Monday, July 14, 2008

Obama may be right about about "tasteless" cover

The New Yorker has this picture on its latest cover. Obama in a Muslim turban and Michelle dressed as a terrorist. A U.S. flag burning in the fireplace, and a picture of Usama Bin Laden hanging over the fireplace.

Obama is offended. According to this article from, one of his campaign spokesmen said this of the caricature: "The New Yorker may think, as one of their staff explained to us, that their cover is a satirical lampoon of the caricature Senator Obama's right-wing critics have tried to create."

I can actually understand both POVs here. On the one hand, this is how many right wingers see Obama. On the other, it kind of does cross the line. If I were Obama, I'd be ticked off too.

It kind of reminds me of a year ago when Time magazine drew tears on the face of Ronald Reagan, which depicted an article in that issue that claimed that Ronald Reagan would be sad that conservatism is now dead. A claim that many conservatives say is not true(click here to read more).

And, while Conservatives like Ronald Reagan's son Michael Reagan claimed that Time magazine crossed the line with that cover, I think that it would be fair to say that the NewYorker has crossed the line with this one.

However, Time magazine has made great strides to maintain its image as fair and non-biased. It is not a conservative nor a liberal magazine. The New Yorker, on the other hand, has a history of using satire.

Still, I think this kind of cover should not have been made. Just like liberal democrats like Bob Beckel should not call Bush a liar without proof that he intentionally didn't tell the truth, no conservative can honestly say that Obama is a Muslim.

There may be evidence that sort of leads that way in both cases, but there is no proof. And even while the New Yorker may have good intentions with this cover, I still think its editors should have made a better decision regarding this -- unless they intend to be a right wing magazine.

There, I said something in defense of Obama. You'll learn what I'm referring to here when you read my post for tomorrow.


S.W. Anderson said...

Where the cover fails as satire is in not making clear even to casual viewers that what it depicts is how right-wing political foes supposedly see the Obamas. As opposed to how the magazine, or at least its cover artist, sees Obama.

"On the one hand, this is how many right wingers see Obama."

I'm not so sure. I think most right wingers know Barack and Michelle Obama aren't like that at all. But they won't admit knowing better because they want to convince gullible moderates and independents to be afraid of Obama. They realize they can't get away with appealing to racial fears and bigotry openly and directly, and being desperate to drive up Obama's negatives, they want people to fear he's less than a loyal American who will do a good job protecting against terrorist attacks.

Nikki said...

Hey Freadom...this is an interesting thing. The more this stuff surfaces the more Obama becomes a bigger cause than an actual candidate. It gives a broader purpose to his candidacy than that of politician...he is now a poster child gainst racism. To me this will continue to benefit him and not hurt him. :)N

Khaki Elephant said...

Obama becomes a bigger cause than an actual candidate.

Exactly! And that's what could win him the election.

S.W. Anderson said...

Nikki, that's an interesting a hopeful take. I hope you're right about the end result.

Obama has been a phenomenon and something of a cause since he declared his candidacy. This could add to that.

However, a lot depends on what an individual voter brings to the party, so to speak. If it's raw prejudice, that voter will see in Obama what he or she has been programmed to see. Where change could come about in the minds of people who are that way, if it can come about at all, is if Obama gets elected and does a terrific job.

DB said...

I am all for this cover tbh. It exposes how ridiculous some of the claims are the Obama has to fight against this election that deters from his and McCain's messages. Too bad Obama's most ardent followers were too stupid to get the joke...even though it was defending Obama. Satire serves an important role in society and sometimes you have to go extreme to have the largest impact. It defeats the point if you have to spell out that it is satire. If anyone should be offended, I would suggest conservatives should as the satire was against them and not Obama.

Or I suppose the cover simply exposes how dumb the average citizen seems to be on both sides.

Righty64 said...

FTR, I think the cover is hillarious. And, what a better place than the elite bible, The New Yorker! The reaction all plays into the victim status Sen. Messiah Barack has boxed himself in. If he and or his supporters whine about this, what will they do when something serious occurs from an enemy of the United States? I think this is what is going to LOSE the election for Sen. Messiah Barack. People do not like whiners. Really, if the United States was in such a mess that the DDBMSM wants us to believe, Sen. Messiah Barack would be easily 20 points ahead in polls and winning everywhere. But he is not. I see this, along with the New York Times article about late-night talk hosts not joking about Sen. Messiah Barack as a sign that maybe, the American public is ready to just say no to socialism.