumably, indicate to the illustrator that he failed in his satirical mission.

In the meantime, the brouhaha over the illustration will serve to distract the media and the public from more important issues.

Posted by: Arthur on July 14, 2008 at 1:01 AM | PERMALINK

I might even agree with you Gonads if the moderators didn't make my point for me.

Posted by: jerry on July 14, 2008 at 1:02 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, and Washington Monthly Moderators,

It's basically pathetic that in a discussion of what you claim is an offensive cover, you would moderate the discussion and eliminate posts that show just how far "us liberals" have gone in the past.

How can we have a discussion of free speech issues if you folks remove comments?

Somewhere George Carlin is rotting.

Posted by: jerry on July 14, 2008 at 1:05 AM | PERMALINK

I take is a straightforward note on the horror of the current situation. This is a real image of Obama that has burbled up, and was waved around openly in West Virginia. The GOP has had a big hand in it, but it's bigger than them.

Posted by: Boronx on July 14, 2008 at 1:09 AM | PERMALINK

Miss Otis, I guess you been out-slutted. At least this one time.

Oh man...I hate it when that happens.

It was the flag in the fireplace that made me laugh out loud.

That was helpful, actually. That's about the only thing he has not been accused of by the Whacko Right. (And whatever the leanings of the nuts at No Quarter.)

As I think about it, maybe it's not so much that the cartoonist went too far, but that in this insane country right now, it's almost impossible to tell satire from the real world because they're saying such insane things every single day.

Posted by: Miss Otis on July 14, 2008 at 1:16 AM | PERMALINK

There are basically two objections to this cover:

1. It fails as satire. That's not to say that the artist's intent isn't clear. Nevertheless, Satire requires overstatement, and this is simply a definitive restatement of right wing tropes. Moreover, the image is humorless.

2. Satire won't excuse racism. The images of Michelle and Barack are stereotypical and demeaning. That the author meant them to produce a chuckle amongst right-thinking sophisticates doesn't forgive the use of racially provocative imagery.

I tend to agree with both citicisms, but I think either ought to have been enough to get the editors to spike this one.

Posted by: southpaw on July 14, 2008 at 1:17 AM | PERMALINK

it's almost impossible to tell satire from the real world because they're saying such insane things every single day.

Nevertheless, Satire requires overstatement, and this is simply a definitive restatement of right wing tropes.

This isn't satire, it's reporting. A lot of liberals are going to get a wake up call when their conservative friends don't find the image far fetched.

Posted by: on July 14, 2008 at 1:31 AM | PERMALINK

It's a failure as a satire, for the simple reason that it's generally impossible to satirize the far right. This image certainly doesn't; even now hordes of wingnuts are appropriating it and feel it perfectly illustrates their racist notions about Obama. Worse, the fact that the image appeared where it did (on the cover of an iconic "liberal" publication) will give them permission to wear their bigotry even more openly.

The illustrator who created this should be blackballed and the editor who hired him should be sacked.

Posted by: jimBOB on July 14, 2008 at 1:31 AM | PERMALINK

Huffington post has a note from the cartoonist:

"I think the idea that the Obamas are branded as unpatriotic [let alone as terrorists] in certain sectors is preposterous. It seemed to me that depicting the concept would show it as the fear-mongering ridiculousness that it is."

Personally I think they're rarely funny and most often not meant to be. It makes a fairly effective and obvious point. It's in the spirit of previous cover art (which often attempts to push controversy, irony, and subtleness). I don't really see how it's gutless either. I would think Art Spieglman would be proud.

Posted by: B on July 14, 2008 at 1:34 AM | PERMALINK

I had two reactions, myself. To be honest, my first one was that it was kinda funny, a clever way of mocking all the conservative BS that's been circulating about the Obamas.

Uncool, Kevin.

This cartoon might fit in in the middle of a copy of Mad magazine, or in some obscure, ultra-liberal magazine or zine (where the humor is expected to be on-the-edge and devilish, and everyone who reads it and is involved in it understands that the creators of the magazine and the audience don't at all actually look down at the Obamas for their ethnicity, or think that the Obamas are terrorists). On cover of the New Yorker however-- broadcast to a mainstream audience from supermarkets and newstands across the country-- the cover is entirely inappropriate, and with no reservation I also call it a real damned shame. Some (even sincere) liberals may not say so, but that is only if they don't understand what the cover is going to look like to a lot of the middle-class, white audience of mainstream media that sees it and how they're going to take it.

I expect a lot of unwitting, common white people will see this kind of thing and interpret it as an anti-Obama statement, and from that conclude, "Oh, a big established magazine like the New Yorker doesn't like Obama because of x, y, and z..." and from that they'll conclude that it's really ok to dislike Obama for those reasons and that there is sophisticated support for this point of view. Recent immigrants or black people may not see this, but from a middle-class white point of view, I think this thing is the latest Rovian attack and it's purposely meant to slam Obama and to stir up racism.

Posted by: Swan on July 14, 2008 at 1:38 AM | PERMALINK

This cover sucks.

But I will say this: My extremely Republican parents visited me and my family last week for a week. There were New Yorkers scattered everywhere and neither of them even lifted one of them off any table. Totally not on their radar.

Posted by: swarty on July 14, 2008 at 1:47 AM | PERMALINK

The furor over this New Yorker cover means that the magazine won't be doing the same kind of hit job on the McCains, because that would leave the editors vulnerable to criticism that they were trying to even the score.

Posted by: global yokel on July 14, 2008 at 1:49 AM | PERMALINK

If it weren't for copiers the New Yorker would have to make another run just so all the theocratic/fascist/racist types have the atrocity (on any level) to hang on their cubicle walls.

Posted by: psychohistorian on July 14, 2008 at 1:51 AM | PERMALINK

Despite Thers' point of view at 12:38 AM, I didn't laugh at the cartoon at all- my first reaction was like "Oh shit, this is horrible."

Huffington post has a note from the cartoonist:

"I think the idea that the Obamas are branded as unpatriotic [let alone as terrorists] in certain sectors is preposterous. It seemed to me that depicting the concept would show it as the fear-mongering ridiculousness that it is."

Wow, that's a real subtle message for the average dude who sees this on a newstand is supposed to get from the cartoon. To me, this looks a lot more like a racist, anti-Obama t-shirt than that, despite what I guess may be a sight-gag about the fist-bump flap (a manufactured controversy which we may consider ridiculous-- but maybe others don't). I'd say the cartoonist 100% failed in his claimed mission.

Gregor wrote:

I like to read the New Yorker, especially when waiting for a vasectomy

For most of us, The New Yorker is something like that, although it actually does have a following--it's just a really sophisticated audience that really likes a good magazine. But the harm the cartoon causes doesn't have to do with whether a lot of people (that is, a lot of people and a cross-section of the population) read The New Yorker regularly from cover to cover. The harm comes from the fact that The New Yorker is very widely circulated on newstands, in supermarkets and in bookstores, and the cover will be seen by almost everybody over the next month-- even if the only people who usually actually buy The New Yorker and read it from cover to cover are doctors, dentists, scientists, lawyers, college professors, and their partners.

Posted by: Swan on July 14, 2008 at 1:51 AM | PERMALINK

No banjo?

Posted by: Arachnae on July 14, 2008 at 1:58 AM | PERMALINK

What if The New Yorker did a cover of little John McCain smiling and wearing a black SS uniform, sitting on top of a pile of corpses of combat-uniformed American soldiers, with a couple of barrels of oil on either side of the pile, and some green dollars sticking out of McCain's pockets?

That would be about the same thing as this cover-- notice that they're depicted in the Oval Office and Obama has a portrait of Osama above the fireplace and an American flag burning in the fireplace-- but because the cartoonist makes a pretense of making some anti-racist point, we're seriously entertaining that this cover is clever satire and non-offensive. That's like saying that burning a cross on Obama's lawn would be clever satire of the racism the media and the Republicans aim at him. Good for Obama if he lets some righteous remarks fly against The New Yorker for this.

Posted by: Swan on July 14, 2008 at 1:59 AM | PERMALINK

Absolutely screwed up.

The worst example of racism I've ever personally witnessed in my life (because of the scale of the audience, the noble character of Obama, and because of what's at stake), with the exception of documentary footage of demonstrators being assaulted at civil rights marches or Jews being kept in concentration camps.

Posted by: Swan on July 14, 2008 at 2:03 AM | PERMALINK

Not unlike many of the family photos of Obama with African relatives that the lib media isn't about to show you.

Posted by: Luther on July 14, 2008 at 2:05 AM | PERMALINK

Not unlike many of the family photos of Obama with African relatives that the lib media isn't about to show you.

I doubt those photos feature an assault rifle, a bandolier of bullets, a portrait of Osama in the Oval Office, or an American flag burning in the fireplace of the Oval Office. But don't exoect some poor excuse for a person like Luther to tell you that.

Posted by: Luther Deflator on July 14, 2008 at 2:11 AM | PERMALINK

This isn't satire, it's reporting. A lot of liberals are going to get a wake up call when their conservative friends don't find the image far fetched.

And what's the wake-up call going say?

"I'm sorry, right-wingers and yeah, maybe some Democrats, are far stupider than you ever imagined."

Let me know.

I'm didn't think the cartoon was done very well but the outrage and calls of racism seem a little much.

On that note - g'night.

Posted by: Miss Otis on July 14, 2008 at 2:15 AM | PERMALINK

it's very interesting about the NEW YORKER.

IT SEEMS NOT TO HAVE A MASTHEAD.

WHO IS THE EDITOR?

who is the publisher?

are they zionist jews?

the new yorker is owned by conde nast publications.

they own an interesting fleet of rags....from a new business rag, portfolio. to traveler. to vanity fair.

i look at this cover and see a cover from a very popular 1930's german magazine, die sturmer. in that era, this opponent of the fascist bastids would have been portrayed as a hook-nosed jew - a shylock.

now that the fascist, zionists jews are in control, obama[his wife] is portrayed as an anti-american islamic terrorist.

you can go to the conde nast website. and i invite you to cancel your subscriptions to any of their rags to which you subscribe.

there is no irony here. and none was intended. this cover is a zionist jew hit bit.

Posted by: albertchampion on July 14, 2008 at 2:17 AM | PERMALINK

It will only get worse from here on out.

I mean when you have Hillary nutcrackers and "swing state" t-shirts featuring nooses, it should be no surprise.

If Hillary had won, they'd probably have a cover with her wearing a red, white and blue strap-on.

Stupid move by the New Yorker. Insipid cartoon. It looks like something a freshman cartoonist for a college newspaper would come up with.

Posted by: lobbygow on July 14, 2008 at 2:37 AM | PERMALINK

There is a not a single person in the world whose opinion of Obama will be changed by this cover. So who the hell cares?

Posted by: JD on July 14, 2008 at 3:22 AM | PERMALINK

And all of you complainers sound like albertchampion at 2:17am. Now *there's* some satire.

Posted by: JD on July 14, 2008 at 3:26 AM | PERMALINK

I thought it was so over the top that it makes the RWN look like nattering paranoid naybobs.

Posted by: Jet on July 14, 2008 at 3:30 AM | PERMALINK

No problem with the cover. Not a great cover, but not a disaster either. Looking forward to the McCain cover.

Posted by: focus on July 14, 2008 at 3:33 AM | PERMALINK

I mean look at the picture, it has every idiotic slant, that hasnt stuck, from the Limbaugh droids to the Rove robots, in the picture.

Posted by: Jet on July 14, 2008 at 3:34 AM | PERMALINK

quite inaccurate, i think.

i listened to a npr weekend edition today. interviewing hispanic women. opposed to anyone other than john mclying.

it was quite clear from the women's responses that they were victims of republican propaganda.

the most interesting aspect of their hostility to obama was their thinking that he was a muslim, aligned with terrorists. that he had no loyalty to the usa.

this cover reinforces that misunderstanding. and it was intended to do that. this cover will get lots of distibution in the catholic hispanic communities.

and the explanation will be that if this islamofascist bent of obama's isn't true, why would the "liberal" new yorker publish it?

the new yorker might publish sy hersh. but that requires reading skills.

this cover is propaganda. the kind of propaganda that mitch wolfson used to highlight at his museum in miami beach.

it is propaganda intended to link obama with usama bin laden.

you know it. i know it.

anyone with a brain recognizes it.

conde nast makes its bones by publishing magazines. shut 'em down. hurt conde in his pocketbook. cancel your subscriptions.

Posted by: albertchampion on July 14, 2008 at 3:38 AM | PERMALINK

albertchampion, the New Yorker has Sy Hersh warning about war with Iran. Those tricky zionist jews must be playing reverse psychology on us!

Posted by: nelson on July 14, 2008 at 3:43 AM | PERMALINK

People, calm down.

The New Yorker's readership is overwhelmingly liberal and inclined toward Obama. They will get the joke, and the joke's on the right. The caricature is so absurd, it negates itself.

In the 60s and 70s it was the liberals who had a hip sense of humor. WTF happened???

Posted by: Vail Beach on July 14, 2008 at 4:08 AM | PERMALINK

JD wrote:

There is a not a single person in the world whose opinion of Obama will be changed by this cover. So who the hell cares?

Says you.

