Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Obama New Yorker Cover

Sure, I'm very, very late to the party, but I just wanted to get my two cents in. For those of you who may not know, the New Yorker magazine has been under fire for publishing a cover depicting a Muslim looking Barack Obama giving a fist bump to a black militant looking Michelle Obama, while an American flag burns in the Oval Office fire place. When the outrage meter reached red hot proportions, the New Yorker cried, "satire, satire!" claiming that they created caricatures based on certain public perceptions and stories that have certainly made the e-mail rounds.

As I always like to point out, discussion and debate are good things- and the magazine cover has certainly generated a great deal of discussion and debate. What I'm sick of is the oh-so-predictable outrage, the worst of which is the outrage from those offended who refuse to accept the explanation that the cover was satire. If it's really not satire, then what is it exactly? Just a campaign by the nasty, radical right wing New Yorker magazine to smear the Obamas? That would make sense, except, well, the New Yorker is an incredably liberal magazine and they're not about to do what even most mainstream right wing personalities have refused to do in smearing Obama as a Muslim.

Of course the cover was meant to be satiric and of course it was meant to be controversial. But to see the talking heads and op eds discuss the relative merits of the piece as satire, as if they were in some high school English class, is a bit much for me. Maybe it was an attempt at satire which was done incredably poorly, but what difference should that make in the level of people's offense? Why should we be more upset about a lame piece of satire than we would be about a piece of satire that's actually effective? It just doesn't make any sense to me, but then again, most of this righteous indignation never really does compute.

Updated 7/22/08 @ 11:10 PM : One other thought just occurred to me and that was the editorial in this weekend's Hartford Courant that compared the Obama cover to a picture of a penis drawn on a desk. Maybe it's an apt comparison, maybe not, but if it is, then why is everyone getting so worked up over something stupid and juvenile>


Anonymous rose said...

I get the motive behind Jesse Jackson and all them exploiting white guilt with this feigned outrage at every chance they get.

I think I'm starting to get what white liberals motives are too. Their outrage about anything black and non PC is them trying so hard to get accepted by that crowd.

It's like the kid in H.S. from stoner drive who changes the way he speaks when he's around people from hilcrest. He's hip to it, ya know?

The liberals are hip to the white guilt, political correctness movement too. So please accept them and don't lump them with all the racists who don't feel they owe any individual group anything.

12:17 PM  
Anonymous rose said...

Vanity fair published a McCain cover parodying the New Yorker one (apparently not an actual cover, but rather a blog post). The New Yorker cover was aimed at satirizing the ignorance of some conservatives.

The Vanity Fair cover is a personal shot at the McCain's themselves, including featuring Cindy McCain with bottles of pills (she was addicted to pain killers at one point in her life).

I'm not offended or anything, but there's a pretty big difference between the New Yorker's attempt at satire which I found pretty funny (precisely because you can picture a couple rednecks in alabama who picture the obamas this way) and a blatant personal attack. Conservatives were the target of both pieces.

Let's see if the media gets the difference between the two. I doubt it.

12:35 PM  

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