Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Magazine Makes the News

I have never read the "New Yorker". I've seen various cartoons that appeared therein, and some of the covers, but I don't subscribe. It can't be purchased on news stands, so a large number of people may not even have known it exists. Until this week.

On the cover of this week's issue there is a caricature of Barack and Michele Obama standing in the oval office. He is wearing "Muslim" garb and she sports an Afro and camo and a rifle, apparently representing the Black Panthers. There is a picture of Osama Bin Laden on the wall, and an American flag burning in the fireplace. They are doing the little fist bump that had everyone talking not long ago.

The editor of the magazine appears on the news, all wide-eyed innocence, and explains, in words of one or two syllables, for all the little people out there in Mid-America, that it was simply "satire".

Mr. Supercilious editor, believe it or not, I get it. Satire, that is. What I don't get is why you didn't think it was going to cause such a stir. For what purports to be a high-class magazine, this was pretty low-class satire.

At the very least, it is in poor taste. At most, it was intended to confirm what about 20% of the voters believe about Obama. It certainly has racist overtones, which also may or may not have been intended.

All I know is you would be well-advised to follow-up this magazine cover with a tasteless "satire" featuring John McCain on your next edition.


Jay said...

My favorite part of the whole thing are the people from The New Yorker claiming they had no idea this would be a big deal at all.

I mean, they didn't do it for publicity or to try to drive sales at the newsstand because it isn't sold on the newsstands all over the country. (I don't think so anyway.) But if they really are surprised that it became a big deal then they just haven't been paying attention to the world outside of their fancy New York high society surroundings.

Arkansas Songbird said...

Well, I live in a cave over here in western Arkansas.....I haven't heard a thing about The New Yorker cover. Can't believe they had the audacity to print something like that then act as though it shouldn't be controversial. You're right. McCain better be on the next cover.

Craze said...

That is very, very poor taste.

kenju said...

I was warned about this one over the weekend. My daughter gets that magazine, and shares it with us. By the time I get it, it will be old - but I am poised to write to them about it.

Golden To Silver Val said...

They knew EXACTLY what they were doing and don't let them convince you otherwise. People like that don't make a single move without it being thoroughly thought out. I "get" the satire of it all...but this is a very fragile subject and should not have been done. No matter what they do..you can't take it back now. If they can dig up something as hurtful on McCain, they'll do it in a heartbeat. The news media is heartless.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy a bit of good satire, but this effort is lost on me. Perhaps it loses something crossing the Atlantic.

Kell said...

The New Yorker covers are always kind of weird, but this was just bizarre. Satire. Right. The editor said it was so over the top that no one would take it seriously and apparently the article inside is positive, not that anyone would know because the average person will judge it by the cover and assume the article inside is about what they see.

The next cover should have McCain with a walker sporting a "Hell No We Won't Go" bumper sticker, carrying a "Bush Game Plan" book while burning his wife's money. Or would that not be over the top enough to be satire?

Minnesotablue said...

I wasn't aware that the magazine was not sold at news stands. I thought the cover was despicable! As far as satire, a lot of folks don't understand satire and will take this cover seriously.

Betty said...

Jay: Right. They're not on the newsstand, so many people who see the cover won't be able to read the stories on the inside.

arkansas songbird: lol Even if you came out of your cave, you wouldn't see this cover on the news stand.

craze: And, from what I've heard, it kind of backfired on the magazine. Goody.

kenju: I e-mailed them and got tremendous satisfaction, even if they don't read it.

golden to silver Val: I agree, they knew what they were doing. Shame on them.

john: It is just our nasty politics at work.

kell: Good idea about the McCain cover. I'll watch for it.

minnesota blue: A lot of those same people will take it seriously, even if they DO understand satire.

Anonymous said...

It really does beggar belief doesn't it.