Of course, a lot of bastids will be out on the Internet and on TV mischaracterizing this and playing it down-- but keep speaking out against this racism. When the bad guys come out to respond to you, it just means what you're doing is actually fighting the racists-- you're not just spinning your wheels.

Posted by: Swan on July 14, 2008 at 4:08 AM | PERMALINK

It is a weird sense of the unreal when this soso cartoon cover of the New Yorker results in arguments about whether it is appropriate. Many critics assume that it is what others will read into the cartoon which is the problem, suggesting that irony does not translate. This fundamentally condescending worry about those who are presumably and by implication endowed with less intelligence, knowledge or humor is a total crock. Unfortunately most political arguments and coverage boil down to this type of thinking as well, where great effort is wasted on how a hypothetical lesser other would interpret a political performance. How some other unfortunate soul would interpret with that person’s limitations as opposed to the well informed commentator and the immediate audience. Whatever you do, never dis this hypothetical other who has a more simplistic view of the world. Give me a break. Even the survey of 10% thinking Obama being a Muslim is very very suspect. Suspect because there are those who answer stupid survey questions with ridiculous answers on purpose and there are those that lie as contrarian or by habit. They are not statistical errors. The small remainder would consist of the uninformed and the stupid. This is not the audience to whom the cover of the New Yorker would matter one way or another. The irony may be lost but the vote would have been lost long before, mostly because they couldn’t or wouldn’t find their way to the poll anyway. Then there are those that manipulate the political discourse stressing the 10%, and they fall on both sides of the politics. One side is the cynically manipulative right the other is the worrier who, typically is overly upset by the New Yorker cover. The two reinforce each other and political discourse turns into shit (or what you find on Fox full time).

Posted by: YY on July 14, 2008 at 4:56 AM | PERMALINK

We Liberals tend to roll over and take this kind of crap...which is why we lose elections.

There's no points for good sportsmanship in this kind of slander....subtle and cruel to the bone of the meme.

Traveller

Posted by: Traveller on July 14, 2008 at 4:57 AM | PERMALINK

YY: No one ever lost an American election by underestimating the intelligence of the American voter.

Posted by: Everyman on July 14, 2008 at 6:20 AM | PERMALINK

I still like the cover, "terrorist fist jab" and all. To see it as albertchampion does would take a whole lot of anti-Jewish paranoid fantasies to swirl in a swillish mind. Like it or don't, but to see it as a hitpiece by a Jewish cabal is just the kind of idiotic thinking depicted in the cover art itself: loony, over-the-top, based on ridiculous stereotypes, and wrong. Conde Nast wants to sell advertisements in magazines, not ensure a McCain presidency.

Funny that a satirical attack on a black man brings out a serious attack on possible "zionist jews". No, it's not funny at all. albertchampion is willing to imply a conspiracy of jews with no evidence to a supposed link to a satirical cartoon. Please do cancel your subscriptions, doofus. Reading probably hasn't done you a lick of good in life. Stay in your bunker except to empty your commode and the jews just might leave you out of their conspiracy, dork. And be sure to wear your tinfoil hat and jockstrap.

Posted by: jon on July 14, 2008 at 7:10 AM | PERMALINK

"If artist Barry Blitt had some real cojones..." -KD


I totally agree, or even a well known surrogate would have worked to insure the "idea" got out, yes everyone can appreciate satire, sadly it has all to had to separate these days. Also, could take it a step further and say Blitt may have intentionally drew this in a fashion that it could appeal to both ends...it just has that feel to it. If that is true, these people are much more cynical then I could have imagined.

Posted by: benmerc on July 14, 2008 at 7:20 AM | PERMALINK

Art and media have responsibilities. The New Yorker fails both.

This is more like placing a basket of crowbars and hammers on your neighbor's porch as "art", knowing it will serve as an instrument of attack on his home.

Posted by: Lacy on July 14, 2008 at 7:56 AM | PERMALINK

Call me nuts, but I think it is a great cover and damn good satire. Its meant for New Yorker readers, whom the editors (rightly) assume will "get" the joke. And, just to be clear, I'm a huge Obama supporter.

Posted by: Steve on July 14, 2008 at 8:06 AM | PERMALINK

Everyman:
I think my point was precisely the opposite. There is an assumption that everyone else is stupid, and this leads to stupidity in the political discourse. This is a conceit that can not be justified if you accept the normal distribution of talents. Furthermore it becomes a game of pretending that there is a majority understood reality that is so much more simple minded that one needs to adjust down to it. What cynicism is out there and what feeling of inconsequential power that may be out there are not the same as being stupid. Otherwise you may as well call Obama French and be done with it.

Posted by: YY on July 14, 2008 at 8:07 AM | PERMALINK

That was helpful, actually. That's about the only thing he has not been accused of by the Whacko Right.

I suppose that slack-jawed woman Stephanopoulos dug up in Pennsylvania and saw fit to insert into a debate didn't actually accuse him of burning the flag, just of "not loving" it.

Posted by: shortstop on July 14, 2008 at 8:16 AM | PERMALINK

What a comment thread! And here I thought that the Outrage Machine was the exclusive property of the VRWC. Luckily, it's Monday and everybody can go back to work and cool down.

Kevin, you think it's "gutless" for not telegraphing its punch? I suggest you reread "A Modest Proposal." Does it say anywhere, "This is the dream of those misguided idiots in Parliament?" Or does it simply paint its picture and trust its absurdity to make its point? Besides, your addition of McCain misses the point. The illustration doesn't mean to say, "This is what McCain thinks." It's "This is a synopsis of the whole Right Wing smear campaign -- isn't it silly when you see all the symbols put together?"

Actually, Kevin, I think you saw the Astroturf outrage and pandered to it. Go with your gut. It's funny, or at least provocative. You gasp, then think, "Oh, I get it." And your suspicion that some won't get the joke adds a little dash of smug superiority to your pleasure.

You think that the Wingers will plaster this picture all over their web sites? Let 'em. The idiots who take it literally are already Dittoheads. If it causes any honest anger on the Right, it'll be directed at the condescending New Yorker once again mocking the little old lady from Dubuque.

Posted by: Stuart Eugene Thiel on July 14, 2008 at 8:31 AM | PERMALINK

The little old lady from Dubuque voted for Obama. You mean the little old lady from Duquesne.

Posted by: shortstop on July 14, 2008 at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK

Black Obama supporter here. I'll be honest, anyone who doesn't understand this cartoon and have a big laugh about it is a frickin' moron. All these humorless left wingers wringing their hands about it need to get over the themselves. Its SATIRE, folks! Satire is supposed to be offensive and over the top- or it wouldn't be satire! Kevin doesn't like it- because it doesn't take aim at the " right" target? ,Well, let him draw his own damned cartoon! Obama's response should have been to laugh along with it. Instead, it looks like he is one of those self-important types who can't take a joke.
Now it does give me pause that there are right wing bloggers and comm enters who seem to think that this cartoon is simply a portrayal of self-evident truth! But then those knuckle draggers are beyond help anyway.

Posted by: stonetools on July 14, 2008 at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK

Its meant for New Yorker readers, whom the editors (rightly) assume will "get" the joke.

And I'm sure that the three times they showed this on CNN and MSNBC this morning, it was only New Yorker subscribers who were watching.

Posted by: TR on July 14, 2008 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK

I guess if you're a liberal, it gives you the license to run around New York shouting "Hey, n****r!" at every black person you see, because, like, you're a liberal and all you're doing is pointing out the absurdity of real racists.

Or something.

If this cover is funny, then so is that hypothetical liberal.

Posted by: lampwick on July 14, 2008 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK

This cover is like the Pontiac Aztek of cartoons. It makes you not only ponder the individual moronicity of the person who conceived it, but also the organizational moronicity required to foist it upon the world.

Posted by: ogmb on July 14, 2008 at 9:18 AM | PERMALINK

Its meant for New Yorker readers
But all the people who see it in bookstores and super markets and doctor's offices are not New Yorker readers. They will not get the joke.

Posted by: bjd on July 14, 2008 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK

i have news for you all - most people in the country have never even heard of the new yorker, much less study it closely. most newsstands don't carry it outside of the city.

Posted by: earl on July 14, 2008 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

It's a funny cover, and the reaction to it is hysterically funny. Obama's fans need to get a friggin grip.

Whatever your view, it will be gone soon enough and forgotten, especially outside of NY. New Yorker mag means nothing to 99% of America.

Posted by: Dood on July 14, 2008 at 9:57 AM | PERMALINK

A magazine cover is always a collaboration between the editor, art director, and the artist. Don't pile on Blitt; we don't know what his original take or idea was. It's ultimately the editor (or publisher) who has the final say.

Posted by: psmith on July 14, 2008 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

This is just the beginning. You're going to see all kind of "jokes", so we just have to toughen up and dish it back out at old man mcsame.

Posted by: Deb on July 14, 2008 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

Not only did I think it was Obama and the left wing that got satire and nuance and art and all that, but I thought it was the Muslim world that got upset about cartoons.

Maybe next we should go after Stephen Colbert for satiring FOX News too?

Please, NO!

Posted by: Anonymous on July 14, 2008 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

Not only did I think it was Obama and the left wing that got satire and nuance and art and all that, but I thought it was the Muslim world that got upset about cartoons.

Maybe next we should go after Stephen Colbert for satirizing FOX News too?

Please, NO!

Posted by: Anonymous on July 14, 2008 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

I miss William Shawn. He didn't waste much time trying to outrage the bourgeois. Or coming up with pallid satire that would (not) sell magazines.
He might have had William Hamilton do a cover of the Obama as Terribly Nice People, which WOULD have been funny, and satire, being close to the mark.

Posted by: Steve Paradis on July 14, 2008 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

I miss William Shawn. He didn't waste much time trying to outrage the bourgeoise. Or coming up with pallid satire that would (not) sell magazines.
He might have had William Hamilton do a cover of the Obama as Terribly Nice People, which WOULD have been funny, and satire, being close to the mark.

Posted by: Steve Paradis on July 14, 2008 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

earl and Dood, people can disagree on the effectiveness or appropriateness of the satire, but you two are misjudging the penetration factor. Did you miss the part about it dominating cable news this morning? You guys sound a bit like John McCain, believing that unless someone's handed a print version of the mag, they'll never see it. And, of course, you badly underestimate how widely distributed the printed mag is nationally.

psmith (love the Wodehouse reference), you're right--but don't you bet that everyone else at The New Yorker will let Blitt take the fall for this?

Posted by: shortstop on July 14, 2008 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

I'll grant the cover doesn't portray the Senator very accurately. Obama seems more like a blank slate whose Truth is whatever his Inner Chalk comes up with on any given day. The most I'll allow is that the color of the robe is fine, if it's meant to express his blankness. As a caricature, though, the caricature of Michelle Obama seems just about right. She seems to be a killer restrained only by civil society; it's appalling to think what she would do if she had a free hand.

Posted by: Kralizec on July 14, 2008 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

I mostly agree. This was a pretty slow witted attempt at satire that can easily be interpreted the wrong way. The New Yorker needs a Satire 101 refresher.

Posted by: Matthew on July 14, 2008 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

This is too rich.

Just who created this image of Obama as a crypto-muslim, anyway?

All during the primaries we had Democrats circulating emails claiming Obama is a muslim, Democrats passing around images of Obama dressed like a muslim, and Democrats like Larry Johnson circulating rumors about a Michelle Obama 'whitey' video.

And now we have this ugly image on the cover of the uber-liberal New Yorker magazine, and somehow it is all the Republicans' fault.

There is absolutely nothing that the Democrats won't blame on Republicans, is there.

Posted by: Ken McCracken on July 14, 2008 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

Stephen Colbert also satirized the "terrorist bump" and inferred that Obama is a Muslim terrorist.

Now I guess Obama's campaign and the outraged left are going to condemn Colbert.

What a shame. Nice to turn the table and feel smug, knowing I get it, when it's usually Obama and his supporters who are!

Posted by: Anon on July 14, 2008 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

This is really an astounding cacophony of gored oxen. Not having a dog in this fight (just to keep the metaphor straining along...), I feel free to say that I think the cover is really interesting. Look at what a president has to put up with. The Senator and his people really need to develop a sense of humor. If the treatment of every president I can remember -- esp. the one we now have -- by caricaturists and political opponents is a fair indication, this will look rather tame by the middle of his first term. If you don't find it funny now, well you guys are really in for it down the road.

Posted by: Michael on July 14, 2008 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? The New Yorker has forgotten they are reaching an electorate that put Geo.W.Bush in the White House not once, but twice. This is not a nation of subtle intellects. I don't believe the NY-er spokesperson's comment on Morning Joe that they didn't set out to cause a stir. If they believed this cartoon wouldn't cause problems for Obama they are more ignorant than the people who see it and won't "get" their satire.... Or are they so naive they were not thinking beyond their own ivy league readership. They owe the Obama's (and the Dems of the country) a BIG apology.

Posted by: Macrey on July 14, 2008 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

Swan: The worst example of racism I've ever personally witnessed in my life

You don't get out much, do you?

