This cover is meant to be satirical, but it speaks to White America's fears about Barack Obama being close to America's first Black president. It is easy to make this type of cover instead of forcing the country to realize the illness of racism that continues to plague this nation.
No other candidate's wife is subjected to the type of scrutiny and insult. This cover crosses every line that speaks to good taste and I hope illustrator is held to task on it. Of course, he will not because when it comes to issues regarding African-Americans in this country, poor tastes is easily explained away.
The images here speak to everything America wants to question about Senator Obama - his patriotism (by the way, no one really questioned Bush's patriotism when he sent this country on his personal vendetta called the Iraq War), our patriotism as a nation when we turned away Haitian immigrants, but allowed Cuban immigrants in. As a nation, we are so hypocritical and our patriotism is relative and worn only when we feel the need to hit people over the head and mask our collective ignorance. It also speaks to our fear that he is or is not a Christian. How Christ-like (which is what being a Christian is) is it to fabricate information, bail out security companies, but allow people to loose their homes? How Christian is it to have millions of people living below the poverty line, educational disparity so great as to amount to segregation all over again? We are not a Christian nation...we never really were a Christian nation (in the truest sense of who Christ was), and we never will be, so to put Senator Obama in traditional Muslim garb to stir up fear about his religious affiliation is characteristic of the pot calling the kettle black. It suggests that he is not Christian, but somehow we as a nation is - completely false!
Finally, to have Mrs. Obama toting an AK-47 is more than offensive. Will Mrs. McCain be illustrated carrying a false face to characterize her Stepford Wife image? How dare this illustrator not be taken to task on such a piece as this. But everyone knows, nothing will happen, he will keep his job and probably be given a bonus of some sort and go on about his way. The entire piece goes way out of bounds.
Sent by Tanji Reed Marshall | 12:05 PM | 7-14-2008
I think it was very offensive. Yes it played on the fears of people who still think he is a muslim. I work around some of those people, and no matter how much I talk to them and show them information from different website to prove to them that he is not a muslim and he and his wife are not eletist. They still believe the spin that has been woven on behave of the Obamas. I think this article was produced to keep the fear out there front and center.
Sent by geneva | 12:09 PM | 7-14-2008
Anytime something is meant to be satirical it will be obvious instantly. Without having to stop and ask yourself, What is this? The individuals who made the decision to let this be the front cover image of a popular well know magazine showed a lack of character, maturity and good judgment. My three year old daughter could do a better job of choosing a good cover picture.
Sent by Richard Hutton | 12:41 PM | 7-14-2008
I completely agree geneva. The New Yorker should know better than this. While they claim that their goal was to put "the stereotypes out there", so that they can be talked about, most people won't get past the cover. The cover will confirm for many what they already believe, while those that defend the truth of the matter will be left empty-handed.
Sent by james | 12:41 PM | 7-14-2008
The culprit here is Conde Nast. It publishes the New Yorker. It should be held responsible for the cover. Additionally, the problem is not the Literati that read the New Yorker. They will look at it and likely still vote Obama. However, the problem maybe those individuals who have doubt about Obama and are looking for something to substantiate any "suspicions." I find the cover offensive because it so degrades what Michele and Barak Obama have achieved in their lives. As a fellow lawyer (who did not go to Harvard) I know that they both worked extremely hard to succeed in a field that does not always appreciate and promote "diversity." Shame on you Conde Nast.
Sent by Jerry from Chicago | 12:54 PM | 7-14-2008
The illustration is godawful, but godawful for a reason. Listen to right wing radio -- and of course Ann Coulter, who won't refer to Obama without calling him by his middle name -- and this is how they're depicting the Obamas. Clearly the New Yorker editorial board knew it was making an extremely controversial call, but if it made the call to incite the kind of dialogue that's now taking place, calling attention to these ridiculous assertions from conservatives, I have to think it was ultimately the right call to make.
Sent by julie | 1:04 PM | 7-14-2008
This is very offensive I will never purchase this magazine again.
Sent by Kimberly Coleman | 1:21 PM | 7-14-2008
I agree completely with the comments posted by Tanji. This cover was designed and chosen to tap into the whisper campaign being waged against the Obama family. It is disturbing to think that a publication like the New Yorker would publish a cartoon that will only fuel the ignorance behind these rumors.
Sent by Megan | 1:55 PM | 7-14-2008
o Traditional political satire is based on exaggeration of the points one wants to emphasize. Claiming that this cartoon is critiquing a stereotype through depicting the stereotype in question, is short sighted and ridiculous. Certain simple mediums do not withstand over intellectualized, cynical reverse satire. What lives primarily as the legacy of this cartoon is reinforcement of the stereotype's strength through planting picture association that will withstand the few attempts to see this as a parody of the right wing's fears. . No matter how intelligent or pro-the cartoon's theory a viewer might be, the cartoon does nothing but damn Obama and sink to the levels it seeks to condemn. This seems typical of the hipster-ish need to disassociate from vulgarities or stupidities by mocking mimicry -- that is nothing other than erecting intellectual boundaries where there is only actual action -- as here there is only childish slander. The New Yorker disappoints me. I would be horrified (more by its feeble defense then by its existence) whether I liked or disliked Obama!
Sent by Kate | 2:14 PM | 7-14-2008
I understand the satirical intent of the cover. But the execution is extremely poor - and, when you get a bad cartoon or illustration that skates the edge of offensive, you give up on satire. I can visualize a way they could have created this cover appropriately - this wasn't it. And the editors should have known better. Less about racism than about competence.
Sent by Jasmine Sante | 2:20 PM | 7-14-2008
It's dispicable actually. Would they have drawn Clinton as a nutcracker? no. Satire is supposed to make fun of the irony a subject. There is no irony here. Part of the problem is that there isn't anything funny either. It's worse when you consider the New Yorker had an essentially pro-Clinton stance before. Tasteless, next time draw them in blackface with watermelons and fried chicken.
Sent by bah | 3:16 PM | 7-14-2008
I'm thinking that a better illustration to the point they say that is being made would show Barack Obama and Michelle as they really are and present this distortion in the eyes or mind of confused individual that believes this mess. To present this image on the cover without context is damaging and slanderous.
Sent by Paul Mainor | 3:51 PM | 7-14-2008
This New Yorker cover is an example of satire gone wrong. "Satire" is defined by Dictionary.com as "the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice or folly." The New Yorker seems to have fallen short of satire here, in that the irony is not obvious enough to achieve exposition; the cover has too much "face value" to expose the absurdity of current right-wing notions of the Obamas. If this cover is satirical, then it follows that I could shout out a littany of racial slurs at the top of my lungs in the middle of Times Square providing my intention was to expose and denounce racism.
Sent by Emily Elstad | 3:52 PM | 7-14-2008
Dan Rather would say, "Fake but accurate".
Sent by RatherDosen'tMatter | 4:28 PM | 7-14-2008
What a poorly conceived and executed image to gather around.
Sent by Richard Rodriguez | 4:35 PM | 7-14-2008
Satire my Ass! This is a shame! How could a reputable magazine allow this? Whoever is behind this is obviously afraid (and wanting to evoke fear in others) that Obama will become President.
Sent by Vmje4s | 4:37 PM | 7-14-2008
Get Over it! The PC comments show how intolerance is a one way street.
Sent by DLO | 4:57 PM | 7-14-2008
I guess the Internet isn't the only place where satire doesn't translate well.
Next time Conde Nast wants to be satirical on his cover, he should do what we on-line do; end it with this ;-).
Sent by Matthew C. Scallon | 5:02 PM | 7-14-2008
this crosses the line of Satire. I am very dissappointed in the New Yorker.
Making this a cover, presents a stereotypical and incorrect image to the rest of the world. Maybe the problem will not stem from people who actually read the New Yorker, but what about the millions who glance over the cover and don't read the content?
Sent by mjgirl21 | 6:17 PM | 7-14-2008
Blitt can feign surprise and reject responsibility but neither lessen the harm this particular cover has done to America by repeating a lie. It is not satire to fuel the fires of racial hatred and racial profiling against Sen. Obama as he campaigns to be President. In a country where fewer Americans have healthy imaginations, neither do they have the quality education to be subtle enough to understand satire. Heck this is the Beavis and Butthead crowd, and too many don't even know what satire is. America is not the learned society we once were, and this cover should not have been printed.
Sent by D.S.Payne | 6:20 PM | 7-14-2008
Mr. Blitt, consider this: The next time you want to satirize people who have been wrongly portrayed, publish a cover of Jewish people complete with every stereotypical image and falsehood about Jews that have ever existed. Have one putting a nail through Jesus' feet, and another picking up the pieces of silver thrown away by Judas. Do not provide any captions to explain that it is satire. Then take it like a real man when you are called an anti-Semite and are relieved of your career.
That is the closest I can come to illustrating the effect this cover has on the American society at this particular time.
I would not want to see a cover of the Obama's with watermelon and fried chicken either, but at least it would have been satire the American people could understand without captions. And some might even laugh out loud at the cartoon.
Sent by D.S. Payne | 6:36 PM | 7-14-2008
why is everyone suprised? Wake up This seems to be the lay of the land...so to speak. I am not suprised and,I expect worse
Sent by everard powell jr. | 8:15 PM | 7-14-2008
Its a great picture. Someone finaly had the courage to paint a true picture of what we can expect
Sent by Terry | 8:42 PM | 7-14-2008
You may have to be a high school teacher to realize that to understand satire requires a degree of sophistication that I think may be developmental. For instance, no matter how hard I tried to help my students understand the satire in Swift's " A Modest Proposal", they just didn't "get it". The advanced placement students may have been more successful, but the average high school student has great difficulty with satire. And so it may be with the cover of "The New Yorker"...the editor needs to spend a day with a bunch of average 17 year olds to understand the mindset, and then realize that a large segment of the population of the US will not "get it" either.
