Monday, July 14, 2008

Obama's New Yorker Cover

I won't call it tasteless because I get what they're trying to do here, and it's not unfunny when viewed in the context of what the right wing has been saying about the man for the last year. I do however consider it irresponsible; Andrew Sullivan disagrees:

I thought it was quite funny myself. This was obviously intended ironically, and it's not exactly Parade magazine.
He's right in a way; I agree that the intent of the New Yorker staff was indeed to be ironic and yes, the regular readers of the magazine are for the most part well educated and politically informed. But the editorial staff must have known that running this cover in the age of the 24 hour news cycle would garner a great deal of press (perhaps this was their motive all along) that will be seen by much more of the voting public than just their core of regular readers, and this is what I consider irresponsible.

The lies spewed by the right wing hate machine during this election cycle have been so over the top in their vitriol: he's a secret Muslim, she's a radical who hates America, he's not a patriot, the fist bump was a terrorist code sign (for Christ's sake!), that even a blatantly ironic parody of these lies is indistinguishable from the original Republican talking points. I mean, does any logical, thinking American really believe that Barack Obama hates his country and doesn't wear a flag pin to specifically call attention to that stance? Of course not, but does your average American who can't tell you how many Senators we have or find Iraq on a map, yet still votes for president, believe these things?

Polls tell us that unfortunately a significant percentage do, and they're the idiots who might well determine this election: undecideds who apparently need more information on the candidates but won't take the time or effort to do some elementary Internet research and find it for themselves. The New Yorker commits a serious lapse in judgement when they overestimate the intelligence of this voting block and I find this advocation of responsibility disturbing.

On a parting note, later in the day Sullivan posts a reaction (similar to my own) from one of his readers:
Here's what's going to happen. Fox News is going to have a whole day where they talk about nothing but this and repeatedly show the image just like they did with Wright. Then Limbaugh will be saying "Well look, these liberals can make drawing like this and we call it harmless satire, so why did they give me so much grief when I played the song Obama the Magic Negro on my show. It's liberal hypocrisy I tell you!".
We've seen this scenario acted out in smear campaigns time and time again; the reason the right keeps doing it is because it works. And the staff at The New Yorker should realize this.

[Update: This poll at the right wing website WorldNetDaily is just a taste of the idiocy that's out there right now.]


Anonymous said...

It would be the greatest caper ever if Obama really was a Muslim who took his "suicide mission" a bit liberally, managed to get elected to PRESIDENT of the USA, cratered the whole dang thing and then stood over our ashes waving a Koran.

Anonymous said...

He's not a Muslim?

JBW said...

Secret Muslim, dude.