Posted by: thersites on July 14, 2008 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

Do we want an authoritarian left that can't smile at itself and sees offense in every "politically incorrect" comment or can we look in the mirror at ourselves and understand our excesses. As Emma Goldman said, "If I can't dance I don't want to be part of your revolution". In the case of the NYorker cover it is the left's inability to tolerate and appreciate a "swiftian" (as opposed to swiftboat) satire that is so scary.
A real biting attack on Obama would have been not to parody the right's perception of him as the cover does but perhaps to point out the authoritarian style implicit in his mass rallies. (this is not only the 40th anniversary year of the march on Washington but the 70th anniversary year of the Nurenberg rally). Calm down fellow lefties-- I'm being "out there" in a Yippie sort of way. It's a joke --or its it? (that's the irony of political satire.)

My serious point just made would be that the left should be scared of mass demonstrations that pay homage to individuals rather than ideas and that certain south american populists masquerading as socialists are not our role models in style or substance.

Posted by: oldlefty on July 14, 2008 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

Do we want an authoritarian left that can't smile at itself and sees offense in every "politically incorrect" comment or can we look in the mirror at ourselves and understand our excesses. As Emma Goldman said, "If I can't dance I don't want to be part of your revolution". In the case of the NYorker cover it is the left's inability to tolerate and appreciate a "swiftian" (as opposed to swiftboat) satire that is so scary.
A real biting attack on Obama would have been not to parody the right's perception of him as the cover does but perhaps to point out the authoritarian style implicit in his mass rallies. (this is not only the 40th anniversary year of the march on Washington but the 70th anniversary year of the Nurenberg rally). Calm down fellow lefties-- I'm being "out there" in a Yippie sort of way. It's a joke --or its it? (that's the irony of political satire.)

My serious point just made would be that the left should be scared of mass demonstrations that pay homage to individuals rather than ideas and that certain south american populists masquerading as socialists are not our role models in style or substance.

Posted by: oldlefty on July 14, 2008 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

Do we want an authoritarian left that can't smile at itself and sees offense in every "politically incorrect" comment or can we look in the mirror at ourselves and understand our excesses. As Emma Goldman said, "If I can't dance I don't want to be part of your revolution". In the case of the NYorker cover it is the left's inability to tolerate and appreciate a "swiftian" (as opposed to swiftboat) satire that is so scary.
A real biting attack on Obama would have been not to parody the right's perception of him as the cover does but perhaps to point out the authoritarian style implicit in his mass rallies. (this is not only the 40th anniversary year of the march on Washington but the 70th anniversary year of the Nurenberg rally). Calm down fellow lefties-- I'm being "out there" in a Yippie sort of way. It's a joke --or its it? (that's the irony of political satire.)

My serious point just made would be that the left should be scared of mass demonstrations that pay homage to individuals rather than ideas and that certain south american populists masquerading as socialists are not our role models in style or substance.

Posted by: oldlefty on July 14, 2008 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK


Imagine a cartoon appearing in 1863 showing Abraham Lincoln, Emancipation Proclamation in hand, with his arm around a black woman who was waving a spear. Satan is whispering into Lincoln's ear, and a picture of Frederick Douglass is on the wall.

It's a satire on racist attitudes toward Lincoln! Get it? Don't you understand?

Or, imagine a cartoon from the summer of 1941 showing FDR sitting at his presidential desk, with John Bull leaning over his shoulder and whispering into his ear.

It's a satire on isolationist fears that FDR was an Anglophile who was trying to save England from Nazi invasion. Get it? Don't you understand?

Of course, racists in 1863 would have loved the Lincoln depiction, and Lindbergh-type isolationists would have adored the depiction of FDR. And today, the far-right loves this New Yorker cover.

Posted by: Arthur on July 14, 2008 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

I guess it's never too late, but I'm still disappointed Rick Hertzberg hasn't authorized a cover illustration depicting Joe Lieberman eating matzos made from Palestinian children's blood, manipulating the world's finances, and gleefully crucifying Christ. Obviously we know those are just horrible myths about Jews, but there are people who actually believe those things, and a cover like this would help bring those beliefs into the open so that a healthy dialogue can occur, right? And since Joe Lieberman is a prominent national politician and former Vice-Presidential candidate, I'm sure the ADL and B'Nai Brith would have no objection to such a timely cover... after all, it's just satire, and those who might object would just be chastized for being too sensitive, right?

Posted by: bluestatedon on July 14, 2008 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

I admit it would have been funnier (and less controversial) with the wonder twins on the cover fist bumping with the Taleban. However, I don't expect perfect tone and broad audience appeal of every struggling cartoonist. I really don't understand the hypersensitivity and the assumption of an ignorant audience.

I know the new found power is sort of cool, but don't you think being able to get E.D. Hill fired and a cartoonist scared to death is a little scary itself. For me the response is a lot more notable than the comment or the cartoon. And that's saying something. E.D Hill is excellent, if unintentional, satire.

Posted by: asdf on July 14, 2008 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

Macrey,

It's satire. Satirists never owe an apology. In fact, even in a court of law in a defamation suit (such as Bill O'Reilly's against Al Franke), if the offense can be proven to have been satire, there is no apology or any other kind of retribution awarded to the person who had his or her feelings hurt.

I liked the left better when we defended American principles, like freedom of the press, than when we became like the right and took on politics of personality and decided to make one man a god and the be all and end all.

Posted by: Anon on July 14, 2008 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

The right wing also screams about how gay marriage will destroy the country and ruin straight marriages too. It would just be the end of the world.

So, the Daily Show did a GREAT satire on gay marriage, dated to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the Massachusetts decision to make gay marriage legal, called "Gay Marriage Ruins State."

While I found it to be hilarious, I guess all these naysayers here would have found it offensive to gay people and really just not funny! I mean, satirizing the right wing's hysteria and hyperbole??? Just not funny.

Seems to me, though, that NOT satirizing it gives it credence.

Posted by: Anon on July 14, 2008 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

Rasmussenreports has Obama losing support and McCain picking up what he's losing for the past 3 days. Race is dead even now. Prediction, by labor day McCain up by 5. The worm has started to turn. The New Yorker cover is hilarious, by the way, and not far from reality.

Posted by: anti-arugala on July 14, 2008 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

From the reactions here, you folks would be comfortable threatening the life of the cartoonist in Denmark who 'blasphemed' Mohammed, eh?

It's a cartoon, it's satire. We live in America, where there is FREE SPEECH, even IF Obamaphiles don't like it.

For God's sake, people, get over it!

Posted by: Jude on July 14, 2008 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

Anti-Arugula,

One thing (and just about the only thing!) one really does have to admire about the right wing is how many over there are just so unashamed to publicly display their ignorance, even proudly.

Remember when you all screamed about how Kerry was going to ban the Bible too? And how Bush was sent to the Oval Office by God?

Really, very amusing stuff.

Posted by: Anon on July 14, 2008 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, I thought the cover's a hoot. Seeing as Talk Radio will use it to reinforce the stereotypes lampooned -- Obama wouldn't wear the flag pin, he/she knew some people who were radicals in the '60s, his pastor hates America, he was raised in a Muslim country, etc. -- it will change nothing.

Remember, the New Yorker has pretensions of elitism, so it's natural they would put something of an "inside joke" on the cover, insinuating that only people as sophisticated as their subscribers will appreciate that this is all nonsense. Anybody who complains is a knuckle-dragger.

Nevertheless, it's brilliant. Now that they have something to lose, Obama's people are so humorless and paranoid of being Swiftboated that they can't just shrug it off as the propaganda caricature that it is. Which would have rebounded positively for them. Heck, they should be paying these guys.

Instead they come off as whiners. Maybe Gramm was right after all.

Posted by: Tim on July 14, 2008 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

Why does the New Yorker hate America?

Seriously, why?

Because they may just have elected John McCain Preznit.

Here's how the REAL elites screw up. They don't have a clue what Mom and Pop Hayseed suspect and how this will reinforce it.

Posted by: Cal Gal on July 14, 2008 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

I have to disagree with you, Kevin. I think that the thought bubble from mccains head would be clumsy - and surely you dont believe that mccain really buys these caricatures either. He just cynically exploits them.

I've blogged in more detail about why I think the cover works as satire and I directly address your argument as well:

Posted by: Aziz Poonawalla on July 14, 2008 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

So, pissing off McCain is OK...pissing off Obama...gutless.

Seems that anything that gets the left's panties in a twist isnt gutless.

Posted by: bayboat on July 14, 2008 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

A whole passel of terrorist leaders have endorsed Obama. No doubt they all love the New Yorker cover and wonder aloud about how any serious person could consider this cover to be "satire."

And they're right. During the primaries, Obama made a big deal of his policies of demilitarizing the United States while opposing essentially every effective anti-terrorist effort the Bush Administration or anyone else has come up with since September 11 as violative of "individual rights" or as being "counterproductive" aggression. Now, of course, he's busy modifying his stated positions as fast as he can. But there's no question that Obama wants to rely on "aggressive diplomacy" (against Iran and every other rogue state or organization) which he and everyone else knows perfectly well will be ineffective. He wants to "go European." But we only have to recall how well those European aggressive diplomacy efforts and trade sanctions are working to stop Iran's development of a nuclear bomb pointed at Israel. So the New Yorker cover is pretty accurate. The only problem is the "satire" bit. But that's pretty much taking care of itself since most of the world only reads the New Yorker for the pictures. The liberal refusal to take seriously arguments based on the article itself again confirms that fact (studies show liberals on the whole read much less than others). The magazine has, after all, been correctly described as a "comic book for adults."

Posted by: Terry Hughes on July 14, 2008 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

what's funny about this is these characterizations of Obama came from a Democratic campaign--i.e. it was Hillary Clinton campaign worker who were spreading the rumor that Obama is a Muslim, etc.

Yet somehow, in true Democratic fashion, it's the evil Republicans that originated this line of attack.

As well, are the condescending notes about those dumb, bigoted voters who won't understand the cover. Hey, those dummies don't read the New Yorker. They are not as sophisticated as you genius Democrats.

Hard to believe I hung with this crowd for so long.

Posted by: mordechai on July 14, 2008 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

Call me cynical, Anon, but I think we on the left need to extract our heads from the sands of Beach Idealism and get real before we lose another election. I love satire...I'm a big fan of Colbert and Al Franken...and I hope this cartoon will do us more good than harm in the end. But I stand behind my feeling that it went too far at this time with those issues. I am not making a god of Obama, but I do want him to win in November and for that to happen I think we need to be careful and sensitive. Let's not use the Bill of Rights to obscure common sense once again.

Posted by: Macrey on July 14, 2008 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

I'm an Obama supporter and volunteer, and I think the cover is funny. Somehow the silly season has caused a lot of people to lose their sense of humor, if they ever had one.

Posted by: Nate Levin on July 14, 2008 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

Macrey,

George Bush and Dick Cheney also think the Constitution should be suspended so they too can get to their desired end.

If Americans are dumb enough to take this seriously and not recognize it as parody, which of course they are - they gave us Bush, TWICE! - then this country simply deserves what it has been getting.

The problem here is that Obama supporter are being hypocrites and holding one standard for themselves. I'm tired of that.

Defend the Constitution first, last, always.

Posted by: Anon on July 14, 2008 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, and Macrey,

If the left really wanted to extract their heads from sands of idealism, they never would have nominated a junior senator based on a nebulous candidacy of hope, change, and inspiration and would have instead gone for the boring, droll policy wonk.

Posted by: Anon on July 14, 2008 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

Geez, Terry, get a grip.

Demilitarize the USA? With hundreds of bases around the world? Sounds good. How about demilitarizing Iraq first? No problem there -- the Iraqis are about to do that for us.

Iran? They don't have nukes pointed at anybody right now. Can't say the same for Israel now, can we? Haven't attacked anybody, have they? Who's gonna attack who first? If you're money's on Iran over Israel, you better stay away from Vegas.

Those silly missiles? Yeah, they'll just strap a toy PNK nuke to them and take out a couple blocks of Tel Aviv. Really? You don't think they know what happens next?

Geez... The US is NOT threatened by Iran, or those cavedwellers (now that we've figured out how to keep the knives off the planes), or any of those other characters.

Our biggest threat is ... ourselves. We need to avoid a third Middle East conflict and get our act together over here -- NOW. And that means: moving on energy policy, hedgefund/mortgage regulation and healthcare reform. Yeah, you better believe we need socialized healthcare, because it's the only way to get that monkey of the backs of American businesses so they can compete.

Posted by: Tim on July 14, 2008 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

I have news for Earl and Dood.

The New Yorker is on the magazine stand at many grocery stores in California. Where I often shop, it's clearly visible when you're waiting at the check stand.

It's not just for New Yorkers anymore.

And I don't buy that criticizing the decision to publish this is like the Muslim reaction to the Danish cartoons.

We're not issuing death threats. We're just sayin' BTW, I thought it was pretty stupid to publish the Danish cartoons, too.

The New Yorker is not the Onion. It's not The Daily Show. It's not the Colbert Report. It is a "serious" magazine and one cannot "expect" it's cover to be taken as satire.

The editors either WANT McCain to be elected or are clueless about the cluelessness of a significant portion of the American electorate. I find it impossible to believe they don't know their own market penetration.

Posted by: Cal Gal on July 14, 2008 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

Hard to believe I hung with this crowd for so long.

Mmmm, that suggestion does lack credibility, doesn't it?