Unfortunately, the Rush Limbaughs of this world will gladly interpret it for these people. I live in the hope that maybe, with the light shining on this satire, that these internet lies about Barach Obama will finally be put to rest. And yes, that is my hope, the only hope for this country to get out from under the last 8 years of lies and incompetence.
Sent by candace fisher | 9:06 PM | 7-14-2008
I just heard David Remnick's interview on NPR.
Unconvincing, weak and dishonest.
Yes, right, we underestimate "people's" intelligence, do we? What in this world would intelligently drive half of voters in this country to vote TWICE! for George Bush?!
David you are right: this stupefying cover has hurt us so much because of the great, emotional, hope we are putting into this election.
Don't you have any sense?!!
Couldn't you have come up with a more "intelligent" way to expose the absurd fear and ignorance that moves this country?!
You made a mistake, face it.
I am very disappointed.
Sent by Marcia Sacharny | 9:26 PM | 7-14-2008
This is one of the most offensive things I've ever seen. It only shows that America still has a long way to go in the area of race relations and gender. But what can you expect from people who don't even know there is a different culture right under their noses.
Sent by Berneda Gilmore | 9:38 PM | 7-14-2008
I fail to find the humor in this New Yorker cover.
Sent by Adrian DeVore | 10:01 PM | 7-14-2008
If satire needs that much explanation it isn't satire. I feel soory for Barry. He should have run this by some fellow cartoonists and not by an editorial board.
Sent by Joseph in the ATL | 10:12 PM | 7-14-2008
This is an absolutely great cover. It is a complete satirical compilation of all the garbage I get in my email from my Republican friends every day. Rather than condemning it we should be praising it for exposing the ridiculous charges being made daily by those desperate to discredit this presidential candidate.
Sent by Wayne Brotze | 10:38 PM | 7-14-2008
This cover is another example of the "dumbing down" of the American media that has been evolving the past ten years or so. Very disappointing. The "equal time" political rule should be invoked for the following week's cover with a satirical look at John McCain. McCain would standing in the Oval Office wearing Catholic garb. His current wife AND ex-wife would be standing next to him, hair in buns, both holding "holy matrimony" marriage certificates, wearing long pastel dresses with large "No Gay Marriage" buttons on them. The wives would be holding screaming babies in their arms and have have a multitude of screaming kids tugging on their dresses. There would be a picture of George Wallace dressed in KKK robe and hood holding a stone replica of The Ten Comandments above the fireplace and a copy of The U.S. Constitution burning in the fireplace. McCain would have an IV drip bottle next to him administering chemotherapy. He would have his finger on the "red button" getting ready to fire nukes at Iran and his eyes glazed over with a thought cloud over his head of McCain being a tortured POW in Vietman. Does that cover it all?? I'm sure Bill Blitt and The New Yorker editorial board will have some additional ideas to add. They seem to be a very creative bunch.
Sent by American Voter | 11:26 PM | 7-14-2008
A few months ago on the New Yorker cover, there was a picture of Hilary Clinton, in bed with Obama-as they both reached for the red phone. Obama was quite clearly drawn like a monkey caricature. I was so very disturbed, but realized I would not be able to prioritize a complaint to the New Yorker. Please check it out on your own! I believe this month's cover is a perfect follow-up to that cover. I am so glad people are standing up, and saying something!!! Thank you!
Sent by Laura | 12:06 AM | 7-15-2008
My comment is simply a re-creation of the remarks made when Hillary supporters pointed out the sexism (including the MANY sexist cartoons) she experienced: ....."What racism?...Obama deserves to be depicted this way! He earned it by his actions and racism has nothing to do with it!" blah blah blah! You can't have it both way folks! You can't say one form of oppression is wrong and another form (or even forms now - ageism!) is acceptable!! PS. If you think I'm exaggerating the comparison between racism against Obama and sexism against Hillary check out the examples of sexism used against her at www.womenamericans.com!
Sent by gaypastor | 12:47 AM | 7-15-2008
"every picture tells a story dont it..." [rod stewart and the faces]... well given that the nu yawker is a rag dedicated to the genteel white, liberal literati aspiring writer crowd, it is rather predictable that such concepts be in their play. after all, just because one is liberal does not mean one is racial or racism. given that images translate more than words sometimes i wonder if this imagine is suppose to say a lot more than its accompanying words [inside like intel but you dont see that chip either-no offense to intel].
Funny and oddly enough, i ponder why no one here has yet to deconstruct and reconstruct this cartoon rendering in the same light at the problem that occurred within the Nederlands when similar cartoon marring Islam and Allah caused quite a global outpouring of rage and criterism. but it is an old trick. focus the populace's emotional energies on the stupid stuff and they will always fail to focus on the serious stuff.
PS to the artist-- Dude you forgot to incorporate a copy of the Black Panther's Ten Point Platform in the scene behind Ms. O-geez do it right! after all, some of the points of change Mr. O and Mrs. H.Clinton speak of are lifted from this platform.
Sent by K Mjumbe | 1:38 AM | 7-15-2008
In this KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) world, cover images speak for themselves, not matter the merits of the article inside The New Yorker magazine. This cover is not witty satire, it is mean spirited and dangerous. Free speech has responsibilities too. Buring the American flag, Ben Laden's picture, machine gun, Arab garb...give me a break. These are incidiary icons. There are not just offensive, they are nasty. Maybe not in intend -- creative people make mistakes too by going too far -- but surely in effect. I hope the editors will realize they have gone too far. Decency is more important than wit. I hope they will wake up and apoligize. Until they do, I shall no longer buy the magazine at the stands. And I shall not the main advertisers and endeavor to not buy their products and services. What self-respecting company wants its ads associated with such a un-PC cover in the 21st century.
Sent by Larry Rosenberg | 1:48 AM | 7-15-2008
I think next time The New Yorker will probably have both Michelle and Barack in black face in a ploy to admonish stereotypical residue that have linger far too long from this nation's historical consciousness.But i guarantee you, everyone will get the joke this time around.
Sent by Perry V | 2:57 AM | 7-15-2008
I "get it," but the supposed joke requires way too much explanation to overcome first impressions.
The artist needs to go back to the drawing board, and come up with a better way of saying, "If you believe this nonsense, the right wing has a bridge it is also offering for sale."
This cover rates five trash cans.
Sent by Alan F. | 4:04 AM | 7-15-2008
New Yorker: How about a depiction of Cindy Lou popping vicoden and percocet she stole? It would certainly represent "truth in journalism."
Sent by Chan | 10:14 AM | 7-15-2008
Sent by Christine Buyle-Williams | 10:41 AM | 7-15-2008
The cover was designed to sell posters to the Rush Limbaugh (highly over-paid wind bag) crowd. The framed momento will fit nicely among the rest of their Nazi-inspired collection. The New Yorker will make millions.
Sent by Tee | 11:05 AM | 7-15-2008
Satire has always been the convenient tool of those who are either unable, or unwilling, to express in a cogent manner, what they really believe. Satire's ambiguous nature gives the author an easy out at the end of the day, if by chance the are called-out to explain their actual point of view... "I was just kidding around... jeeez, don't you get it!" The problem with this approach is that we the viewer are left to expose ourselves to the eventual derision of the author if their punch line is not intuitively obvious to us. For instance, the recent parody of the children's book, "Good Night Moon," into "Good Night Bush," (recently shown on NPR) is meant by the author to be so obviously true, that humor serves only to bolster these notions. Conversely, the New Yorker cover is meant by the author to be so obviously untrue, that humor serves only to dismiss these notions. In the end, each is simple condescension from an author that is incapable of expressing a truly rational and understandable argument.
Hey, sorry, I was just kidding around!
Sent by Jon Nason | 11:14 AM | 7-15-2008
This is a hideous illustration. Good satire would have targeted the people who made the inaccurate comments about the fist bump, not about the Obamas. This illustration will further hurt our country. I will never support this magazine.
Sent by Chris | 11:26 AM | 7-15-2008
I'm shocked by the New Yorker's lack of good taste and good sense. I get the satire and I'm offended by it. What about those who don't get the satire...it smacks of fears still held by some.
Sent by Pbrewer | 11:32 AM | 7-15-2008
I know this cover is meant as satire, but I have a conservative Republican ex best friend who will not see it that way, or even if she does, will probably be one of those people who will frame it. The design should have been thought through so that it could not be used in this way.
Sent by Palinda | 12:16 PM | 7-15-2008
The New Yorker is cover is offensive and sophomoric, but what I find equally offensive is the nighly pundits who questions Sen Obama Americanism and consitently paint Sen.Obama and his wife as the foreign and strange other.
The world is ready for a President Obama, however the Good Ole Boy United States political and social structure is not psychologically preparded to handle a: hip, soulful, intelligent and cool President and First lady
Sent by Big Brown | 12:21 PM | 7-15-2008
Thank you to the New Yorker for having high hopes in the nascent intellect of the average American. A lot of the back lash and outrage is odd, coming from the audience that gobbled up other creative works such as "The Audacity of Hope".
Where I work I am encouraged to "dumb down" my interactions with hourly pay rate employees. The usual assumptions about the people that comprise such positions fully applies.
My boss has no faith in their ability to understand higher level engineering activities/rationales. At the surface even a professional engineer needs to gain their bearing before being able to piece things together on their own.
If and when people have the barest spark of interest it takes less effort than one may realize to fan such a spark into bright flames of self sustained and open minded exploration of the world around them.
Thanks again to the New Yorker for taking one heck of chance on us.
Sent by michael logan | 12:22 PM | 7-15-2008
Two items are crystal clear after reading the comments here: 1) there really is no "free press" when it comes to Obama's candidacy. Free press really means Obama-friendly press or NO press. 2) I've seen and heard satire at least this outrageous about EVERY other candidate over the last 30 years (and almost as much about the wives). It's the norm, but folks seem to have selective memory.
