The Obama cartoon
I hadn’t actually looked at the controversial New Yorker cover cartoon of Mr. and Mrs. Obama until now. This page has a copy of it, and it is rather amusing, and also extremely daring, considering its venue. Why would the left-liberal New Yorker treat the left’s Great Half-White Hope in so brutal a fashion?
Mark K. writes:
LA: “Why would the left-liberal New Yorker treat the left’s Great Half-White Hope in so brutal a fashion?”William D. writes:
I don’t think the New Yorker cover is meant to be an attack on Sen. and Mrs. Obama—it is directed at what they might call “typical white people,” the bitter, gun-toting, religion-clinging folks who, in the minds of the New Yorker’s staff and readership, fear these very things will come to pass next January. They’ve hit all the buttons, and hit them very hard. Sen. Obama’s last comment on the matter (that I’m aware of, anyway) was “no comment,” which suggests to me he “gets it.” Once I understood the cover this way, it ceased to funny. As for daring, it seems to me to be of a piece with other recent acts of provocation on the New Yorker’s cover.LA replies:
If that was the New Yorker’s intention, it doesn’t come across. For one thing, the portrayal of Obama in the cartoon is too artistic and witty, and Obama’s appearance too fey, to think of this as the crude demonized picture of him that the proverbial bigoted, gun-toting, God-believing, working-class whites supposedly have in their minds.William D. writes:
Artistic and witty because it is meant, after all, to appeal primarily to the readers of the New Yorker—anything too crudely demonizing or heavy-handed would immediately be understood (by all right-thinking people, not just the left) as bolstering the supposed views of the supposedly bigoted white working class—to the point of inadvertently providing them with ready-made propaganda.Paul T. writes from Canada:
“If that was the New Yorker’s intention, it doesn’t come across. For one thing, the portrayal of Obama in the cartoon is too artistic and witty, and Obama’s appearance too fey, to think of this as the crude demonized picture of him that the proverbial bigoted, gun-toting, God-believing, working-class whites supposedly have in their minds”.LA replies:
But is it so evident that the cartoon is merely a parody of what right-wingers think of Obama? Does it not convey truth about him? For example, Paul T. mentions the burning flag as an over-the-top element in the cartoon that the cartoonist can’t really mean. But just last week Obama said that the American people have a greater duty to learn Spanish than Spanish-speaking immigrants have to learn English. That is about as anti-American a statement from a presidential candidate as one could imagine. So the burning flag doesn’t seem so extreme, does it? It seems to be expressing what Obama really is.Adela G. writes (July 19):
I think The New Yorker’s cartoonist gave the Obamas too much credit. They are not now nor would ever be intrepid terrorists. They don’t work without a net and the risks they take are finely calibrated to preserve their “authenticity” with the black community while appealing to white liberals. Besides, Michelle is too busy whining to handle an assault rifle. You can’t be shooting off your mouth and shooting an AR at the same time.Anna writes:
The New Yorker is famous for its satire. What’s surprising this time is the result. This cover, instead of spreading out in fame as satire, seems to be catching people in a circle. Some may see satire, others may see too many possible grains of truth. Is it not satire because it’s too plausible? There’s the rub. The talk goes on.Josh F. writes:
Your sentiments parallel mine concerning the Obama cartoon. The main failing of The New Yorker was believing the hype about Barack Obama and feigning obliviousness to everything we know about him. There is not a shred of evidence to suggest this presidential nominee is a Christian-loving American patriot. Quite the contrary, there is ample evidence of his Muslimness and friendship towards Islam, evidence of his wife’s utter distaste for America and evidence of his family’s embrace of radical racist black theology. The satire bombed because instead of dizzying us all with more of the magical aura of Obama, it created a pause to think about who this guy really is and why is this controversial magazine characterization such a stark contrast to all the hype?
Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 18, 2008 07:42 PM | Send