Posted by: This Crowd on July 14, 2008 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, I thought it was kind of funny. I'm actually more concerned with the left's over the top reaction to it (and indeed the candidate's as well)than the substance of an absurd cartoon. If we're just going to cry "wolf" at every innocuous cartoon, or clumsy statement about Obama we risk the public getting immune to our outrage to the point that really disturbing comments, or ads, or cartoons will be weighted the same as the public tunes out.

Posted by: JB64 on July 14, 2008 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

Anon

I would be equally offended if McCain had been the target of ill advised satire, so don't call me a hypocrite.
Good for you...a constitutionalist just like Scalia. I guess you defend assault weapons as the right to bear arms too, huh???
Maybe Nate is correct. We all need to lighten up.

Posted by: Macrey on July 14, 2008 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

O, Tim -

You are so right! We and Israel have nothing whatsoever to fear from Iran or al Qaida!! A bunch of cavedwellers," that's what they are. You got me, but WHY DOESN'T OBAMA RUN ON THAT OBVIOUS TRUTH!!!??? Maybe you could contact him and bring him around with your unique charms? You know, make him stop "clarifying" all those far left wing primary campaign positions before it's too late. After all, how many people can resist being persuaded when you write "Geez" at them. I know I was.

Posted by: Terry Hughes on July 14, 2008 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

Hilarious. Get over it you whiners. Congrats to New Yorker for being so un-PC. It's funny. Anyone who watches the Obamas for a minute knows they are about as middle class as Mr and Mrs. Beaver Cleaver.

C'mon lighten up.

Posted by: Jim on July 14, 2008 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

one cannot "expect" it's cover to be taken as satire.

Have you ever seen the magazine before?

Posted by: asdf on July 14, 2008 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Give me a break! Put a bubble with it coming out of John McCain's head??? I agree that McCain thinks Obama's ideas are a bunch of flip-flopping mush and that Obama's record is skimpy and lacking in gravitas. But the author of this piece honetly thinks it's McCain who looks upon Barack as a Muslim and Michelle as a terrorist??? Based on what? It's the left-leaning New Yorker that's done this hatchet job not the Republicans. And by-the bye, the reason this is so clever is because it hits on PRECISELY how these two up-and-comers from the south side of Chicago are seen by most Americans. Check out the polls!! John MCcain will be the 44th President of the united States of America.

Posted by: Maureen Rehg on July 14, 2008 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

Well, the cover has now apparently been reproduced in every single major news publication and been shown on every single televised news program, and, most importantly, on DRUDGE! So one thing we know is that it will NOT be necessary for Joe Nascar to actually BUY the magazine or READ the article.

Of course, few people who do BUY the New Yorker actually read the articles, and even fewer FINISH them. Always been true. True now.

Posted by: Terry Hughes on July 14, 2008 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

the caricature of Michelle Obama seems just about right. She seems to be a killer restrained only by civil society; it's appalling to think what she would do if she had a free hand.

Now, that's some tasty satire!

Posted by: shortstop on July 14, 2008 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

Satire? It seems to be the plain and simple truth to me. Something that will never come from the Obamanics.

Posted by: John Samford on July 14, 2008 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

I read the New Yorker for the cartoons.

No one cared about Harper's picture of Michelle with one of history's greatest mass murderers.

Posted by: Brojo on July 14, 2008 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

are you kidding...we are suppose to support barack obama and not scare people away from him. i understand the artist did his job but i think it went a little too far...the US flag is burning in the fireplace..come on now! get the PICTURE?!

Posted by: Rona on July 14, 2008 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

During the primaries, Obama made a big deal of his policies of demilitarizing the United States

Wow, I must have missed this. Terry, could you provide me a link to the multiple speeches in which Obama pledge to "demilitarize" the United States....? If it was such a big deal, I'm sure there must be multiple news accounts, right?

*crickets chirp. Offstage, a lone bird sings. A tumbleweed rolls gently across the stage.*

while opposing essentially every effective anti-terrorist effort the Bush Administration or anyone else has come up with since September 11 as violative of "individual rights" or as being "counterproductive" aggression.

Objection! This assumes that there actually ARE effective anti-terrorist efforts the Bush regime has come up with. But since we know there aren't, how could Obama have opposed what isn't there?

Posted by: Stefan on July 14, 2008 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

I guess my question is, was this satire cover projected to sell the magazine, because it's hard to fathom how it does. And those New Yorker's Magazine managers didn't contemplate this would not be funny to Obama supporters?

Kevin is right - they wouldn't dare do this to McCain so they did intentionally to Obama.

No satire intended, our corporated owned media's underling hate for Obama projected in furthering the gossip. So why didn't Obama stand up against AT&T and Verizon, because Dems want more of this satire done to them? If Obama doesn't stand up to coporations than he shouldn't complain.

Posted by: Me_again on July 14, 2008 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

Nah, lame satire. The article doesn't even mention the loopy right-wing stuff. I'm guessing the artist painted the cover and the editors decided it was just edgy enough to get some hype so they'd run it for the next Obama article. Regardless what the article was about.

Lets do it to the other team. A magazine article comes out about George W. Bush's plans after the White House comes out and the cover has a cartoon of him reading "My Pet Goat" upside down with a stupid look on his face. Why would this be sharp satire? Just because you hate Bush?

The cover makes no satirical sense, so what is its purpose?

Posted by: sweaty guy on July 14, 2008 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

So: gutless. And whatever else you can say about it, good satire is never gutless.

Well, all I can say of your proposed "improvements" on the cover is this:

So obvious. And whatever else you can say about it, good satire is never obvious.

I mean, please, a gigantic word bubble coming out of McCain's mouth...? If I didn't know better, I'd say that you are in fact a brilliant satirist yourself, since that is about the best satire of the Liberals' lame idea of satire that I could think of.

Posted by: Veikko Suvanto on July 14, 2008 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

As satire, it's dead on. Adding a "thought bubble" or a caption would have killed the joke.

I like it, if for no other reason that it annoys the humorless among the liberal crowd (of whom, I should hasten to add, I consider myself one).

If it had appeared on the cover of, say, The Weekly Standard or The National Review I might feel otherwise but, come on, the New Yorker?

Posted by: Steve on July 14, 2008 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

Stephan -

Well, damned if you're not spot on. I was so wrong. This YouTube video must be a fake with some actor pretending to be Obama:
http://www.macsmind.com/wordpress/2008/02/27/obama-plans-to-disarm-america/

The scope of his proposed defense cuts and his angry tone is breathtaking. Does he think the US military is the enemy? This video easilly leaves that impression. Here is a transcript:

"I'm the only major candidate who opposed this war from the beginning; and as president, I will end it.

"Second, I will cut tens of billions of dollars in wasteful spending. I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems. I will not weaponize space. I will slow our development of future combat systems.

"I will institute an independent defense priorities board to ensure that the Quadrennial Review is not used to justify unnecessary defense spending.

"Third, I will set a goal for a world without nuclear weapons. To seek that goal, I will not develop nuclear weapons; I will seek a global ban on the production of fissile material; and I will negotiate with Russia to take our ICBMs off hair-trigger alert, and to achieve deep cuts in our nuclear arsenal."

Last time I looked, near-identical language appeared on Obama's campaign website regarding nuclear weapons. For some reason it had been made rather hidden, so you'll have to do a search if it's still there at all. And isn't that the real problem? You can bet that with all of his current "centering" (aka "flip-flopping" or "prevarication") Obama has no plans to make such overt sweeping indictments of US security forces again in the general election even though this is what he thinks and this is what he would do if he could get away with it. His political base is counting on that!

So maybe you, Stephan, could reach the Great Visionary and persuade him to return to his overt demilitarizing roots.

And while you're at it, since there actually ARE no effective anti-terrorist efforts the Bush regime has come up with, why don't you ask Obama why he just voted for that FISA intelligence bill he adamantly opposed in the primaries? You know, the one Hillary just voted AGAINST. Yes, that one. And get him to overtly campaign on promises to roll back everything else Bush has done in the way of an "antiterrorist" measure since 9-11!

Go ahead. Can we commit national suicide following your lead? Can Obama self-destruct following your lead! "YES WE CAN!" Wheeeeee!

Posted by: Terry Hughes on July 14, 2008 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

Macrey,

Just a tad over the top, wouldn't you say?

I don't see where in the Bill of Rights or the Constitution it says anything about assault weapons. Indeed, I see the term "Militia" and happen to think the 2nd refers to the military, not individuals.

But the 1st is very clear about speech and a free press.

Also interesting is how quick Obama was to condemn this as tasteless and offensive despite his hemming and hawing and understanding the nuance and sticking with Rev. Wright for 20 years...until Wright publicly (aka the New Yorker) made him look bad, in his mind. Then it was adios!

A person wanting to be president of the United States should be DEFENDING this. Or will we have the Obama Ari Fleischer telling us we need to be careful what we say?

Posted by: Anon on July 14, 2008 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on July 14, 2008 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

Me_Again,

Since when does any publication consider whether any specific group will think something is funny or not. They don't, and they shouldn't.

Who cares if Obama supporters don't think it's funny. They are, as many have noted, humorless.

The cover has nothing to do with Obama. It's actually a slam against the ridiculous blowhards in the right-wing media.

It's actually a satirical defense of Obama, in a way, but it's really about coming at the right and their absurd hyperbole, and making them look ridiculous, which is a GOOD thing!

It also takes a jab at the right's relentless use of fear, which is also a good thing.

Posted by: Anon on July 14, 2008 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

The cover is gross and in extremely bad taste. If the National Review had run this cover, it rightly would have been viewed as a clear libel.

I'm canceling my subscription.

Posted by: Brian P. on July 14, 2008 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

mhr,

Whatever happened to the liberal desire to restore the Constitution after being so angry at eight years of Bush and Cheney gutting it?

Posted by: Anon on July 14, 2008 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Well, damned if you're not spot on. I was so wrong. This YouTube video must be a fake with some actor pretending to be Obama:

Yeah, no, sorry, that doesn't quite cut it. Nothing even remotely there about "demilitarizing" the United States. Some talk about cutting wasteful and unncessary defense spending (do Republicans favor wasteful and unnecessary defense spending? Well, come to think of it, all evidence indicates they do....) but nothing about leaving America defenseless so the slavering Islamofashionista hordes can take us over.

So all in all a nice attempt to distort and lie about Obama's policy positions, but one easily seen through. Thanks for playing, though.

Posted by: Stefan on July 14, 2008 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

Brian P.

Satire is inherently NOT libel. If anyone committed libel in this situation, it was the woman at FOX who called it a terrorist fist bump.

Google the O'Reilly v. Franken case (or was it FOX v. Franken?). Anyway, it's amusing, esp. the judge's comments at the end of the trial.

Posted by: Anon on July 14, 2008 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

Mayor Bloomberg gave a speech a week or two ago telling people not to believe the lies about the Obama's that have been making the rounds through various network channels. Many people in NYC, probably more than elsewhere, have received the emails and heard the whispers of the various slanders about the Obama's that this New Yorker cover addresses, which is probably why it was considered satirical.

Instead of the cartoon being a thought bubble from McCain, it would be more effective, and true, being a thought bubble from the publishers of the NY Sun and Daily News.

Posted by: Brojo on July 14, 2008 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

Barack Obama: "Third, I will set a goal for a world without nuclear weapons."

Now that sounds familiar. Where else have I heard that kind of crazy, hippy-dippy, appeasing liberal language before? Oh, yes, I remember where:

Ronald Reagan: "My dream, then, became a world free of nuclear weapons and for the eight years I was president I never let my dream of a nuclear-free world fade from my mind."

www.ronaldreagan.com/sdi.html

Posted by: Stefan on July 14, 2008 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

It's called PROJECTION. You see, this is what McCain is "going" to tell you about Barack. Some day . . . we promise he will . . . just wait . . . okay, a little bit longer. Oh, hee hee, I guess it's Democrats only who are saying those things. Never mind!

Posted by: arhooley on July 14, 2008 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I usually appreciate your perspective but this is not the first time you've betrayed a sense of humorlessness.

What you suggest would be a more gutsy treatment is nothing but an overly narrow (and no doubt untrue as it applies to McCain) literalness that drains all fun out of the cartoon. Would you prefer that magicians explain their tricks beforehand?

If we cannot hold ignorance up to the ridicule it so richly deserves, our democracy is a terminal patient indeed. Being afraid of what the right will do with the New Yorker cover is exactly the thinking that turned Congressional Democrats into such wimps. And look what that got us the last 8 years.

I'm usually proud to be a progressive, but in situations like this, I just cringe.

Posted by: InSanity on July 14, 2008 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I usually appreciate your perspective but this is not the first time you've betrayed a sense of humorlessness.

What you suggest would be a more gutsy treatment is nothing but an overly narrow (and no doubt untrue as it applies to McCain) literalness that drains all fun out of the cartoon. Would you prefer that magicians explain their tricks beforehand?

If we cannot hold ignorance up to the ridicule it so richly deserves, our democracy is a terminal patient indeed. Being afraid of what the right will do with the New Yorker cover is exactly the thinking that turned Congressional Democrats into such wimps. And look what that got us the last 8 years.

I'm usually proud to be a progressive, but in situations like this, I just cringe.

Posted by: InSanity on July 14, 2008 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

No wonder why many Black people distrust the system.
It churns out major racist crap like this militant coon depiction for the newstands and then says it's OK because its satire to some and reality to others.