So what makes this guy so different that he is not subject to the same level of scrutiny and satire? American politics is tough. Get out of the press' way and let them do what they do without protecting Senator Obama. He can either withstand it or not.
Sent by Lee Brogden Culberson | 12:23 PM | 7-15-2008
I love this cover! Yes, even in the Midwest, we understand satire. I am eager to see the McCain cartoon covering the non-issues that seem to be the focus of this election. There is plenty of material!
Sent by Virginia D Johnson | 12:35 PM | 7-15-2008
When running for political office the phrase "If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen" should be emblazoned on every napkin, coaster and bottled water on the ol' tour bus.
Sent by Misty Letts | 12:36 PM | 7-15-2008
I think that people who are shocked should get over it. They're hoping that the images of Barack and Michelle Obama won't incite negative and wrong headed understanding. The fact is that the truth has already been rejected by those that can't or won't see it so this satirical portrait is really only for those who do get it or for those who can be shocked out of their ignorance by an over-the-top image.
Laughing in the face of fear is our best weapon against ignorance and laughing at our own fear is, really, a lot more effective than laughing at the oppositions.
Time for a lot of introspection if you didn't laugh first and think later.
Sent by Paul Brook | 1:09 PM | 7-15-2008
I find the cover courageous and funny. Satire is dangerous and misunderstood by the unsophisticated which means most of America these days. The New Yorker isn't People magazine. It's for a certain segment of the population who pay to get what the magazine gives them. Whatever happened to freedom of the press? Don't like it? Move on. Helen Corrigan, Troy, Michigan
Sent by helen Corrigan | 1:10 PM | 7-15-2008
I don't think it is offensive. I am no fan of Senator Obama but I am starting to get concerned with the censorship Senator Obama is shoving down the American people's throats. You can critique other politicians but God forbid anyone does that to him---he cries "racist". If he wins are we going to have 4 years of this? You betcha.
What happened to freedom of speech and freedom of the press? Vote him in and enjoy the censorship, folks.
Sent by Liz | 1:15 PM | 7-15-2008
Well, perhaps I am being Pollyanna-ish, but perhaps this cover will work . The people that worry me are not the ones that believe Obama is a Muslim - nothing , nothing, will change their minds. It's the people on the edge, teetering. I worry that they'll say to themselves that they'll vote for Obama because rationally he's the best choice, but once they're in the voting ooth they just won't find the courage to do it. Maybe this cover will jolt them into seeing how they're being manipulated into irrational thoughts/fears. If not, this cover is a monumental miscalculation. I feel this coverfor many Americans is like the mirror in Snow White, where as you look into it you see who you really are, not who you want to be only in this case it's our unconscious being projected.
Sent by sarah rogovin | 1:18 PM | 7-15-2008
If the editor and the cartoonist at the New Yorker thinks that those same folks who deny evolution and global warming are going to "get" the "satire" of the New yorker cover, i would like to invite him to South Carolina or to even look at the emails i frequently receive from some of my "conservative" friends.
The folks at the New Yorker are living in a big bubble if they think that cartoon is not the best wet dream they ever gave the right wingers: a reputable national magazine reinforceing all their idiotic propaganda!
Sent by GotchaSC | 1:19 PM | 7-15-2008
to gaypastor: You're right both sexism and racism are wrong...and I'm equally offended by both the sexism AND racism shown in the media coverage thus far. This cartoon does not fall short on the sexism department (the depiction of Michelle Obama). What's your point? Because the media did a poor job of covering Clinton's campaign we shouldn't complain when they continue doing a poor job with Obama?
Sent by Michele | 1:20 PM | 7-15-2008
Correction from this morning: Obama was born in the United States. Another correction: the New Yorker cartoon is not satire because it isn't based on exaggerating vices, etc. The only true thing about it is the Obamas hitting each other's fists. I hope the New Yorker will do a real satire cover on McCain. Here are some topics for equal time that they could satirize: 1. McCain calling his wife Cindy two perjoratives: the c word and the w word. 2. His appalling conversation about ways to kill Iranians. 3. His being a war hero by dropping bombs on hapless Vietnamese. 4. His selling his soul to the devil by signing the torture bill.
Sent by Christy Day | 1:23 PM | 7-15-2008
Why would you compare african-americans with terrorists? This cover feed into the racisms of some americans that are afraid of African-Americans. I do not get the satire of this cover because is very offensive to me. African-American are not only one that bump fists. You have never seen an African-American burning the AMERICAN FLAG. The fact that you will never display a white candidate with KKK clothes and burn a cross on the front lawn of an African-American, any if African-Americans believe them to be racist. So, What points are you make now? Racism feed racism and you can cover it up with words it just does not change where hate come from. I do not get the joke perhaps your target was not the African-Americans that view this satire as offensive period. You're right, we do not buy your magazine this the reason you can create satire that is so offensive in the African-american. I cannot see pass the hate displayed with your cover!
Sent by Adrienne D. Johnson | 1:26 PM | 7-15-2008
When I saw it, I "GOT" it. I'm an Obama backer from way back. I saw that this was satire right away, I know the New Yorker magazine. I think it's very good, however maybe it shouldn't have been on the cover, I don't know. I saw how it was chiding the Right and it's grasping at all it could to demonize the Obamas.
Sent by J. R. Hintz | 1:41 PM | 7-15-2008
A courageous decision by Remnick. Don't back down! This cover is like the little boy who saw the emperor naked and shouts: "Look, the emperor has no clothes on." If the New Yorker guessed right, this is the end of the right wing slander & innuendo against Senator & Mrs. Obama. It is worth a try!
Sent by Brigid Wit | 1:50 PM | 7-15-2008
All I have to say is: WOW!!!
This New Yorker Cover is tantamount to leaving food out, turning the lights off and listening for/observing the rats and roaches scurrying for the goodies--It's simply fodder for the Racists [Rats] and Idiots [Roaches]!!
If The New Yorker portrayed George W Bush as a caricature of Adolph Hitler and "Tricky "Dick Cheney as Mussolini, The New Yorker would be shut down as quickly as you could say: Dixie Chicks!!! You see what happened to their "Freedom of Speech"...
Sent by Adjunct Professional Blogger | 1:55 PM | 7-15-2008
It is apparant, as normally is the casr, that satire, innuendo and falshoods are acceptable when they depict some national figure that is conservative. But, my or my, don't do anything that might enrage the left. Some of the satire in the cover is well founded based on past comments, writings and actions by the Obamas as well as information that they have so far been unwilling to discuss in depth. The front cover brings a very importnant point home, that we are emerging as a nation that may elect our first black American president who professes a different faith, ideology and background than that of previous Presidents. Whether this will happen remains in the hands of those who will vote this November and how majorities in different states for one candidate or the other will affect the Electoral College.
Sent by Gene Wright | 2:07 PM | 7-15-2008
Your magazine cover is a disgrace to your good reputation and fair journalism. You could have not chosen a more distasteful, uglier, and divisive way to stir more racial and hateful gossips. Your magaazine and all responsible for the cover page need to extend a quick and sincere apology to Senator Obama, his wife, and to the American people.
Sent by Dr. Reza Kamali | 2:16 PM | 7-15-2008
Beautiful!! Great job!! Too bad some take themselves too seriously...I sincerely hope Mr. Obama has the ability to laugh at the lies, understand satire, and not take himself as seriously as the intellectually-challenged do.
Sent by Stephen C Geller | 2:16 PM | 7-15-2008
Shame on you. You have legitimized the worst fears and bigotry that exist in this country. Images are very powerful, and it is the image people will see first and remember, not the articles in the magazine or the intent of the editor.
Sent by Susan Thackston | 2:22 PM | 7-15-2008
Trust me,nothing is going to change the minds of voters who have made up their mind to vote for Obama.It is the ones who haven't made up their minds who will be affected by this cover.Yes, alot of people in W.VA will surely think this is true of Obama,I live next door to W.VA and have met quite a few who do think this way.I suggest Obama visit Appalachia and get to know those people in order to calm their fears.Forget visiting the war zone,concentrate on the American people.We are the ones suffering.And finally,the best way to beat the NYer is to boycott the s1/4ription....send it back if you get it in the mail.I for one won't buy it
Sent by MiMi en N.VA | 2:23 PM | 7-15-2008
We have seen the photo of Barak in native garb,thats fair territory for a satirical cartoon, we have seen the adorable knuckle pund,that is fair game,we have not seen Michelle supporting a natural afro, that sould be off limits, we have not seen her associated with Ak47s or any kind of guns for that matter. We usually see Mrs. Obama in dresses not army garb and pants. In the guize of being provocative, the New Yorker, has promoted racial sterotypes to it's primarly white audiance.
Sent by JoAnn | 2:24 PM | 7-15-2008
Unfortunately, there are far too many people that won't go further than the picture. These people will use it as 'proof' of what the Obama's are, confirmed by a reputable magazine. After all, characterizations take what a person is, and exaggerate those points. This does not do that and yet it appears to. What an offensive shame.
Sent by M. Ferris | 2:28 PM | 7-15-2008
The cover may have been meant to be satirical. Instead, it simply points out the editorial stupidity of the New Yorker. The function of an editor is to assdure that the intended communication takes place. This cover merely muddies to water. The editor, or editorial board deserve at least a public reprimand, or a supension or to ber fired -- not for what they said but for the unskilled, unartful way they tried to do it.
Sent by Jerome Schindlinger | 2:28 PM | 7-15-2008
The New Yorker is a mag produced by affluent white people for affluent white people. The producers failed to see their "whiteness." The cover has been reproduced all over newspapers and on tv. So, the many believers now see a magazine cover that gives focus to their ignorance. A lot of these ignorant folks are using religion as code for black. Making fun of black people is part of our culture/history. Hopefully, the crew at The New Yorker got lots of laughs from their friends and neighbors. And so it goes....
