20080717

The Talk of the Toon

What game are Advanced Publications playing ?
"Hussein" painted as a Muslim and Michelle as a terrorist, congratulating each other by a fireplace where the US flag is burning under the portrait of Osama bin Laden... I'm sure this brilliant piece of NYC humor will make people laugh in Colorado Springs, CO, but is this caricature really supposed to help the Obamas take over the White House ?*

I'm not sure The New Yorker are supporting Obama as frankly as they did for Kerry 4 years ago. Kerry as a IRA fighter or worse, a "cheese eating surrender monkey" (the Simpsons / FOX cute name for Frenchman back in 2003) ? Oh my, that would have raised some eyebrows at the Club.
This would be satire if there were some distance to it. Like O'Reilly holding this cover and saying "while we're at it why not add a suicide belt for Michelle ?"
The editor's answers don't hold a second :
"Satire is part of what we do, and it is meant to bring things out into the open, to hold up a mirror to prejudice, the hateful, and the absurd. And that's the spirit of this cover." The editor noted that the magazine includes two "very serious" articles about Obama -- a commentary and a 15,000-word reporting piece on the candidate's political education and rise in Chicago. (see
AFP)
Seriously, everybody knows the power of image. The impact of one caricature relayed everywhere is ten billion times stronger than 15,000 words only a few will go through.
And regarding the people holding this "mirror" : I'm not a constant New Yorker reader but if I were I don't know how I'd take it.
Letters to the editor are probably going to outscore 15,000 words...



* not to mention help American Muslims be at last treated like other US citizens (as Juan Cole pointed out, "virtually no one is talking about how demeaning it is of American Muslims" - 20080715 in "Obama Caricature Offensive to Muslims").

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