TNY just got real lame. Hope they never defend me.

Posted by: RJII on July 14, 2008 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

This cover is really no different than the cartoons that are found in Rolling Stone before every Matt Taibi (sp) articles. Get over it peeps. We had 8 years of "satirical" toon targeting Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rummy, Rice, now the left gets a taste of it (even though it's aimed at anti BHO smears)

Posted by: Josh on July 14, 2008 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

For the record, I do not support the extremely liberal Obama for the Presidency.

However, I am against the NYker cover.

It misleads people into conclusions and that is the primary complaint the world has against America and its Media.

A more sophisticated cover satire would have been depicting Obama with Al Capone, kicking other candidates off the ballot for highly technical, if not fraudulent reasons.

Or, Mayor Daley helping Resko bury a pile of moeny in the land next to Obama's house, that he bought through Resko, or sitting in his white hating church, burning "rich white fo'k" effigies. Or, ruling from the middle with his contingent of radical liberal extremist buddies.

All those things have the element of satire.

No one believes Obama is Muslim just as few Christians believe Obama is really Christian.

Everyone sees, now, that Obama is not a new kind of candidate who will rule from the middle, but a BS'er of historic proportions, and an orator, second only to Hitler and Clinton. (No intonation meant, - Hitler was one of the greatest orators in history)

As was Bill, whom Liberals now discount for the same reasons Conservatives did when he was in power. It will be interesting whom the Liberals will latch onto next as their next Savior and then dump Obama for when they realize what the Right sees clearly.

Regardless, all Media need to be news reporters, not news makers.

3 Polish women said to me, three years ago, that the US media is worse than the old Pravda media... in its bombastic slanted newsmaking efforts.

And, a Muslim in Nigeria condemned NOT BUSH for Abu Graib, but the US media for its printing of
the Abu Graib pictures.

US Citizens need to understand one of the reasons the world is angered by the US omni presence is because of its Media, not always its foreign policies.

Blessings,


Posted by: Silence Dogood on July 14, 2008 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

The people who don't get the joke are the joke.

Satire certainly hits it's mark when it satires both it's obvious target as well as the collateral backlash.

You humorless wretches have exactly the kind of contempt for the "masses" that the Republicans will try to prey on.

It's like a convention of angry Marin County types.

Posted by: lucky on July 14, 2008 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

It's terrible because it reinforces the false meme.

I hope whoever drew that cover is an Obama supporter, and that the thought the he just cost Obama the election makes him unable to sleep well for the next year.

Posted by: MNPundit on July 14, 2008 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe Congress will condemn the New Yorker the way they did Moveon.org over the Gen. Petraeus Kerfuffle and make these Obama supporters happy.

Remember when the left wing was outraged over that?

Now they're sounding just like the right wing.

Amazing.

Posted by: Anon on July 14, 2008 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

Che & Passionaria, Michelle & Hussein...

The New Yorker cover is very funny - and liberals' sanctimonious fury regarding it shows the cartoonist has well locked on his target.
Yet it is the piece on Glibama thats the real job. It shows what so many people still, simply do not want to recognize - what a calculated (and oftentimes brutal) operator mastro Glibama has ever been, from his early Chicago years to the present hope we can believe in scammer.
THAT is the real source of liberals fury - resembling the Jackson bruhaha, where it wasnt Jackson remarks terms that caused the liberal hysteria - it was the remarks underlying significance that many blacks dont see Glibama as a real black person, and like this situation, that there are many, and potentially very dangerous rifts within the grand salade-de-beuf that the Democrat Party is (since here, has the liberal media decided that the Hillary affair is closed? Methinks it ain't closed.)

Posted by: misanthropicus on July 14, 2008 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

MNpundit,

The New Yorker cover is not going to cost Obama the election.

Good grief, his poll numbers have been dropping since before he even got the nomination. The more people get to know him, the more his numbers drop.

No, what will cost Obama the election should he lose is the head-in-the-clouds movement that got him the nomination in the first place.

Posted by: Anon on July 14, 2008 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

I laughed a lot. I still laugh every time I look at it. It is so over the top. It hits every note.

But yes, they'd better have an equally over the top one of McCain next week.

Posted by: Emma Anne on July 14, 2008 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

Well, Stephan, I hope you have the courage of your convictions to form and finance a 527 to tell the world that Obama's position on national security today is exactly the same as it was when he made and distributed that primary campaign ad. In fact, please run Obama's very same primary campaign ad all over the country day after day every day until election day! Please, please, please go out and defeat all the lies and distortions with your bold clarifications!

And that goes double for Bush's phony anti-terrorism measures. I want to see lots and lots of ads from you clarifying that Obama is going to roll back and eliminate each and every anti-terrorist measure that icky Bush has pushed through since 9-11 because none of them is EFFECTIVE, notwithstanding the absence of successful terrorist activity in the US since 9-11!

Yes, indeedy. Please run those ads.

BTW, what does it say about the Obamaoids that nobody figured out that the vast majority of viewers of this cover will not be readers of the article since the cover but not the article is being reproduced in media everywhere (and DRUDGE!)? Dim, dim, dim.

ATTENTION OBAMAOIDS: Take your positions! The Great Gas Ship OBAMABURG will be landing at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey on election day THIS NOVEMBER! Be there, every single one of you for the magnificent event. Don't miss it. Especially you, Stephan.

Kissy, kissy, cooo, coo!

Posted by: Terry Hughes on July 14, 2008 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe we should make a list of the seven items you can't parody in print.


Posted by: asdf on July 14, 2008 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

i'm sorry, why does the mag have to have a McCain cover next week? I missed the memo on equal time on magazine covers. I guess i'm waiting on RS to do a McCain with a halo cover.

Posted by: Josh on July 14, 2008 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe Congress will condemn the New Yorker the way they did Moveon.org over the Gen. Petraeus Kerfuffle and make these Obama supporters happy. Remember when the left wing was outraged over that? Now they're sounding just like the right wing.

Uh, unless liberals are running crying to Congress the same way conservatives did, then no, they're not.

Posted by: Stefan on July 14, 2008 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, indeedy. Please run those ads.

Why would I need to do that? All I needed to do was puncture your absurd lie that "During the primaries, Obama made a big deal of his policies of demilitarizing the United States". Which I did,since such policies do not, in fact, exist anywhere but in the right-wing slime machine. My work here is done (until, that is, you post another easily-disprovable lie, at which point I'll be happy to step in again. It's what I do).

notwithstanding the absence of successful terrorist activity in the US since 9-11!

Anthrax attacks.

Posted by: Stefan on July 14, 2008 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

each and every anti-terrorist measure that icky Bush has pushed through since 9-11 because none of them is EFFECTIVE, notwithstanding the absence of successful terrorist activity in the US since 9-11!

Homer Simpson: Not a bear in sight. The Bear Patrol must be working like a charm.

Lisa Simpson: That’s specious reasoning, Dad.

Homer: Thank you, dear.

Lisa: By your logic I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away.

Homer: Oh, how does it work?

Lisa: It doesn’t work.

Homer: Uh-huh.

Lisa: It’s just a stupid rock.

Homer: Uh-huh.

Lisa: But I don’t see any tigers around, do you?
[Homer thinks, then pulls out some money]

Homer: Lisa, I want to buy your rock.

Posted by: Stefan on July 14, 2008 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

If you look through the last 12 months of New Yorkers you will find there is almost no image of anyone non-white on any cover or in any cartoon. Occasional photos of black celebrities, otherwise, nix. It may not be racist in the Mason-Dixon sense, but there is something utterly posh-white-liberal insular about the magazine, a smug blindness to its social surroundings that is truly pathetic for a bunch of folks who obviously think they have fantastic big intellectual and cultural cojones. This cover could not be more representative of that cultural obtuseness. They just don't get it. They are utterly lacking in the esprit to which they pretend.

Posted by: q on July 14, 2008 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

The New Yorker and David Remnick are a lot like Sen. Clinton; they supported the invasion of Iraq and will not admit it was a horrible mistake.

Posted by: Brojo on July 14, 2008 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

A clear majority of Americans are either conservative or centrist. Hillary ran as the centrist she's become by experience, and lost, McCain followed Nixon's advice to run right, and won. A return to the center is befitting his nature. McCain's baggage are a radical failed Republican party, and, though it is not fashionable to admit, his age. Many an aged leader has lead well, but everyone knows age often will affect competence. Nevertheless, McCain and Obama are in a tighter race than the left anticipated. Obama ran naturally from the left, won in reliance on Independent and Republican votes in open primaries, and has turned sharply right. Few will be mistaken that his heart is anywhere but to the left. The election will turn not on whom the left-wingers, the right-wingers, or the centrist Republicans vote for, which are givens, but on the centrist Democrats who voted Hillary. McCain's chance is to run a centrist campaign, his proven ground. Obama made a mistake when he allowed himself to utter "they will have no choice but to vote for me" or words to that effect during the primaries when addressing whether he would be able to attract Hillary supporters in the general. With anyone but McCain the nominee, he would have been right, but with a centrist Republican nominee who has been critical of the most radical Bush policies, we have a choice. We will be choosing between a Democratic congress with either a centrist president or a potentially leftist president. Either will be far superior to the Bush presidency and Repbulican congress, but it is not so easy to judge which will be superior to the other. The fear is the party squandering the opportunity of a long run of effective centrist government by one as radical on the left as the Republicans on the right. Obama may not, and and hopefully will not, do that, but it is a concern. This cover was tasteless and ill-advised, but it's also much ado about nothing. It's also much ado about nothing for right-wingers to employ these tactics. We know their stripes. However, if McCain shifts toward fear and hate politics in an effort to win, he will extinguish all doubt, and drive us happily to the polls for Obama.

Posted by: Fred on July 14, 2008 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

Brojo is like Republicans: tries to discredit someone or something with an unrelated criticism and declare them utterly discredited.

I'm guessing, though, that you give Obama a pass on FISA.

Posted by: Anon on July 14, 2008 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

IMHO, the Obama camp is making a big mistake by making such a huge fuss over this magazine cover. Yes, it was in poor taste, even if it was intended as satire, which is clearly was, given that the New Yorker is a decidedly liberal publication.

But by making such a big stink over it, Obama's people are going to ensure that it now stays at the forefront of the news for at least the next week or so, meaning that independent voters who might have deep-seeded reservations about Obama will see the cover and have them reinforced. IMHO, it would have been far better for Obama to have lightly brushed it off. Then the story would have quietly died.

Posted by: Dan R. on July 14, 2008 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

These posts are hilarious and a bunch of you posters are hysterical. Conspiracy abounds right? . Do you all get the same emails that blame everything on the Vice President and Karl Rove. Does anyone here do any research before you post?

The New Yorker wants to sell magazines. It is not the Jews, or Rove, or McCain. And why does there have to be a McCain cover next week? Vanity Fair does hit jobs on Republicans all the time and you don't see us all up in arms. We are used to it.

Welcome to our world.....

You all need to get a sense of humor. The study was right, we Republicans are happier and funnier.

Posted by: Ginger on July 14, 2008 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

The cover showing Senator Obama and his wife is not sophisticated it is trash politics.

As a Canadian I find it absolutely tasteless and and insult to Senator Obama and his wife.

Good for Senator McCain he also found it tasteless and disgusting.

The New Yorker got what it wanted publicity but I think it backfired and i am sure many subscribers will cancel their subscription. I for one will never buy another copy of what I used to think was an enlightened and thoughtful magazine.

You owe the Obama an apology and if they could I would sue your pants off.

Jack Scott

Posted by: Jack P. Scott on July 14, 2008 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

Jack P.

Please look up the laws surrounding parody and satire.

You'd lose your lawsuit.

Stephen Colbert did the exact same kind of parody about the fist bump and referred to Obama as a terrorist. I suppose you think he should be sued and owes the Obamas an apology too.

IT is amazing how like cult members the avid Obama supporters are, and it's scary.

The New Yorker is going after the right-wing media here! Maybe you think they owe FOX an apology!

Posted by: Anon on July 14, 2008 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

Advertisers at the New Yorker:
Target
Barns & Noble
Mont Blan Pens

BOYCOTT ALL!!!

Posted by: Kathy on July 14, 2008 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

Ginger,

"You Republicans" (and it is supposedly conservatives who are happier, not Republicans) are happier because people who can screw poor people and ignore real pain and suffering, indeed exploit pain and suffering of others for personal or political gain, without conscience are of course going to be happier.

And I suppose if you consider laughing as the president is joking about not being able to find WMD under his desk even as his soldiers are getting blown to bits looking for those WMD he lied to them about needing to find, then yes, I suppose one could say conservatives have senses of humor.

But no, conservatives are far more dour, as a group, than are liberals, and it's by their conservative nature that they are.

But sure, lack of concern for others will make a person happier. I won't argue with that. And any group that can thrill in having something like 9/11 happen on their watch so they could make political hay out of it and crow about being able to get two presidential terms out of it, etc., well, if 9/11 can make such a group happy, I suppose anything can.

Posted by: Anon on July 14, 2008 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Kathy,

My, my, you Obamans are sounding more and more like Bushies!

Censor! Censor!

"Americans should be careful about what they say."

How about burning effigies of the New Yorker in the streets too?

Posted by: Anon on July 14, 2008 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

The cover is gross and in extremely bad taste. If the National Review had run this cover, it rightly would have been viewed as a clear libel.