Sent by Judith Claire | 2:29 PM | 7-15-2008
The dialogue is important, but this cover as a catalyst is akin to breaking your window to determine if it is raining outside.
It works but there is probably a better way.
Notice no one is talking about the substance of the article (and probably never will)
Sent by Jeanette | 2:32 PM | 7-15-2008
Will the "Cost" crowd ever realize that middle America does get it? We may reject it, but we get it.
Sent by Mike from Kansas | 2:36 PM | 7-15-2008
The cover is a bit over the edge in terms of building on unsubtantiated rumors...rumors rhat are perhaps most easily and quickly embraced by a group of people that are as likely to seek out or routinely read The New Yorker as at least 5 members of the Supreme Court, (who shall remain nameless) are likely to read and embrace the editorial page of the New York Times! As a result all this spin about the The New Yorker cover is being discuss, and worried about, is being done by people who understand the satirical aspesct of the cover....This begs the questions "-Nothing else to focus on?" "-Nothing else to worry about?"... The continued discussion of this indicates that the lack of dicussion about substantive issues applies to many groups, including those who think they are above silly, unfounded rumormongering. So, -might as well talk about something important like the All-star game!
Sent by Carol Steininger | 2:42 PM | 7-15-2008
Anyone who believes that the New Yorker intended this as anything other than satire is a complete effing moron. They would be better served by some serious self examination to discover their OWN motives here, than by subjecting the rest of to their inane rants.
Sent by Skyway Moaters | 2:54 PM | 7-15-2008
Correct me if I am wrong, but has there ever been a presidential candidate in a cartoon on a cover? Usually it is a donkey or elephant. I thought they only did satire like this on the elected president. I applaude them on the article, but think it was in poor taste to put this on the cover...those that beleive this kind of fear are not going to read the article.
Sent by Penny Witt | 2:55 PM | 7-15-2008
My error, the "Coast" crowd. We get it, we just don't spelz it.
Sent by Mike from Kansas | 2:57 PM | 7-15-2008
I get it. Unfortunately, the editor doesn't "get" what life is like beyond the Ivory Tower. Just prior to listening to Talk of the Nation on my lunch break, a business acquaintence sent me an email (you know, the ones who tell you, "I don't usually send stuff like this, but..." ) touting the virtues of one candidate's wife and the negative spin about Obama and his "background." I'm glad that the GOP has a candidate that has opinions that are more liberal than the present regime, but I don't think anyone in America has a better idea of the inequity that's out there and stacked against a bi-racial candidate from a single-parent home than Barack Obama. If there is anyone who probably has an idea of the struggle that the majority of Americans face on a daily basis, its probably Obama. To New Yorkers, where there is a liberal (free-flowing) dose of opinions and legitimate discourse, the cover may seem satirical or ironic, but out here in the Bible Belt, its just more fuel for the fire.
Sent by Kitty | 2:59 PM | 7-15-2008
Right on, Jerry from Chicago. I subscribe to the New Yorker, and GOT the satirical nature of the cover, but my husband, whose vote and political leanings cancel my own over and over, took one look at the cover and took it literally, saying "I didn't know the New Yorker was so conservative." Sure, even many conservatives will GET the satire, but many people, both left and right, won't see it for whatever reason. For that reason, I find the cover inappropriate.
Sent by Dana Sisson | 3:30 PM | 7-15-2008
There is no 'clever' excuse as to why a formerly respectable magazine as the New Yorker would produce such a work of racism and ignorance. The "intellectual" excuse is satire? Let's break it down then. You put a man running for president on the cover of your magazine dressed as a Muslim (which he is not), next to a portrait of Osama Bin Laden (which also insults the stereotypes of peaceful muslims) as he is fist pumping with his wife dressed as a terrorist - and this is meant to have deeper meaning? Whether the New Yorker claims everyone has the potential to get their awesome joke - is of no relevance. When someone walks by or picks up this magazine they will think one of two things: "Ah satire!" - (while reinforcing the very stereotypes it hopes to debunk). Or "Ha ha, that's great for the opposition!" - who needs enemies when you have friends like the New Yorker doing the Barack Obama no favors. The whole thing is sickening. I will never purchase another New Yorker thanks to the lack of apology and justification for this small minded bigotry by its Editor. Disgusting. The outrage over this is not starting a discussion - b/c the people upset about it support Obama already and don't need the New Yorker to make a mockery out of his campaign and his family in order to open discussion.
Sent by Jillann Hertel | 3:33 PM | 7-15-2008
While I defend the right of the New Yorker to put anything they want on their cover, I agree with many who say or infer that a large percentage of our fellow Americans are rather dimwitted(Bush elected twice?) and will chortle their 'agreement' with what the image literally represents, and, in the end, reinforce the disinformation being fed to them from the right.
Sent by Jeff Taylor | 3:33 PM | 7-15-2008
To Liz...Senator Obama does not shove censorship down the throats of free press or anyone else.What you need to do is do a liitle research...Censorship started about eight years before Obama was born with McCarthism.Kept going with Nixon And continues with the Bush Administration.Know your history.
Sent by MiMi en N.VA | 3:37 PM | 7-15-2008
This is what I "GOT". This cover, on the heels of that with the monkey-caricature Obama and Hilary in bed showing both reaching for the red phone, are tactics right our of the Hitler's playbook - How to prepare for extermination of a people. I wonder if the The New Yorker really understands the idiocy of this cover or if the editorial board and Conde Nast even care.
Sent by J. Reaves | 3:41 PM | 7-15-2008
The cover is wonderful, mostly for the discussions it will engender. The questions about who will take it literally, bring up a point. Perhaps a story could finally be written, not just a paragraph or word, on who exactly the people are who believe all these stories about Obama.
During the past year I made a relatively long distance move and had the good judgement to find a mover through Craigslist rather than the usual large companies. The mover turned out to be a sweet guy, probably in his sixties, who had just bought an enormouse white pickup which he had purchased to go into business himself. He was a former long distance truck driver. He arrived on time, he was civil, he didn't overcharge, he didn't steal anything, he lived up to his word -- all, and more. This is more than has been promised before but rarely delivered by the "big" companies. I liked him despite the fact I could discern a couple of hints of bigotry on his part. Not too long ago I received an e-mail from him, the offensive one with the ridiculous bits about Barack Obama, the ones portrayed on the New Yorker cover. I was sorry to receive it, not mad. Who is this guy? He was sweet and honest, and a serious gentleman, but clearly a bigot. I have heard, as all of us, the comments of people like my mover. Often the words of hate come out of the mouths of gentle people. Right now he has my sympathy because his small business of which he was so proud has probably drowned in the price of gas. He has never understood where his best interests lie on a political or social spectrum. He is easily taken in by scare tactics. I have never read anything of real depth about these individuals and who they really are. They aren't all from the same place, or the same ethnically, or with the same educations. Everything is superficial when they are called red necks or uneducated or ... you say it. Something tells me they could be eased in their pain to at least think, at least in their fear or desperation, but I don't think anyone ever goes to any trouble to truly understand them and the fears, or whatever, that require the stance they take. Cutting them off with names is easy, as is to laugh or dislike them. But there is a lot more to it and it is worth attention. Surely, their fears come out of the depth of their own angst. It would surely do more for all of us to understand, and try to educate, their fears, if only so they, too, could understand the irony and humor on the covers on the New Yorker. An insightful story about them inside the New Yorker would not have necessitated an explanation of the cover, whereas a story about Obama doesn't necessarily make it clear to the uninitiated. Now don't dismiss the uninitiatedy.
Sent by gloribee | 3:42 PM | 7-15-2008
People who read the New Yorker will understand that this is satire. Unfortunately, this will appear on newsstands across America, like a million tiny billboards, and frankly, much of America is too ignorant to understand that it's satire. Most people who see this will never open the magazine and read the article. It's just one more thing planted in their brains that tells them that Obama is a Muslim terrorist.
Sent by Sean from Minnesota | 3:51 PM | 7-15-2008
It seems to me that the New Yorker is shilling for the Republican Party. Sure they say that they were just having fun with all the pundits talking about the fist bump. But it was so negative and misleading that it has the propensity to question if the Obama's are truly terrorists.AND YES...there are people out there who are not bright enough to realize that this was satire...just like there are magazine editors that aren't too bright
Sent by Nancy Fury | 3:58 PM | 7-15-2008
In the interest of "fairness", how about a send-up of John McCain on next week's cover portraying all the stereotypical (and --frighteningly- some real) traits his detractors might cite as reasons he shouldn't be our next president?? Perhaps show him with hearing aids and a cane (or on life support?). That's much tamer than depicting the Obamas as terrorists! Maybe depict him wearing a "Iraq-100 more years" button and show him handing out money to the rich (especially wealthy oil corporations through taxpayer subsidies), while the poor and working-class freeze and starve; and a balloon caption saying "al qaeda / Suni Rebels-,Whatever..." And make sure you show him repealing Roe v. Wade... etc. etc. etc.
Sent by Deb | 3:59 PM | 7-15-2008
I am fairly certain that the editors meant it as satire. But it takes an icredible amount of insensitivity to not recognize that without a title or link to an article that many would find it offensive. Did no one at the NEW YORKER think about this, or are they so removed from what's going on in the country that it didn't occur to them. They owe their readers an aplogy and an explanation. But they unfortunatly will probably be too busy "circling the wagons" to do it.
Sent by Louis Hirsch | 4:09 PM | 7-15-2008
The satire portraying the Obamas on the cover of The New Yorker is akin to the so-called office jokster who pokes fun at others in a malicious way. The one being attacked is told that "it was just a joke; you're just too sensitive." Joksters like that are usually malevolent in their intent. I would liken this cover as to having crossed the line of satire into vicious intent. Perhaps the editor and "cartoonist" are so naive that they were unaware they entered that realm.
