15 July 2008

New Yorker Magazine -- The Obama Cover

I wonder if there is an agenda at play here or is it really as The New Yorker Magazine claims just a bit of satire? Looking at the picture for yourselves it is clear that both Obama and his wife are depicted as terrorists and if you look closely you can see the US flag burning in the fireplace and a happy snappy of Osama bin Laden hangs on the wall. The Obama campaign has labeled the cover offensive. And, I am not surprised.

The cover may well be satire but it plays into the misinformation that has swirled around the Obama campaign for a long time now. The flag in the fire place could represent Obama's reluctance to wear a lapel pin for a long while. He has now taken to wearing one again in an attempt to ward of any critics questioning his patriotism.

The rumor mill has been running for a long while that Obama's middle name of Hussein means he must be a Muslim. This is also untrue and I wonder why people believe it considering there was such broad coverage of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright affair and Obama's church going habits.

Perhaps the Osama bin Laden photograph on the wall is in reference to the idea that Obama will meet with tyrants, despots, and dictators as a means to further US diplomacy.

The Obama campaign's beef seems to be that it depicts Obama and his wife as being racist, sexist, anti-religion, anti-patriotic, and sympathetic to terrorism. Yet, these are just some of the claims that right-wing critics have already made of the Obama's. So, is it that much of a stretch to understand the New Yorkers explanation of the cover which was, "Please note that it is satire -- we are poking fun at the scare tactics and misinformation that some have employed to derail Obama's campaign"?

The cover is so outrageous that it cannot be anything but satire and any one that believes that the caricature is an accurate depiction of either the candidate or his wife needs their head read. Is the cover offensive? I do not think so. Is it tasteless? Perhaps. Is it ridiculous? Most definitely! And as I said the idea that any one is going to base their vote on what is contained in this caricature is equally silly.

10 comments:

Rob Baiton said...

Rather than a postscipt I am going to post a comment instead...

I have just read that a Newsweek poll punlished last Fridayshows that 12% ot those surveyed think that Obama was sworn into the Senate on the Qur'an.

Another 26% think that he was raised as a Muslim.

Both are not true! Nevertheless, the results are interesting.

the writer said...

I don't get the Americans.

They confuse Obama with Osama

They think Obama is Muslim because of his middle name

They (used) to think that Obama went to a Muslim school in Indonesia.

But the facts above have been proven to be untrue yet some people are still holding fast onto it like it's some big conspiracy theory. Are Americans that ignorant?

the writer said...

(I am too polite to say "stupid" LOL)

Rob Baiton said...

The power of the media, I guess!

Toni said...

My first comment here Rob :
It may be satire, but it is not funny. Media should stop using race and religious attributes to make fun of others, especially when it is not true at all. Nice reading, btw.

Rob Baiton said...

Toni...

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Satire is what it is. Perhaps religion and race are not funny, but then my view has always been 'different strokes for different folks'. Simply, we each view things in a different way and different things amuse us and waste our time.

In this case it depends what you read into the cover. This is my point about whether The New Yorker Magazine has an agenda. However, it is legitimate comment through satire as these are all things that are out there in the public domain.

Look at the numbers from the Newsweek poll! There are still plenty of people out there that seem to believe this stuff.

The above reasons are why I posted the post that I did.

Brett said...

Interesting dichotomy (is that the right word): New Yorker cover + Newsweek poll. Totally different readerships. Maybe this is a naive (or arrogant) thing to say, but my guess is that your average New Yorker reader would appreciate the irony/satire of the cover. That said, why would the New Yorker use such inflamatory imagery? Satire doesn't need to be so potentially insulting. I suspect the New Yorker was just trying to be sensationalist and sell some copies. That makes them no better than People magazine or the News of the World :)

Rob Baiton said...

Brett...

You been busy commenting today! I will have to whack you into my blogroll as a means of expressing my appreciation :D

It was sensationalist in a way but satire or humour that deals with things like religion, race, and patriotism tend to lend themselves to the the sensational.

Maybe it was a readership booster, kind of like blogging with tags that allude to sex, porn, Schapelle Corby, or Mak Erot.

I don't know if there is any common ground between the readership of The New Yorker and Newsweek. One is a literary mag the other is not, so who knows.

No better than People Magazine...ouch! :D

Brett said...

@Rob: you know how it goes: Rima mentions one of her fav blogs, you're stuck on Fatmawati, with an open laptop and a wireless modem...

I am TOTALLY going to have to re-think my tags! ha3.

Rob Baiton said...

I always seem to get a spike in my numbers when I post something about Schapelle Corby and most of the additional hits come from the US (including the URLs for a couple of well-recognized radio and TV talk shows) and this boosts my ego a bit...

Then the reality kicks in that I am only blogging for fun and then I have to get back to earning a living rather than day dreaming about my big break on a US talkshow!