I'm canceling my subscription.
-------------------

ummm no it wouldn't. Go pick up a First A. law book or just rent the People v. Larry Flynt. Satire is protected speech. but nice try tho.

Posted by: josh on July 14, 2008 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

Loved the remix idea:

New Yorker Cover Remix: Obama's with McCain Thought Bubble

http://www.flickr.com/photos/maryhodder/2668826022/

Posted by: mary hodder on July 14, 2008 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

How about a satire of a woman getting a third term abortion? We could have the woman buffing her nails and fetus doing a hip hop dance?

Just the idea of it is so preposterous, it would make good satire wouldn't it? It could be a satire of right wing concepts on abortion.

Really looking forward to getting that issue. Oh, and don't forget to make the doc a hook-nosed Jew.

Posted by: Christie on July 14, 2008 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

David Remnick defended the New Yorker's editorial support for the invasion of Iraq about two years ago on NPR. His defense was as lame as Sen. Clinton's.

Posted by: Brojo on July 14, 2008 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

Ginger: "You all need to get a sense of humor. The study was right, we Republicans are happier and funnier."

OK. When we get the cover of McCain having his diaper changed by Cindy while a big male nurse shoots him up with powerful anti-psychotic drugs I'll see the humor in the Obama cover. Because of course such an image would be so crazy it would be hysterically funny and satirical. Republicans would feel even happier than ususal. Even though SOME leftist wackos would pounce on it and LOL and say that's exactly how they see McCain.

Posted by: cowalker on July 14, 2008 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

I need to see this poll about Republicans being happier and funnier. I don't really give a crap whether Republicans are happy or not, but I gotta know who's positively judging their comedic offerings. Themselves? Each other? Fifth-grade boys? Because I've been to more than a few GOP barbecues, and it sure as hell isn't funny people giving them the nod.

Posted by: shortstop on July 14, 2008 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Stephan -

"All I needed to do was puncture your absurd lie..."

No, no, no! The threat is much broader than you understand. I and those like me have spread our lies and distortions not only here but EVERYWHERE! You'll have to broadly puncture them with ads expressing your cogent arguments quoting the Simpsons, explaining that the September 2001 Anthrax attacks prove that all of Bush's antiterror measures are worthless and will be rolled by by Obama, and especially "explaining" Obama's security positions are still exactly as they were as presented in his "non-demilitarizing" primary campaign ad!

Don't let up! Run those ads! Meet the broad based threat!

Of course, I understand your resistance to running your own ads. Presenting a separate view to the broad public in your OWN ad as I'm proposing is a far right wing approach. The LIBERAL view (obvious in many of these comments, for example) is that mere publication of things that might be contrary to liberal positions or programs or politicians ITSELF constitutes a restriction of liberal speech even when the publisher is ultraliberal, like the New Yorker. But from your resistance I see that you know all that. I guess you get the memo?

The LIBERAL response to this kind of thing is to PUNISH the publisher, if possible. It's best if this can be done by getting somebody else to take action, as when Ted Kennedy "punished" Rupert Murdoch for criticising Kennedy in the Boston Herald by getting Kennedy's Carolina buddy in the Senate to propose a bill restricting Murdoch's right to own the Herald in the first place.

If the publisher can't be punished, then the next best liberal thing is to force the same publisher (not some other person, for God's sake) to run a contrary piece inconsistent withthe publisher's own beliefs and/or desires. That's the "fairness doctrine" - which liberals are trying to use to SHUT UP THAT JERK LIMBAUGH and all the other right wing radio blabbers.

In this case, if Conde Nast can't be PUNISHED, then the New Yorker must be forced to run a nasty anti-McCain cover whether Conde Nast wants to or not. Just like some of the commenters here have pointed out.

And remember in November: Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey. Be there or be square, Stephan!

Posted by: Terry Hughes on July 14, 2008 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

If you cannot laugh at yourself... Your a shallow, vain person. If your in the public eye, you have to be able to handle this. If he cannot handle a cartoon, as tasteless as it may be, you need to ask yourself... Is he really ready to be a leader of the greatest Country on this nutty blue marble? I think not. Move on, we need another choice, because this man (Obama) is not it.

Posted by: George on July 14, 2008 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

You are dead on! I have been buying the New Yorker since my late teens and today I am 60. I loved the New Yorker, among my most prized possessions are several magazines given to me by my aunt that dates back to the 30s and 40s when Harold Ross, the publisher, was also the editor. Over the years I have saved some of the issues I considered to be among the best.
It is not always great, but it has always set a standard that I considered to be above the rest.
Today I saw the cover. That is not satire! It lacked the guts to be satire. Satire would have been drawing it as a Billo, Hannity, or Rove wet dream, not a disconnected floating image. The lack of satire not withstanding, it goes an unforgivable step further.
I challenge anyone to find me one cover, since the inception of the New Yorker in 1925, that depicts a candidates wife in a political cartoon. There are none! In addition to using a front cover cartoon without reference or supporting inside story, they decided to make an exception for an African American woman whose husband happens to be the candidate for President.
I will never buy another New Yorker & I understand why African American women are upset. The New Yorker showed complete disregard for their own historical standards. Under the pretense of satire, they used race & rumor to increase sales at the expense of the Obama campaign, the Senator and his wife.

Posted by: s_charles on July 14, 2008 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

Silence DoGood: "No one believes Obama is Muslim just as few Christians believe Obama is really Christian."

If no one believes it, why did the media keep asking Hillary whether she believed Obama was really a Christian? Or do you think the media was conspiring to convince the public that Obama is a Muslim but the public was too smart to buy it? According to another post on this thread, readers on the Politico site are claiming to believe it? Are they all lying to each other?

You are lucky that all your family, friends and colleagues are too smart to fall for the dishonest accusation. My father, who is quite smart about some things, believes the Muslim rumor. So there's one.

Posted by: cowalker on July 14, 2008 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

I love it! Finally, we get to see what people really feel about 'Nobama Keep the Change' but are too afraid to say. The whole liberal media are on their collective knees waiting for the chance to get on this guys johnson. Hee haw larious!

Posted by: Mr Mehoff on July 14, 2008 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

I don't mind the satire eventhugh I don't think it particularly funny. Not all jokes can be funny and cartoonists have to make a living too.

I don't think there should be any apology for this either, that would be infringing on the right of freedom of expression and freedom of the press.

My only worry is that there are plenty of nitwits around that will not understand the joke, whether it is funny or not. They will probably try to use this image to discredit Obama and his wife for this election. So the cartoonist is supplying those halfwits with the ammo they cannot make themselves.

On the other hand: those nitwits wouldn't vote for Obama anyway, so no harm done.

Posted by: Hans-Erik Iken on July 14, 2008 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

The New Yorker should have gotten Ted Rall to illustrate this cover. Then it would have been funny. Just something about the way Ted Rall draws.

Posted by: Pocket Rocket on July 14, 2008 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

Couldn't have said it better. Thanks.

Posted by: Juice on July 14, 2008 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

Dear Moderators,

ya know, it really bollixes things up when you remove comments that other people have responded to. You're under no obligation to moderate comments, so why invite people to speak their piece and then toss it in the Memory Hole?

That said, this is entertaining, to see the humorless and uptight "serious left" get their tightie whities in a bunch about a satirical magazine cover. for those of who say the art in question is not satire, it might help to refamiliarize yourself with the word and its meanings:
1. the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.
2. a literary composition, in verse or prose, in which human folly and vice are held up to scorn, derision, or ridicule.
3. a literary genre comprising such compositions.

And confidential to Albert Champion, the New Yorker does indeed have a masthead and many ways to contact them. Look harder. Also, Cond� Nast left us in 1942, so I doubt any boycott of his magazines will matter much to him.

Posted by: paul on July 14, 2008 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

I don't care who's "offended" by the New Yorker cover. Just buy the effing magazine and enjoy it.

Posted by: cal on July 14, 2008 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, great cover, obviously a neo-freudian political slip; Obama's secret soulmate, Angela Davis, in a blast from the past. She even has the iconic, Che edtion, AK47 while Obama sports Muslim attire, obviously in support of the Palestinians, the neo-New Left's replacement for the Vietcong. Love it. I'm only too happy that liberals are pissed off.

Posted by: don on July 14, 2008 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

Fat White Guy,

You have a point. It reminds me of how Bush's primary campaign claimed John McCain was mentally unstable from having been tortured as a POW and was therefore unfit to be president, yet Bush and Republicans are now backing someone they said was mentally unstable.

I love it!

Posted by: Anon on July 14, 2008 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Short, fat, and squat:

You have a point; The New Yorker is a liberal magazine trashing its own home boy with the "I have a dream cover" from the Weather Underground. You just have to love it. Far out.

Posted by: don on July 14, 2008 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

The Liberals always attack the conservatives. When the tables are turned it's not so funny now is it...

Everyone conveniently forgets that the Republicans are the ones who freed the slaves. The Republicans are the ones who fought for the Blacks and womens rights to vote.

Like Pushers the Democrats want to keep everyone on a program or welfare so they can guarantee that vote coming every four years. They don't want you to decide what best for you or your children, they have that all figured out for you.

And... while they've got you so juiced up on Zoloft they putting the moves on your wife or worse daughter.

Wake Up America, Think for yourself instead letting some Hollywood Pop Star with a 1st grade education do it for you. "Sorry George Clooney"..

Posted by: Anon1 on July 14, 2008 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

Liberals are funny...

Posted by: gladRocks on July 14, 2008 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

..
RE:

Silence DoGood: "No one believes Obama is Muslim just as few Christians believe Obama is really Christian."

If no one believes it,....

Posted by: cowalker on July 14, 2008 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK
.
.
COWALKER .... PLEASE READ MY SECOND SENTENCE....
.
"It misleads people into conclusions and that is the primary complaint the world has against America and its Media."
.
.
I CLAIMED THE NEW YORKER MISLEADS PEOPLE INTO BELIEVING A MYTH AND THEREFORE IS MISLEADING AND ABHORRENT.

BLESSINGS

Posted by: on July 14, 2008 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

I see this cover as simply a rorschach test where people can see what they want to about Barack Obama.

What did BO say?

"I serve as a blank screen," Obama writes, "on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views."

In the master's own words!

Posted by: on July 14, 2008 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

If you look at the cover as it's intended to be -- a right-wing fantasy -- it's funny and spot on. But I've been an editor, and I know that any piece of satire, no matter how ridiculous, will be taken literally by a goodly portion of the audience. Hard to imagine the New Yorker's editors didn't know that. Perhaps they did, and just sought the buzz.

Posted by: George on July 14, 2008 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

At first, I felt offended at the blatant misrepresentation of two exemplary Americans and was on the verge of tears when I saw them associated to two things that would be sure to instill anger and discord with the heavy hearted Americans who have felt that sacrifice first hand. As to the contrast of enrichment to propaganda, I think the answer lies in who the intended audience is. The controversy has made this dialog a national installment (as would have been the intention via capitalism), and so with the confrontational content the question becomes retro-active "journalistic" responsibility: Who benefits from affirming what they already believe? Is it the liberals who can acknowledge how intelligent they are that they can see past their own prejudices? Is it Obama who gets another opportunity to present himself as willing and able to withstand the pangs of effacement for his ideals? Or, is it the republicans...the republicans..nah. Maybe it was the artist who was thrilled to say what he meant and get away with it.

Anyway, remember that it is the integrity of the voice that is the credibility of the notion and so on

Once riding in Old Baltimore
Heart-filled, head-filled with glee,
I saw a Baltimorean
Keep looking straight at me.

Now I was eight and very small,
And he was no whit bigger,
And so I smiled, but he poked out
His tongue, and called me, Nigger.

I saw the whole of Baltimore
From May until December;
Of all the things that happened there
Thats all that I remember.

Cullen, 1947

Posted by: tony on July 14, 2008 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

How crude and hateful. George Bush and Dick Cheney will love it. McCann should pay you for it. I'm sorry. I see no humor
whats-so-ever. You ow the American people an apology to say nothing of Michele and Barack Obama.
Such sick humor
loiscanning

Posted by: Lois Canning on July 14, 2008 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

How crude and hateful. George Bush and Dick Cheney will love it. McCann should pay you for it. I'm sorry. I see no humor
whats-so-ever. You ow the American people an apology to say nothing of Michele and Barack Obama.
Such sick humor
loiscanning

Posted by: Lois Canning on July 14, 2008 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

How crude and hateful. George Bush and Dick Cheney will love it. McCann should pay you for it. I'm sorry. I see no humor
whats-so-ever. You ow the American people an apology to say nothing of Michele and Barack Obama.
Such sick humor
loiscanning

Posted by: Lois Canning on July 14, 2008 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

At second look of the small cover illustration....

It seems that Obama is shown wearing a traditional Kenyan outfit, rather than Muslim style dress.

Although Kenya has many Muslim's I am not sure if those clothing styles are the same.

And, this is the dress that Obama uses to explain his unique ability to work with foreign leaders across the world.... isn't it?

So, possibly the New Yorker is more accurate than we all originally interpreted.

Still no one condones making the news rather than creating the news.

Blessings

Posted by: Silence Dogood on July 14, 2008 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

Satire is targeted at well informed people. New Yorker readers are generally well informed (if they read at least half the articles) so many of them will understand this for it is.