Sent by Joan | 4:11 PM | 7-15-2008
Satire is communication. Good communication is not ambiguous. It is the responsibility to communicate not just so some can understand you but so that you can not be misunderstood. An editor who doesn't know this is using his colon for a thinking cap.
Sent by Rodger Lemonde | 4:13 PM | 7-15-2008
I cancelled my subscription [to the New Yorker] the day I saw this cover. Enough said...
Sent by Roy | 4:24 PM | 7-15-2008
The Overall intent: fine, let's get these issues out in the open...
The strategy: satire--not the best choice in this case...
The execution: abject failure. Coverage of passers by on the street (in "sophisticated" New York no less) by major outlets is a confirmation of a job very poorly done.
Maybe the editors should go grab a beer with some of their audience members to get to know them a bit better.
Sent by Peter Cutter | 4:25 PM | 7-15-2008
I "get" the satire and I am from West Virginia. Imagine that! I'm married to a New Yorker who reads the New Yorker and, unlike Mr. Remnick, he has the sense and sensitivity to avoid pandering to negative and insulting stereotypes about people from a specific locale.
Sent by Rosemary | 4:26 PM | 7-15-2008
The editor is a Republican stooge at best.
Sent by CB | 4:36 PM | 7-15-2008
I believe satire is frequently used to emphasis or blow out of proportion those idiosyncrasies that people may possess...in other words there is a semblance of truth in the depiction. Since none of the distortions shown in the porrtayal of Sen. Obama and his wife, Michele, have any relevance to the truth (other than the fact that they fist-bumped, as many do), then what is being portrayed are merely mean-spirited, negative lies about them. Unfortunately, there are too many citizens out there that will believe these distortions to be true...and that is where the damage and danger lie. This is a crucial election...and one where I believe satire can be used, but ONLY to show truths NOT to propagate lies. Shame on you New Yorker...you should know the difference.
Sent by Kate Soudant | 4:38 PM | 7-15-2008
Guess what? I work at a University and no one I know "gets it"...I hope what this magazine gets is lost readership and a significant financial blow to it's bottom line.....I'll have to wonder if they "get it"?
Sent by donna deeb | 4:40 PM | 7-15-2008
So What...their are starving people 15 blocks from the WHITE HOUSE...LET'S MOVE ON TO GREATER ISSUES AT HAND LIKE $10 GALLON OF GAS...PEACE...ELOHIM
Sent by ELOHIM | 4:44 PM | 7-15-2008
I find this cover to be offensive, but I am even more surprised by the Liberal source. Shut, you guys(DEMS)can't even get along with each other, let alone the rest of us.
Sent by SNB | 4:45 PM | 7-15-2008
As someone who has recently gotten ridiculous and offensive emails from relatives asserting that Barack Obama is a Muslim extremist in hiding, the antichrist from Revelation, and so on - I disagree with David Remnick's comment that all people all over the country will "get" this cartoon - in both the Republican and Democratic ranks, in both West Virginia and Manhattan, there are lots of folks who have been ingrained since childhood with a mindset of different degrees of hatred for diversity, racism against African Americans, or bigotry against Muslims and other religious groups. The representation of Michelle Obama was particularly offensive to me striking notes reminiscent of a Don Imus comment, belittling her accomplishments as a woman, mother, and human being; and simultaneously belittling the history and purpose of a search for "black power" in America while dismissing the contributions of the more "militant" factions of the civil rights movement. On top of this, as an artist and illustrator myself, I don't feel the cartoon is a very successful use of satire. Satire generally satirizes those it disagrees with - ex. Stephen Colbert satirizing O'Reilly - here the victims themselves (the Obamas) are the subject of the attack. Perhaps if a visual representation of the "opposite" of the Obamas - whoever it is that the New Yorker disagrees with - (such as an elephant representing the Republicans/ a visual representative of racism, religious bigotry/ one of the spin pundits portraying the Obama's in an offensive manner - like a Coulter, Hannity, or O'Reilly) had been portrayed as drawing this cartoon - and that was on the cover - then maybe that would have worked as satire - frankly it would have been more interesting and have taken a little more courage to identify the many sources of these attacks. I have always enjoyed the New Yorker's wit and political commentary - but I feel the magazine missed the mark and the nuance of the times with this cover. I was not surprised when I had to correct my relatives for sending me the emails previously mentioned, but I am surprised at having to correct the New Yorker. That is why I think people have been so outraged at this - whatever the intent - the fact remains that many times people who don't want to "get it" or have been led to believe these false and slanderous stereotypes of Obama and who they think he represents - won't "get it" and the cover becomes yet another negative attack against the Obama family. My added grievance is that the cartoon is a weak one, pretending to be something that it is not - satirical.
Sent by A.M. Hunter | 4:47 PM | 7-15-2008
I have gotten the spam email from family members that accuse Obama of being racist and Muslim. I think it's absolutely hillarious that some people believe it. I like the illustration. I wonder what Obama thinks about it.
Sent by Nathan | 4:48 PM | 7-15-2008
The cover is not satire - I agree with those that say the meaning of satirical picture should be obvious and have a clear meaning immediately - this picture does not to that. This is just MEAN, confusing and - I am very disappointed in the New Yorker. They really crossed the line of intelligent social reflection - big goof. This is hurtful and distructive to Obama, his wife and to their democractic cause. It makes me sick! It plays to the fears of people who are ignorant and will not be taken as the magazine says they intend. I bet that 90 percent or more of feedback is negative and I hope the editors can find it in their heads and hearts to publish an apology to Obama.
Sent by Mary Savidge - Vermont | 4:53 PM | 7-15-2008
At first glace it reminded me of how the Nazi propaganda machine depicted the Jewish people. Im no Obama fan yet I totally agree with Tanji. Final thought; free speech is a double-edged sword so easily miused, Shame on the new yorker. Gentile white man.
Sent by John Wesley | 5:00 PM | 7-15-2008
As you can see from some of the comments on this post, there are already people who believe that this caricture is based on truth. They don't see it as the joke that the New Yorker insists it is, and that is the problem with the cover. The New Yorker should have included something depicting the conservatives it was trying to lampoon within the drawing. That way people would be talking about the misinformation, not reinforcing it.
Sent by asmith in KC | 5:05 PM | 7-15-2008
The cover is Offensive and Unimaginitive.
Sent by Donna San Diego | 5:26 PM | 7-15-2008
How can this be classified as "Cover Art". Such a disappointment, to see such on the cover of your magazine. I like others have a high regard for your magazine and know that this type of "Art" has been done before. However not to this degree when you are aware of the rumors, and such of him being a Muslim. Even though none of this has been found to be true, pictures and articles like this keeps the rumor mill churning. What is that old saying: "A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words". I think you did that with this picture. Unfortunately, negative words. It is sad that so many Americans will not take the time to read any thing that you may have to say about the Obama's. So what is next?? Since the news media cannot seem to find anything negative to run, will this time of "Cover Art" become the norm?? I sure hope not. One final note: Will the McCains be next??
Sent by Norma | 5:27 PM | 7-15-2008
If you find the satire missing and the cartoon intentionally mean-spirited and demeaning, as I do, I say rip off the covers of the magazines wherever you see them in the stores. Make them unsellable.
Hit these guys right in the financial gut.
Sent by Christy | 5:36 PM | 7-15-2008
IM A YOUNG COLLEGE GRAD AND I GET IT...THE NEW YORKER IS A PRETTY LIBERAL MAGAZINE GUYS. I UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE ARE UPSET..BUT IM GLAD THAT THIS HAS CAUSED A BIG FUSS. AMERICA IS SO DAMN IGNORANT WHEN IT COMES TO VARIOUS NATIONALTIES IT MAKES ME SICK. I WORK WITH PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD AND AND THEY HAVE ALL TOLD ME THEY HAVE NEVER EXPERINECED AS MUCH RACISM UNTIL THEY CAME HERE...SAD..SAD.SAD...
Sent by T | 5:49 PM | 7-15-2008
What is offensive is that people like you continue to put down the intelligent and informed people of West Virginia like we are from some third world country. It is exhausting to constantly read the negative comments and articles about my home state. I am a proud West Virginian and smart enough to understand that you don't know what you are talking about. We get it.
Sent by Mary Folds | 5:54 PM | 7-15-2008
Since the topic is The Politics of Fear, I would supperimpose upon the image, in collage form, McCain leading our military while waving our flag and leaving behind him a trail of bloodied and mangled bodies of our soldiers as they ascent Pork Chop Hill, indicating the fear of having a patriotic leader who believes in war.
Sent by Dr. Destino De Guadalupe | 6:05 PM | 7-15-2008
The cover is DISGRACEFUL, DISGUSTING AND RACIST!!!! There is nothing satirical about it. Satire is suppose to be an exaggeration of the TRUTH. There is no truth depicted. Humor will only be seen by a certain intellect. The average person will see the cover and may think it either confirms or explains feelings about the Obamas. These are the very same issues that Obama has been trying so hard to dispell. There is NO OTHER candidate who has been treated as racist as the Obamas. This cover just feeds into some of the misconceptions that are already out there and reinforces blatant sterotypical feelings. The cover is w-a-y out of line. Media is suppose to be neutral and report FACTS, not inflame with personal views. I will NEVER purchase nor SUBSCRIBE to this magazine. Also, I belong to several national professional association and I plan to request that memberships BOYCOTT the NEW YORKER publications entirely. I know that several have already begun to do so. Our nation is all about change. We do not need this kind of devisiveness used to tear our country apart again, and all for the ugly, selfish reason of selling a magazine. WAKE UP New Yorker publishers. You have gone OVER THE TOP this time!!
Sent by Margaret Robinson | 6:05 PM | 7-15-2008
Maybe people who read the New Yorker are sophisticated enough to figure out what this cover is saying, but this image is now being broadcast throughout all sorts of media and being seen by a ton on non-New Yorker-reading people, who will not understand the satire, and this image will just feed their prejudices. The editor should have taken that into account before publishing it. It feeds upon the worst stereotypes. The equivalent would be a cover with a Jewish person and all the worst stereotypes that anti-Semites have come up with. The ONLY good thing to come out of this is the discussion of this cover, but I think that good is outweighed by the harm it does.
Ok, everyone. Like we have not seen Bush depicted in so many different ways. Once Obama gets depicted we should fire the guy who put this on the cover. NO WAY! Keep in mind that Obama has radical friends that he keeps but then denounces once he is called on it. Much more than the Reverend . Obama's campaign is a mess and all his skeletons are just now coming out. (his mortgage, his friends, his lack of being proud to where the American Flag, his wife that just now seems proud of her country and why do all his friends visit a terrorists countries---Libya) We are made up of the people and beliefs we are around. Why is he around so many people he has to denounce?
Never a leader, very na??ve but a great speaker. I will give you that. Talk won't get you very far if you do not have firm beliefs. He is flipping on every turn to get the vote. A true politician yet he doesn't think he fits that mold. What a farce..... As far as my fears that he is an African American going into office. This caricature never lead me that way. I don't care what skin color our President has as long as he is capable. Obama is incapable. End of Story.
Sent by Robert | 6:26 PM | 7-15-2008
The cartoonist and the editor have said, basically, that it was satire - a joke, if you will. Okay, we take them at their word. The truth remains that many people - including Obama's campaign spokesman - found it offensive and didn't "get" the joke. They have called it "tasteless" and are not laughing. If the one The New Yorker meant to help finds the magazine cover offensive and tasteless, then the joke obviously fell flat. So, the magazine should issue an "apology" and be more careful with their "humor" in the future.
Sent by LANE PITTMAN | 6:59 PM | 7-15-2008
Whats the story behind the cover?
Sent by Vernon | 7:09 PM | 7-15-2008
Not the drawing. It is a "right on" in terms of its indented purpose: To expose the ridiculous Obama stereotypes for what they are. It is not a caricature of the Obamas themselves, but of these (Fox News style) stereotypes. Very refreshing - in an otherwise very stifling political climate.
Instead, I am very disappointed with the reactions this has caused, even on this site, among readers that one ought to think were slightly more enlightened. These reactions are "typical American" in the sense that they are clamoring for ever-more self censorship, political correctness, and general lack of open discussions.
Are we really only allowed to follow the narrow path of "least astonishment" in public discource?
And this in a country that so highly values is constitutional guarantees of free speech?
BTW: I was always an Obamaian, even before he announced his candidacy. My only issue with him is that he lacks a bit of a spine when it comes to handling the various (manufactured) controversies around him. The "flip-flop" moniker is not entirely undeserved. But he is still the best candidate that has surfaced for the job in quite a few decades..
Sent by Tor Slettnes | 8:22 PM | 7-15-2008
In my opinion, no matter what the intention, this is in shockingly poor taste--not even questionable--and unworthy of The New Yorker that I have read and been educated by for over 40 years. For the first time in all these years I feel ashamed that you have used this image to sell your magazine. And, for me, it's not about racism or even the satire, if that's what it is. For me, this is a pandering to everything that is base represented by this image. It's an ugly commentary that The New Yorker could represent two very courageous individuals in this dispicable fashion. I am writing this, not as an Obama supporter, but as an outraged and lifelong New Yorker reader. Shame on you, just shame on you!
Sent by Hanna Michaels | 9:19 PM | 7-15-2008
As one of David Remnick's Upper West Side elitists (who purportedy "understand" the satire), and as a lifelong reader and lover of THE NEW YORKER, I found the cover to be one big mistake. 1) It's visual, David, visual. Visual satire gives a VISUAL picture of what's being satirized, namely, the liars and racists, in this case -- not what those being satirized are "thinking" or "portraying" THEIR target to be. 2) What's with the Muslim garb? Along with the gun-toting wife, the picturing of the garb, exclusive of missing its satirical target, implies that Muslims are terrorists. Please!
Sent by Thomas A. Caffrey, Ph.D. (Psychologist) | 9:21 PM | 7-15-2008
Incredibly tasteless, and worst of all, harmful on every level. Shame on both Barry Blitt and David Remnick!
Sent by Raymond Chmelik | 9:36 PM | 7-15-2008
Not only has America after 9/11 forgot the values it was built upon, but looks like it has also lost that greatest gift, the ability to laugh at the crooked picture in the mirror.
The fact that satire is lost on so many people tells more about the spirit of this once great nation than thousand pundits' essays and editorials.
Sent by Davor Tomasic | 10:01 PM | 7-15-2008
Fear and hate Just like Hitler! Call it what you like (satire) my ass I will never buy your magazine I mean ragazine If you only had a brain
Sent by Robert | 10:14 PM | 7-15-2008
I find this cover offensive. These are serious times and if you want to be a knock off of Mad Magazine---work there! Satire is intelligent, complex and compelling.
Sent by Martin Layne | 11:23 PM | 7-15-2008
I am one of the many who finds the New Yorker cover disgusting and disturbing. It does not meet the test for being satire, and it is unfortunate that the editor and others at the magazine were not capable of figuring that out. How about a cover (not an inside piece) on the next New Yorker that apologizes and recants all the negative bigotry that truly does exist out there about the Obamas. This time instead of a cartoon that misses the mark as satire, how about a straight forward apology that sets the record straight.
Sent by Marilyn Gillis | 11:41 PM | 7-15-2008
I would just like to say that a picture is worth a thousand words. No I didn't "get it". I saw no satire, I saw exactly what they were trying to say, regardless of the story that followed. I belive that both the artist and writer have a personal agenda that will soon see the light. Thank You for providing a forum for me to speak up.
Sent by Wiliam Kelly | 11:56 PM | 7-15-2008
The responsibility of the cover goes beyond the illustrator. Certainly it was approved by a group of educated intelligent individuals. Yet you lack common sense. Perhaps you did intend to display the misconceptions however what resulted in my household was instant anger. In other households I am sure it affirmed the fears they already had. Those would be the People who don't research the platforms of the candidates they simply believe everything the media puts before them. This reminds me of Orson Wells who had people frightened and running out into the streets because his radio broadcast led its listeners to believe the world was coming to an end. At the very least you could have diffused it by putting a balloon with conversation saying This is what the media is leading people to believe. This was Satire Gone Wild.
Sent by Jacqueline | 12:06 AM | 7-16-2008
forget about it! media tricks of the trade, slide of hand,, show us something rediculous to take our minds off something else,, who really cares who turned on the spot light,, all in all, taking it off something bigger,, obama,,, McCain, what is the difference. With this hell bent determination to devalue the dollar, it is not going to make a hill of beans how either one of them is portrayed. What I would really like to see is a caracture form of the inner most sanctum of the us embassy in afghanistan,, inside the great theatrical given, would be american soldiers circled around three giant pots, all the soldiers are playing flutes, and three of the biggest cobras ever, are being elevated by the music, the kicker is, the cobras have smiling taliban heads, wearing camo and beards, weaving to the soldiers flutes. Now the rest of the story (meanwhile)As the taliban cobras are dancing to the music of the flute, there are a couple of hundred more bearded taliban cobras encroaching upon the American soldiers, who have been decieved to believe the enemy has been s1/2ued, and their guard is at the lowest point ever in the history of afghanistan occupation. Now, this is satire
Sent by David | 12:12 AM | 7-16-2008
I'm hoping you guys can toss Mr Remnick, a follow-up queston and a couple of snide remarks (satire, if you so desire):
Since political cartoons don't need punchlines, what are we going to do with all the excess balloons and captions? Recycle them for their oil content?
And I just gotta say it: this looks to me like an elitist snob trying to tell regular Americans what to think about a piece of art he bought and put on public dispay.
(and pleeeeaaaaase Mr Remnick, respond by saying that you didn't mean "political cartoons," you meant "satirical cartoons.")
Sent by Bruce Cole | 12:48 AM | 7-16-2008
It is human nature to perceive someone as they are pictured rather than as they are not pictured. Thus the political cartoonist has a responsibility to, in the cartoon be as accurate as possible in the portrayal, exagerating the truth a little is fine but to illustrate the opposite of the truth is a dangerous thing.
In my sociology classes in the 80s, I remember hearing that those who attempted to challenge racism and other ills by using humor in All In The Family found that in fact all it did was to reinforce pre-existing stereotypes... In the end, this is what was done with this cartoon. It reinforced rather than challenged pre-existing stereotypes.
It would have been far better to have drawn something that showed the truth rather than the fiction that this cartoon illustrated.
It was and is in poor taste.
Sent by Mary | 12:55 AM | 7-16-2008
This is quite clearly satire. Anyone who believes that the artist was actually insinuating that Barack and Michelle Obama are terrorists is missing the point. I do believe that the editors must have known that the cover had the potential to be offensive to some viewers, but I also think that in making the choice to publish it, they expressed a faith in the intelligence of the average viewer. While it seems that many people are hellbent on proving the editors wrong, I think that this sort of controversy is always a good thing. Good satire should spark discussion, and that's what this cover is doing. The New Yorker has always been known for its satire, and I think they know what they're doing.
Sent by Molly Webb | 12:56 AM | 7-16-2008
What is really stunning about this is that Obama's bizarre religious/out-of-country background has not thus far harmed him while Huckaby and Romney are back to thier regular jobs. It's about time somebody had the nerve to speak the unspoken. Will we cast out the Christians and embrace an erstwhile confused Moslem?