Unfortunately, the cover doesn't require you to read the magazine and the likes of Rush Limbaugh would gladly publicize this image and say "even the liberals know what Obama stands for" and the dumb masses will readily believe it. Why do I think so? Because the dumb idiots gladly swallowed a lot more lies and dishonesty the last few years than this.

I wish the New Yorker gave this a little bit of thought. This won't even help them sell their magazine or increase readership because you don't need to buy the magazine to look at the cover (or an image of it online won't increase online readership).

Posted by: rational on July 14, 2008 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

Anon1,

exactly what are you saying that promotes people to think for themselves youre not even promoting clarity your just critizing things in a way that people who have insecurities about investing themselves in what they can not directly control or inflate the priority of can easily identify with. The considerate make themselves evident by the way the present solutions to complicated problems not the way they use them to prove this or that point. I hope you remember the reason articulation is an empowering experience for you.

P.S. go Kathy, it's your birthday

Posted by: tony on July 14, 2008 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

Anon1,

exactly what are you saying that promotes people to think for themselves youre not even promoting clarity your just critizing things in a way that people who have insecurities about investing themselves in what they can not directly control or inflate the priority of can easily identify with. The considerate make themselves evident by the way the present solutions to complicated problems not the way they use them to prove this or that point. I hope you remember the reason articulation is an empowering experience for you.

P.S. go Kathy, it's your birthday

Posted by: tony on July 14, 2008 at 7:21 PM | PERMALINK

paul.....i am looking through my 7&14/7/08 nyarker. i find no masthead. perhaps you can tell me on what page it is published.

also, on their website, no masthead is displayed where i have been able to find it.

as to conde nast. oh, i know well of his demise. but conde nast the corporate entity survives. and it publishes a number of magazines. as i said, vanity fair, portfolio, traveler, vogue, et alia.

this is a tough name for the magazine publishing business. advert pages are down. cost of paper is up.

you want to catch this publisher's attention, i recommend that if you subscribe to any of them, cancel your subscriptions to all of them.

ad rates are based on circulation. several percentage point drops in circ lead to great revenue drops.

that is how it can work. this cover was not satire. anyone who asserts that it is satire knows nothing about satire. this was a hit bit.

and we all know it...even those of you who attempt to call it a bit of humor.

Posted by: albertchampion on July 14, 2008 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on July 14, 2008 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

Add Farakhan, Ayers and Pastor Wright to the cover picture and it would be a better picture of that hate-America bunch.

Posted by: Haha on July 14, 2008 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

I’m confused. A liberal magazine has this as its cover and the author’s first assumption is that it’s a satire of what the conservatives are trying to do to Obama. Yet, I challenge anyone to provide one relevant conservative that is suggesting any of what is on that cover. Then, after further reflection the author comes to the conclusion that it is a cowardice satire because it shows Obama in a bad light. The only brave way to display this image would be to somehow project it as McCain’s thoughts or opinion. Even though McCain has never spoken one word to imply anything depicted in this cover. Can anyone tell me if there is a point to this article other than showing Obama in a negative light is cowardice but showing McCain in a negative light is brave?

Posted by: Charles1234 on July 14, 2008 at 8:31 PM | PERMALINK

Well, one thing all this mindless blather will ensure: The New Yorker would not *dare* to withdraw the cover now.

"Cower? Not us!"

Posted by: Denny, Alaska on July 14, 2008 at 8:41 PM | PERMALINK

Only an idiot (Obama's leftists supporters) or someone AFRAID of those idiots and their ability to tag someone a racist (McCain) would truly find this cover offensive. It's CLEARLY a parody. Note that I didn't say OBAMA was an idiot because I think he and his campaign staff are smart enough to recognize its a parody but are just trying to get as much campaign mileage out of it as possible. The ridiculous brouhaha over this cover indicates how scary it'll be to live under a Obama presidency where he and his supporters use political correctness and hyper-sensitivity as a weapon against anyone that dares to feel differently from them on a issue.
Beware America.

Posted by: JenniferLouise on July 14, 2008 at 8:41 PM | PERMALINK

Well put Jennifer.

Posted by: Charles1234 on July 14, 2008 at 8:53 PM | PERMALINK

A predictable response:
1. The myriad past covers skewering conservatives are OK. This is different.
2. There are two subjects out of bounds in satire - Obama and Muhammed.
3. It is, of course, the conservative's fault. They must be saying this, even though there is not one example of a responsible conservative making any of these caricature comments. Least of all, John McCain.

Posted by: rightinsanfrancisco on July 14, 2008 at 8:55 PM | PERMALINK

Anon1,

exactly what are you saying that promotes people to think for themselves youre not even promoting clarity your just critizing things in a way that people who have insecurities about investing themselves in what they can not directly control or inflate the priority of can easily identify with. The considerate make themselves evident by the way the present solutions to complicated problems not the way they use them to prove this or that point. I hope you remember the reason articulation is an empowering experience for you.

P.S. go Kathy, its you birthday & thank you q

Posted by: tony on July 14, 2008 at 9:00 PM | PERMALINK

I live in a part of the country where people are happy to think that Obama is Muslim. Nice people, but not able to see the "irony" or "sarcasm". They'll think this cover is confirmation of their fears, not a joke about themselves.

Posted by: BabsinTX on July 14, 2008 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

How crude and hateful. George Bush and Dick Cheney will love it. McCann should pay you for it. I'm sorry. I see no humor
whats-so-ever. You owe the American people an apology to say nothing of Michele and Barack Obama.
Such sick humor
loiscanning

Posted by: Lois Canning on July 14, 2008 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK

All these squealing stuck hogs sound like the muslim world when somebody printed a picture of Muhammed! Wow!

Posted by: lomow on July 14, 2008 at 9:41 PM | PERMALINK

Why Mr. Obama should get out while he can...

http://curlymorris.wordpress.com/2008/06/12/hillary-clinton-is-rightabout-something/

Posted by: Curly Morris on July 14, 2008 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

Yet, I challenge anyone to provide one relevant conservative that is suggesting any of what is on that cover.
Posted by: Charles1234

G. Gordon Liddy

Posted by: Gonads on July 14, 2008 at 10:42 PM | PERMALINK

Obama is so risible in general that it's hard to get worked up about the particular way that someone lampoons him. His speeches are Oprahfied boilerplate, already field-tested in another politician's campaign. Without a script, he's a clown. His wife must give gay men another reason to cherish their freedom. His other choices for associates, such as Rezko, Wright, and Ayers, are so self-damaging, they call to mind the Darwin Awards. Obama already seems like an Onion parody of Carter, Dukakis, Perot, Quayle, Gore, and Kerry. Considering the material the man provides, one can't reasonably be surprised at the ease with which we lampoon him. Save your anger; pace yourselves. More and greater derision on the way, and if Obama is elected and there's nothing left to lose, expect those of us who love to laugh to soak him in a yellow rain.

Posted by: Kralizec on July 14, 2008 at 10:53 PM | PERMALINK

Can you say Sister Soulja (or whatever her name is) moment?

This satire was aimed at insulating Obama - and it's working.

It was a favor to them precisely because of how over the top insulting it is as it tries to make it Politically uncorrect to raise concerns about their black liberation theology, (a legitimate concern about the one who would unite us all), his purported muslim background, (an illegitimate concern), his Patriotism (a legitimate issue) and a whole host of other things. It is designed to rally his base behind him at a time when they were up in arms about his numerous general election flip flops of many liberal ideals. And it is working at the same time it is taking a pre-emptive strike at would be 527 groups.

It is brilliant in it's strategy. Personally I see the satire well and until I read the articles in the magazine I have to assume that's what they were going for. I'd bet dollars for donuts that the articles are quite flattering and this will help Obama tremendously.

Posted by: michaelp0429 on July 14, 2008 at 11:28 PM | PERMALINK

Without a script, he's a clown.

You think so? That must make George Bush a drooling buffoon on Qualudes because Obama, whatever his shortcomings as a speaker, is certainly Cicero by comparison.

Truth be told, I'm hard pressed to come up with a Republican political figure who is as impressive a speaker as Obama, with or without a script.

But perhaps those are just the prejudices of someone like myself with a poorly trained ear for this sort of thing. I'd love to hear some thoughts on Bush's dazzling oratorical skills from such a student of rhetoric as yourself.

His wife must give gay men another reason to cherish their freedom

His wife is a shrew? Truly you're gifted with a tremendous and innovative wit. I can't wait to share this one with the boys at the office. I mean, they've heard the old "Hillary is a shrew" thing a million times -- but this time it's totally different because Michelle Obama isn't married to Bill Clinton!

And that makes it different!

More and greater derision on the way, and if Obama is elected and there's nothing left to lose, expect those of us who love to laugh to soak him in a yellow rain.

Expect those of us who love to do pest control to exercise far less restraint the next time you decide to visit us with such base, juvenile rants dressed up as self-satisfied mordacity.

Posted by: trex on July 14, 2008 at 11:55 PM | PERMALINK

A brilliant piece of satire. Probably the best thing I've ever seen on the cover of the New Yorker. I suspect when he's President, this will have a place in the Oval office.

Posted by: lirelou on July 15, 2008 at 12:44 AM | PERMALINK

The problem with the cartoon is that actually fails at being satire (although I don't doubt the intention.)

The main reason it fails is because the target isn't clear. Normally the target of a satirical piece are the people in the illustration so we assume the targets are Michele and Barack Obama. But then we see the stereotypes and realize that there is another agenda going on... and that is where the frustration and anger grows for people like me; who exactly is the target of this piece? Is it John McCain? Karl Rove? The "vast right wing conspiracy"? FOX News? Who?

The frustration of not figuring out who the target is matches the frustration of not knowing who starts all of these e-mail and internet-based false rumors against Obama.

And this piece because of its lack of a clear target only serves to reinforce the falsehoods with the ignorant people who believe them. It doesn't matter who reads The New Yorker or what their previous, current and future editorial positions are; today this cover is all over the Internet and tomorrow it'll be in every newspaper across the country.

AND (Big AND), the piece is NOT FUNNY
!

Posted by: PeninsulaMatt on July 15, 2008 at 1:10 AM | PERMALINK

Hi from Ireland. An interesting cartoon, but it needs context to be truly satirical; i.e. a title,
headline, speech bubble, or other commentary as visible as the cartoon itself.
But hey, what would be wrong if Obama was muslim? Is Islam illegal in America? Aren't there several million Muslim US citizens?? I'm a non-believer where godly matters are concerned, like many others over here, so I don't understand the suspicion.
Well, not true, we have our theories over here, and in particular, one theory. We certainly understand the wounds of 9/11 and the pain and/or guilt of Iraq, but viewed objectively from afar (overseas) the suspicion is very weird. A bit like McCarthyism in the '50s. The theory? A George Orwell/1984-like maintenance of fear and paranoia - all by one man (and his brigade) in pursuit of a second term.
We also grieved on 9/11. Whether morally correct or not, a desire for revenge is entirely understandable, even acceptable; but invoking that revenge as a justification for the pursuit of strategic advantage is not. Indeed, it is directly analagous to the use of religion for similar ends.


Posted by: Des Buckley on July 15, 2008 at 1:46 AM | PERMALINK

Hi from Ireland. An interesting cartoon, but it needs context to be truly satirical; i.e. a title,
headline, speech bubble, or other commentary as visible as the cartoon itself.
But hey, what would be wrong if Obama was muslim? Is Islam illegal in America? Aren't there several million Muslim US citizens?? I'm a non-believer where godly matters are concerned, like many others over here, so I don't understand the suspicion.
Well, not true, we have our theories over here, and in particular, one theory. We certainly understand the wounds of 9/11 and the pain and/or guilt of Iraq, but viewed objectively from afar (overseas) the suspicion is very weird. A bit like McCarthyism in the '50s. The theory? A George Orwell/1984-like maintenance of fear and paranoia - all by one man (and his brigade) in pursuit of a second term.
We also grieved on 9/11. Whether morally correct or not, a desire for revenge is entirely understandable, even acceptable; but invoking that revenge as a justification for the pursuit of strategic advantage is not. Indeed, it is directly analagous to the use of religion for similar ends.


Posted by: Des Buckley on July 15, 2008 at 1:47 AM | PERMALINK

Hi from Ireland. An interesting cartoon, but it needs context to be truly satirical; i.e. a title,
headline, speech bubble, or other commentary as visible as the cartoon itself.
But hey, what would be wrong if Obama was muslim? Is Islam illegal in America? Aren't there several million Muslim US citizens?? I'm a non-believer where godly matters are concerned, like many others over here, so I don't understand the suspicion.
Well, not true, we have our theories over here, and in particular, one theory. We certainly understand the wounds of 9/11 and the pain and/or guilt of Iraq, but viewed objectively from afar (overseas) the suspicion is very weird. A bit like McCarthyism in the '50s. The theory? A George Orwell/1984-like maintenance of fear and paranoia - all by one man (and his brigade) in pursuit of a second term.
We also grieved on 9/11. Whether morally correct or not, a desire for revenge is entirely understandable, even acceptable; but invoking that revenge as a justification for the pursuit of strategic advantage is not. Indeed, it is directly analagous to the use of religion for similar ends.

Posted by: Des Buckley on July 15, 2008 at 1:50 AM | PERMALINK

Thank you for your very nice note, Mr. Drum, comparing me to Ann Althouse, which I have appended to my piece applauding your efforts to strengthen the satire of the New Yorker cover by making it more obvious and therefore more funny:
http://jonswift.blogspot.com/2008/07/obama-new-yorker-cover.html

Posted by: Jon Swift on July 15, 2008 at 2:15 AM | PERMALINK

Your comments are absurd. The reason it doesn't come out of McCain's mouth is because McCain doesn't play that kind of politics. Sure, the Limbaughs and Hannitys of the world do...and they are deservedly satirized in this cartoon. It is totally unfair to paint McCain with the same brush.

Posted by: fred on July 15, 2008 at 2:33 AM | PERMALINK

Back in 2007, Barack Obama and his campaign were only too happy to brag about his Muslim background. They wanted the press to know he was different, that he brought something new to the problem of reaching out to Muslim terrorists (err, falafel stand workers).

New York Times:

"""Mr. Obama recalled the opening lines of the Arabic call to prayer, reciting them with a first-rate accent. In a remark that seemed delightfully uncalculated (itll give Alabama voters heart attacks), Mr. Obama described the call to prayer as one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset."""

Now does anyone believe someone who is completely non-Muslim and spent no time in Mosques and Koranic studies could just repeat the Muslim call to prayer, including its tonal quality,
from memory?

And to say it is one of the pretiiest sounds on Earth? Come on, who's conning who here.

Why was Obama bragging on his Muslim background in 2007, and now denying he was ever a Muslim?

Here is the prayer Obama cited from memory and said was one of the prettiest sounds on Earth:

Allah is Most Great.
Allah is Most Great.
Allah is Most Great.
Allah is Most Great.
I bear witness that there is none worthy of being worshipped except Allah.
I bear witness that there is none worthy of being worshipped except Allah.
I bear witness that Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah.
I bear witness that Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah.

yeah, no Muslim background here, move along please...


Posted by: Patton on July 15, 2008 at 5:24 AM | PERMALINK

The reaction to the New Yorker cover has been absurd.

If there is still someone out there who a) has never heard the rumor that the Obamas are America-hating Black separatist Muslim terrorists, but b) would believe as much if he heard it--is it really very likely that the cover of The New Yorker will provide his first exposure to those ideas?

The idea that it is racist is nonsense: the Afro and fist-bump are not generalized racial caricatures, but rather direct allusions to specific accusations leveled at the Obamas. The right's co?on of each concept is fair game for satire, and it's not clear how artist Barry Blitt could have depicted them in a non-racially specific way.

I have much more to say on these subjects here.

Posted by: Holy Prepuce on July 15, 2008 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

The reaction to the New Yorker cover has been absurd.

If there is still someone out there who a) has never heard the rumor that the Obamas are America-hating Black separatist Muslim terrorists, but b) would believe as much if he heard it--is it really very likely that the cover of The New Yorker will provide his first exposure to those ideas?

The idea that it is racist is nonsense: the Afro and fist-bump are not generalized racial caricatures, but rather direct allusions to specific accusations leveled at the Obamas. The right's co?on of each concept is fair game for satire, and it's not clear how artist Barry Blitt could have depicted them in a non-racially specific way.

I have much more to say on these subjects here.

Posted by: Holy Prepuce on July 15, 2008 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

Now does anyone believe someone who is completely non-Muslim and spent no time in Mosques and Koranic studies could just repeat the Muslim call to prayer, including its tonal quality, from memory?

I can, and I'm not Muslim. Just as Obama did, I lived in SE Asia for three years as a child and heard the call to prayer broadcast from the speakers of local mosques every day. If you hear something so often for so long you'd have to be an idiot not to be able to repeat it perfectly.

Posted by: Stefan on July 15, 2008 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

Anon,

Posting should be fun. And make people think about positions they may not have. But anyone who thinks that there were person in the country no matter what political party who were happy that 9/11 occurred is very very obsessed and sick and very very angry. I lost a dear friend there in those towers. You don't think I cried for him and for everyone.

It is so easy to lump everyone into a group. You probably don't know any Republicans or Conservatives except the ones you read about in DailyKos or the Huffington Report. I feel really sorry for you. I may not always agree with my liberal friends but I am never nasty and never perverted in what I say.

Posted by: Ginger on July 15, 2008 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

I think it is rather humorous! It's the truth!

Posted by: Steve Dunn on July 15, 2008 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

this cover indicates how scary it'll be to live under a Obama presidency where he and his supporters use political correctness and hyper-sensitivity as a weapon

Obama's political correctness and hyper-sensitivity will make Americans cower in fear and wish for W. Bush's warrantless eavesdropping, rendition and torture.

Posted by: Brojo on July 15, 2008 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

The obama clan is not muslim, but they are definitely anti-America and pro-Muslim. They keep saying we must try to understand the Muslims. Then why didn't the Muslims try to understand us ? Did they think twice or show mercy before they bombed us ?
Some people even suggest we should build schools and hospitals for the poor in the Middle East so they don't hate us. You see, this is Obama's thinking. There you go: Bomb America and you get understanding and schools and hospitals as reward.

Posted by: Haha on July 15, 2008 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Some people even suggest we should build schools and hospitals for the poor in the Middle East so they don't hate us. You see, this is Obama's thinking. There you go: Bomb America and you get understanding and schools and hospitals as reward.

Uh, this seems to be Bush's thinking as well:

For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
October 18, 2005

Mrs. Bush's Remarks at the Project HOPE Gala
Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium
Washington, D.C.

6:48 P.M. EDT

MRS. BUSH: Thank you all. Special thanks to Secretary Rice for leading this effort to build a hospital in Basrah. She really came up with the idea a couple of years ago as National Security Advisor. But she stayed really involved with the project, even as Secretary of State, when she has so many other responsibilities. And we all appreciate your dedication to this project. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

....Dr. Rice mentioned the recent progress in improving the Iraqi health care system. We all want to see that progress continue, and we want to see it to expand to meet the urgent needs, particularly the specialized needs of critically ill children and the need to train the next generation of doctors and nurses in Iraq.....

But what a difference it will make in the life of Iraqi children when they have a modern medical facility right in their own country.

The Basrah Children's Hospital will be a 160,000 square-foot facility containing 94 beds, including 86 pediatric acute care beds and eight oncology beds. The hospital will have a state-of-the-art neonatal intensive care unit, two operating rooms, two surgical procedure rooms, and an emergency room with a trauma station and 13 general outpatient exam rooms. Doctors and patients will have access to new technology that's not currently available in Basrah, including a linear accelerator for radiation therapy and modern CAT scan equipment. The hospital will also have four bedrooms for mothers to stay in as they stay there with their children, an auditorium, a classroom, a physician's library, a study room, resident offices, and a residence building for students.....

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/10/20051018-7.html


Posted by: Stefan on July 15, 2008 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

If Obama can't state any position on anything then he gets what he deserves. Michelle has repeatedly said that she is ashamed of the US so I think that the portrayal is somewhat accurate. You can't run a country with a present vote, you have to vote yes or no. If he can't even take a stand on anything then he isn't capable of running the country!!!!

Posted by: Gary on July 15, 2008 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

July 14, 2008

To the New Yorker (I will not lower myself to calling you Dear):

Your July cover carries what you meant to be an insulting portrayal of Sen. Obama. But it is not really a portrayal of Sen. Obama - it is really a portrayal of The New Yorker's seedy and racist underside, issuing this BLATANT INSULT to Sen. Obama and his supporters of all races and ethnic groups, to all black people, and to Muslims.

You even insult decent, fair-minded Americans who do support Sen. Obama for president, those who decided which candidate to support based solely on their honest opinions of what is best for their country and which candidate they feel can best represent America, not racism. They will also be upset at your ignorant, divisive cartoon.

And is that supposed to be a caricature of Michele Obama on the cover with Sen. Obama? Seems that the New Yorker has outdone itself demonstrating its prejudice. So females who dare be opinionated and outspoken are comparable to guerrilla warriors?

Your rag may get plenty of complaints over this outrageously racist, sexist piece of garbage. Many people will contact you and demand an apology regarding this offense. But I much prefer your overt racism and sexism to hypocrisy. Don't bother to apologize -- stand your ground and EXPRESS YOURSELF FREELY. I know how stressful it can be to repress your true feelings. So don't hold back, New Yorker. Keep putting your real feelings out there! Go ahead and stand proud with your pointed white hoods and flaming crosses! And I, in turn, will stand proud in my decision to never read, or speak highly of, your magazine ever.

Susan
Buffalo Grove, IL

Posted by: Susan on July 15, 2008 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

Doesn't anyone get it?? Muslims did NOT bomb America. Twenty sick nutters from Saudi Arabia bombed America. Under the direction of a Saudi Arabian millionaire caveman in Afghanistan. All with a twisted and dishonest interpretation of their religion, but really out of bitterness and resentment. Did the US break off diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia? You bet they didn't. That would cost money, big money (and strategic advantage in the middle-east)!!!
Think about it. What would be wrong if Obama was Muslim (which he isn't)?? Would the US become the only country on the planet that hasn't suffered invasion. Don't think so. Deep-seated prejudices, all poisonous and dangerous, are showing themselves in these posts. Anyone who believes that Obama is a wife beater, paeodophile, chain-saw murderer - or cyborg should go to the cops. Fast! Or prove it in court. And prove in court that he's telling lies about not being Muslim. Yeah? Go on then, prove it. You know you can't. Because it's quite simply not true.
But, and this is the core of the issue, you know, or feel, that you WANT to believe it. Because it accords with hidden or unconscious prejudices, borne of anger, that you can't admit are completely unjustified.
Think about it hard, and then think about one last thing. What other people (mainly in the middle-east) have deep-seated, poisonous, sick, and dangerous prejudices that THEY can't admit are totally unjustified. Eh?

Posted by: Des Buckley on July 15, 2008 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

Yup, clearly no one knows what's going on with this cover, luckily we have some New Yorker captioning expert to give an insight:
http://www.236.com/news/2008/07/14/an_insiders_response_to_the_ne_7716.php
Deep interview that.

Posted by: Alyssa on July 15, 2008 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

In 1936, FDR saw this New Yorker cartoon and wrote "GRAND!" across it. I don't think he would have if there'd been a little picture of Alf Landon in the corner, with one of those thought bubbles.

(go to link and scroll down about 6 lines; sorry, the tiny version is the only one I could find)

http://www.thenewyorkerstore.com/search_results_category.asp?mscssid=FPGA2994WW4A9KX9PH6JD28LG4LDDXG3&sitetype=1&affiliate=ny-storetop?sitetype=1&keyword=politics§ion=prints&title=Politics&whichpage=2&sortBy=popular

Posted by: Stuart Eugene Thiel on July 15, 2008 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

The US bear market has affected dozens of companies, many in the financial sector. US consumers have seen their disposable income decreased substantially and they are unable to refinance their homes to get some needed relief as the mortgage market has tightened. Inflation with respect to energy has really hurt commuters as we have seen gas prices shoot through the roof, and they have had no other option but to trade in their SUVs and squeeze their two kids and family dog into a Prius.
Read Full

Posted by: TurkinBergs on July 22, 2008 at 5:31 AM | PERMALINK

Each day is a new opportunity to test my opinion that Obama sounds like a clown when he's not reading a speech. In the last few days, his improvisations seem to have deflated his image and made it harder to imagine his face ever making it onto the currency. He'll have many chances to impress us more favorably in coming days, but I think he'll remain true to form.

Posted by: Kralizec on August 1, 2008 at 3:02 AM | PERMALINK

Ever notice that Obama always carries his own bag? classified NASA satellite images can prove that there's a prayer mat, an AK-47, and heroin and needles in the bag. After all, the fact that
he's such a good speech maker shows that he must be on mind-altering drugs. Shouldn't he be
speaking pidgin English? Also, it's well known to be a total, absolute, and incontrovertible fact - although it can't be proved - that he's a member of the born-again Christian-Communist section of the Muslim Brotherhood. In fact, FBI sources say that he's not really black, but has a deep sun tan from his Hawaii upbringing and the regular visits to his holiday tent in Afghanistan. Another thing: his father is rumoured to be a fourth cousin, twice removed, of the wife of a friend of a friend of Robert Mugabe's dentist's grandfather, who was a Zulu warrior. Very, very suspicious. Of course Obama's obviously a pervert; that's plain to see. 'Written all over over his face. And Michelle? Well, she's a Muslim without any doubt. The proof? The secret anagram of her name-'Camel Email Hob'. Aha, the smoking gun.
Yep, it all adds up. No doubt about it. Obama is a seriously dangerous man. American people are warm, kind, friendly, and generous. But that wouldn't matter. A President Obama would be the trigger for an invasion by a gigantic Iranian/Chinese military force. (No other country has a hope of invading on it's own.) And the fact that America has invaded more countries than any other in history (even though it's never been invaded itself) is not the point. Nor is it the point that the entire American population is really made up of immigrants, mainly from Africa and Europe, but
also from Asia. No. American governments have a God-given right to threaten, blockade, and
invade. John Wayne would be proud. It's the American Dream.

Posted by: Des Buckley on August 2, 2008 at 7:20 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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