Sent by Kirk Westover | 3:30 AM | 7-16-2008
Overseas now, but recall observing before I left my comfortable NYC life how I suspected - in the privacy of the pollbooth - few would actually push the Obama vote. Country is not "there" yet for a young minority man and his intelligent professional opinionated wife to win. Maybe because it's NYC, maybe because I am a woman in a "man's" field, most likely because of the epidemic Political Correct scrubbing most of our public opinions must undergo - but I believe the truth is many will actively vote Obama OUT (rather than vote someone else IN) becuase of close-held beliefs that this cover depicte.
The cover "outs" this phenomenal silent fear - and all discussion that follows is good. Way to go MAGAZINE - keep pushing buttons and making waves.
Sent by Louis | 5:24 AM | 7-16-2008
Please let me help everyone place some clarity on this racist depiction of the Obamas'. Now the black people in America are the Biblical Israelites of the bible of which YHWH had made is covenant. Now, the writers of such racist material or more often are the white Jews which are the sons or Yaphet are living in Israel in the house of the true Shemites the Blacks of America of which have been oppressed by White America with whom now are the privileged people and wealthy made rich of the backs of Hebrew slaves from the Ivory Cost. the unlearnt Gentiles. Now the are the same folks with whom slaughtered raped murdered burned alive and hung the so called African Americans which are again the original descendant and the remnants of the Yahoodee tribe. Now I'm sure the general public is confused because you think that the so called Jews from the caucus mountains near the black and Caspian sea are the true Hebrews or Jews which is the biggest lie ever told in human history. Thus leading me to this raciest article. If you haven't notice the true nation of Israel eyes are now open we are no longer cut off from our history. Now we must rewrite history to reflect correctly the identity of blacks in America no longer are we referred to as by words. Please study your scriptures people of the old testament aka 5-books of Moshe Characteristics of Israel
The Webster Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, defines characteristic as "A distinguishing feature or quality of a person or thing : typical: distinctive". The bible clearly shows us, that the children of Israel would be identifiable by their characteristics, or the things that are distinctive to them. Every racial group or nation has characteristics that are particular to them. The Hebrews / Israelites are no different in that manner.
This site has shown that Israel was put under punishment from the Most High. This punishment came in the form of "CURSES." These curses were to be a sign and a wonder. A sign is an indicator, so whatever race of people are suffering the fate of the curses found in the books of the law (bible) are Israelites.
Since I put this site together in 1999, I've received all kinds of supportive emails. I've also received emails from some who suggest my research should go deeper, because as some say "the Blacks of the western hemisphere are not the only true Israelites." Statements such as these are debatable, but after much thought and prayer for understanding, I realized that there could be some truth to this train of thought. I refuse to argue any point from pure emotion. I prefer to have the facts before I enter into any debate. I've been told that Native Americans, Hispanics, White Europeans and Arabs are the true Israelites. Is this the truth, racism or just plain ignorance?
The point I'm trying to make is, that we should "prove all things" just as scripture tells us to. If one believes that Native Americans, Hispanics etc. are also Israelites, then the responsibility lies with them to research the subject and offer more than emotions to support such a claim. A certain man on the internet told me, Arabs are Israelites because The Bible is centered in the "Middle East" and this is where the Arabs live. Another person told me, the Native Americans and Hispanics are Israelites because their ancestors practice some Israelite rituals and customs. Then there is the White Israelite Movement, who say the Israelites are Europeans because of a prophecy about the throne of King David.
They also say the Europeans are the "Ten Lost Tribe of Israel". My immediate response to this is to ask the question, "Can you please explain to me how those people relate to the curses and prophecies pertaining to Israel?" As was stated in the opening paragraph, the curses are a part of who the Israelites are as a people. They have become the characteristics of Israel. Any people who claim Israelite heritage must fit the curses and prophecies. There is no way around it.
Deuteronomy, chapter 28:46 states:
"And they (CURSES) shall be upon you (ISRAEL) for a sign and wonder, AND UPON YOUR DESCENDANTS (Seed) FOREVER."
Daniel 9:11 states that the curses (Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28) have been poured out upon Israel because we continue to sin against Yah. We have not kept our end of the covenant we made with him.
It's pointed out many times on this site, how the Jews don't fit the curses, so how can they be Israel? It is for this reason that this page is being presented. I will show the characteristics of the Israelites. If the Jews or any other people are true descendants of Israel, they must possess these distinctive traits.
It is incorrect to say that because the Israelites were in the "Mid-East", they were Arabs. THIS IS NOT BIBLICAL TRUTH. It is also incorrect to say that because Native Americans and Hispanics practice a few Israelite customs, that this alone makes them descendants of Israel, THIS IS NOT BIBLICAL TRUTH. And lastly, a prophecy about King David cannot be used as doctrine to support the claim that Europeans are Israelites, THIS ALSO IS NOT BIBLICAL TRUTH. If those are your claims, I will not speak against it, nevertheless, you must prove how the curses effect those nations.
In the next section (BELOW) we will show the characteristics of this TRUE nation of Israel. I will only present the curses, because Israel is still under the curses, THIS IS THE IDENTIFYING MARK OF TRUE ISRAEL.
NOTE: When I say Hispanic, I am not referring to the people of the Islands, such as Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic etc. I personally do not consider them Hispanics. Hispanics are considered to be Mexicans and other Spanish speaking South and Central American people.
Slavery existed in Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic, Israelites were scattered through out those lands.
Israelites were also scattered to Mexico and other South and Central American nations also. The culture and conditions of the people in the islands are more closely related to Israel in North America then they are to Mexican culture.
The only reason they are called Hispanic is because they speak Spanish. Hispanic does not denote race. There are many different ethnic groups that are called Hispanics, each different from the next. The only thing that connects them is the Spanish language.
Please don't get confused about who is a Hispanic.
BONDAGE, SLAVERY AND CAPTIVITY, DEUTERONOMY 28:41, 68,/ ISAIAH 5:13, JEREMIAH 2:14, LUKE 21:24 -
(DEUT 28:41) "You shall beget sons and daughters, but you shall not enjoy them; for they shall go into captivity.
(68) "And Yah shall bring you into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto you. You shall see it no more again and there you shall be sold unto your enemies for bondsmen (Slaves) and bondsmen (slaves) and no man shall buy you.
(ISAIAH 5:13) - Therefore my people are gone into captivity.....
(JEREMIAH 2:14) - Is Israel a servant? is he a home born slave? why is he spoiled?........
(LUKE 21:24) - And they shall fall by the edge of the sword and shall be led away captive into all nations.........
BONDAGE AND CAPTIVITY will be a big part of the children of Israel history. They would be taken captive, and put into the chains of slavery many times.
The bible tells us of Israel captivity and bondage in Egypt, Babylon, and in Assyria. History shows us Israel went into many more captivities after those.
To find the modern descendants of Israel, you would have to first find a people who were taken captive and brought into bondage in ships.
Lev 26:17- And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies:..........
Lev 26:37 - And they shall fall one upon another, as it were before a sword, when none pursueth: and ye shall have no power to stand before your enemies.
Deut 28:25 Yah shall cause you (Israel) to be smitten before thine enemies: you shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them............
Deut 28:48 Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which Yah shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all [things]: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee.
Israel would have no power to stand up against their enemies. They would be defeated time after time by the enemy. No matter if it's on or off the battle field. The Israelites 9 times out of 10 would lose the battle
When reading scripture, we find Israel was defeated by the Egyptians, Assyrians, Medo-Persians, Babylon, Greece and Rome, just to name a few. But if we look through History it shows us Israel was defeated by many more enemies.
Throughout the Israelites history the enemies would always have the upper hand. This is the second characteristic of Hebrew Israelites.
EXILED INTO THE LAND OF THEIR ENEMIES
LEVITICUS 26: 34,36,38,41,44
Lev 26:34 - Then shall the land enjoy her Sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and you [be] in your enemies' land;........
Lev 26:36 - And upon them that are left [alive] of you I will send a faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies;........
Lev 26:38 And you shall perish among the heathen, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up.......
Lev 26:41 - And I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies;.....
Lev 26:44 - And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly.......
The land of Israel was given to the Hebrew Israelites by the most high, that land is their country and ancient homeland.
But YAH also promised them, that he would exile them if they did not keep their end of the covenant or keep his laws..
Israel didn't keep it, so they were kick out of their land and sent into the lands of their enemies
Not only would they be defeated by the enemy but they would also be captives in his land, and live under his oppressive rules. This is another characteristic of Israel
Lev 26:33 -And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you.......
Deut 28:25 -............ and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.
Deut 28: 63.........and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it.
Deut 28:64 - And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other;
Yah said he would scatter Israel to the four corners of the Earth, from North to South East to West.
They are suppose to be among all people in all lands. Yah said Israel would be removed (by force) to these lands.
Israelites, have been brought captive into strange lands.
In these lands they are not part of the ruling or indigenous population, they didn't come to those lands as invited guess. They were scattered as captives.
The lands they reside in is not their ancestral homeland. This is another characteristic of the Israelites
Also read Deuteronomy 32:26, Nehemiah 1:8, Jeremiah 9:16, 13:24,49:32
all these verses relate to the Hebrews being scattered world wide.
DISEASE AND SICKNESS
Deut 28:59 - Then YAH will make your plagues wonderful, and the plagues of your seed, [even] great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance.
Deut 28:60 - Moreover he will bring upon you all the diseases of Egypt, which you were afraid of; and they shall cleave unto you.
Deut 28:61 - Also every sickness, and every plague, which [is] not written in the book of this law, them will the YAH bring upon you, until you be destroyed.
Israel will be a disease stricken people, they would suffer from all kinds of diseases and sickness.
Israel would not be a healthy racial group.
They will have the highest rate of disease in the lands they reside in.
Many diseases such as AIDS, will be common among this people
This is another feature of the Hebrew Israelites.
ISRAEL HAS BEEN PUT LOWER THAN OTHER RACES HE HAS BECOME A PROVERB AND BYWORD.
Deut 28:37 - And YOU shall become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations where YAH shall lead you.
Deut 28:43 - The stranger that [is] within you shall get up above you very high; and you shall come down very low.
Deut 28:44 - He shall lend to you, and you shall not lend to him: he shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail.
The children of Israel will be the lowest people among all people they reside with.
They will be lower than the others in all matters of society. Politically, Economics and socially.
The Israelites will be known as a scornful people. They will be called by all kinds of scornful nicknames.
Israel will have to borrow from the stranger, but will be unable to lent to him.
The stranger will be higher than Israel on the social, political ladder.
JEREMIAH 17:4, PSALMS 83:4, ISAIAH 1:3,
Jeremiah 17:4 - And you (Israel), even yourself, shall discontinue from your heritage that I gave you;.............
Psalm 83:4 - They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from [being] a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.
Isaiah 1:3 - The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: [but] Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.
The Hebrew Israelite were prophesy to loose their heritage and the knowledge of who they are.
Scripture tells us their enemies will try to wipe away their identity.
The true Israelites will loose the knowledge of their ancient forefathers.
They will be known as bywords and proverbs, or every other name besides Israelites or Hebrews
WAREHOUSED (locked away) IN PRISONS
Isaiah 42:22 - But this [is] a people robbed and spoiled; [they are] all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses:
The children of Israel will be the majority of people in jails and prisons, in the lands they reside in. Their Men, Women, and children will be hid or locked away in prison houses.
NONE PROSPEROUS PEOPLE
Deut 28:29 - ....and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways.....
Israel will not prosper in anything they sat out to do. They will be a none prosperous people. They won't have much success in anything they try to do as a nation
AN OPPRESSED PEOPLE
Deut 28:29 - and you shall be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save [you].
Deut 28:33 -......and thou shalt be only oppressed and crushed always.......:
Israel will always be oppressed, their enemies will always keep them under some kind of oppression.
A VERY RELIGIOUS PEOPLE (SERVING MANY GODS)
DEUTERONOMY 28: 36, 64
Deut 28:36 - Yah shall bring thee, and thy king which thou shalt set over thee, unto a nation which neither thou nor thy fathers have known; and there shalt thou serve other gods, wood and stone.
Deut 28:64 - And the Yah shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there you shall serve other gods, which neither you nor your fathers have known, [even] wood and stone.
The Hebrew Israelites are going to be part of all and every kind of religion on the planet.
There will be very little if any atheist among them.
They will be in service to the main gods of the land they reside in and others gods. Even idol (wood and stone gods).
They will serve the old gods and the new foreign gods, gods their ancient forefathers had no knowledge of.
This is another distinctive character of the modern and ancient Israelites.
The modern descendants of Israel must be a people who have suffered:
1. SLAVERY AND CAPTIVITY,
2, THEY WOULD HAVE NO POWER TO STAND AGAINST THEIR ENEMIES,
3, THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN EXILE INTO THE LANDS OF THEIR ENEMIES,
4. ISRAEL HAS BEEN SCATTERED INTO ALL NATIONS,
5. THEY ARE A VERY SICK AND DISEASE STRICKEN PEOPLE,
6. ISRAEL IS ON THE BOTTOM SOCIALLY, OTHER RACES ARE ABOVE THEM,
7. THEY HAVE LOST THE TRUE KNOWLEDGE OF WHO THEY ARE, THEY ARE NOW CALLED BY SCORNFUL NICKNAMES, EVERY NAME OTHER THAN ISRAEL AND HEBREWS,
8. THEY ARE PACKED IN PRISONS AND JAILS, THEY ARE THE MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE LOCKED BEHIND BARS,
9. THEY ARE A NONE PROSPEROUS PEOPLE,
10. THEY ARE A OPPRESSED PEOPLE, BEING OPPRESSED BY THEIR ENEMIES,
11. AND LASTLY THEY'RE VERY RELIGIOUS, THEY WOULD BE MEMBERS OF ALL RELIGIONS.
These are things that are particular to the modern true Israelites. For any group claiming Israelite heritage they must be in the conditions that are described above. These conditions will effect them as a nation of people throughout their entire history.
Fact is, if Europeans are Israel, then these characteristics should be a part of the European people. This means all Europeans should have been brought into Europe by their enemies as captive slaves in ships, they should be a none prosperous people.
The same is true about Jews, Indians, Arabs, etc. But history does not support that.
I have provided much information on this site (parts 3,4,5,6) about how the so called black people of the western hemisphere fit the curses.
I can't find any information to support the claims of other people in this part of the world, as being Israelites. I'm not saying the information doesn't exist, I'm just saying I haven't found it yet.
Sent by CHRISTOPHER CLINTON | 7:39 AM | 7-16-2008
The absurd reaction to the cartoon of Barack and Michelle Obama reflects a low level of intelligence. If the New Yorker made a mistake, it was in its estimation of the mindset of its usual non-readers.
Sent by Julia C. Beeman | 8:53 AM | 7-16-2008
In our country today there are a lot of people who see things like this and don't have the propensity to understand that this is more of a joke or 'play' on the current fears of the country rather then an actual account of current events. I think its detrimental to his character and was completely unnecessary and irresponsible of the New Yorker. I am very disappointed with Barry Blitt
Sent by NYArtBoy | 9:31 AM | 7-16-2008
I used to enjoy the New Yorker's brand of inside comic satire, but I have to say this cover is just a really bad joke. It's enough to take me off their list, and I am as white as can be. Tasteless and offensive to the max!
Sent by Vince Moore | 10:15 AM | 7-16-2008
Although I sympathize with both the arguments in support and against the New Yorker's cover, I wonder if the New Yorker's faith in their readers' intelligence was misplaced, or if many of Barack's supporters (including myself) assume the rest of America, particularly conservatives, to be incapable of understanding satire? I fear the implications suggest more narrow mindedness, polarization, and a bleaker outlook for a common American experience than most liberal's would admit to.
However I do find it disheartening that his wife has been subjected to this as well, as I sincerely believe that McCain's or Bush's wives would have been shielded or swiftly defended from such similar treatment.
Sent by Anthony Valdez | 10:43 AM | 7-16-2008
This cartoon is awful - just awful. An unwise decision to have it on the front page. I am deeply disappointed with The New Yorker. I expected better from you guys!
Sent by L | 11:21 AM | 7-16-2008
Yes, I agree the picture is offensive to both of them. I would not have pictured Mrs. Obama as a terrorist. But she is still a strong woman and a force to be reckoned with and it's obvious they recognize her as such. Let's ignore this and move on with more important issues. We have to pick our battles and this is a fish not worth frying. The plan all along was to throw us off track. Don't let it happen.
Sent by Pearl Gray | 12:31 PM | 7-16-2008
I was Soooooo Upset. I called the New Yorker and tried to have a dialogue with the Editor and Chief. Yes, you can call the corporate office of any entity in America. You can call the white house and flip on the president if you want to. And yes I have. I am sure he did not get my message. But, is not our County one of the best, greatest on the planet. Because know I have a right to say F&@k the president and live to see another day, another year, a new millennium. I flipped on Bush Sr. once in the 1990's during the 1st gulf war. Of course it went to voice mail. So, then I immediately wrote this email.
Sorry about the Caps, but I was really, really mad. THIS IS NO PLACE FOR HATE. WE SHOULD BE CHARGING YOUR MAGAZINE WITH A HATE CRIME PROMOTING RACISM AND RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE. ...DISCUSSING, disrupting, disusing. These are the words I will use when I talk about this magazine from now until the day I die (So were looking at the next 60 to 70 years). When I was in high school and college, the New Yorker was for sophisticated, well educated people who enjoy the arts mixed with a little politics and a pinch of economics. Now I pick up a New York POST before I'd ever glance at you magazine again. Usually by my Mag from the news stand no less. LIKE A FOOL... Paying full price, my hard earned $$$. Well you can cough it up chum, I am writing my former University advising that if ANY teacher requires the New Yorker as apart of "Required Reading" Myself and several alumni will charge the PROFESSOR with promoting sexual exploitation and promoting racism. First making it look like poor Millie Cyrus was about to BED DOWN HER OWN FATHER> MAKING PEDOPHILES a really 'cool' POSTER. Now TO DISRESPECT NOT JUST A MAN. BUT HIS WIFE TOO. NOW, YOU ALL STILL WONDER WHY AT TIMES, SHE FEELS ASHAMED TO BE AN AMERICAN. BECAUSE RIGHT NOW I AM ASHAMED TOO. ASHAMED AT YOU NEW YORKER. THEN AGAIN, I WILL NOT BE SHAMED. I WILL STAND UP TO THINGS YOU AND ALL LIKE YOU. I WANT THE EDITOR AND CHIEF FIRED, FIRED, FIRED, FIRED, FIRED. CAN THAT BUM. I CAN NOT BELIEVE THEY WOULD DO SOMETHING LIKE THIS. I AM STEAMING MAD. I HOPE HE DOES BECOME OUR NEXT PRESIDENT SO YOU ALL WILL PRINT A SERIES OF FULL PAGE APOLOGIES IN THE NY TIMES, BOSTON GLOBE, LA TIMES, EDITORIALS ON CNN, THE FRONT PAGE FOR DAYS AND WEEKS ON END. I WANT TO SEE THE EDITOR AND CHIEF OF THE NEW YORKER LICKING THE BUTTOCKS OF YOU NEXT COMMANDER AND CHIEF, BARACK OBAMA. PRAY FOR YOU NEXT GOVERNMENT SPONSORED DOLLAR. I'LL NEVER EVER, EVER READ YOUR PAPER AGAIN. THIS IS NOT ART. I GOT A CARTOON FOR YOU. PUT JOHN MCCAIN ON HIS KNEES MAKE IT LOOK LIKE HIS PANTS ARE AT HIS KNEES, MCCAIN'S FACE LOOKING LIKE HE ABOUT TO BLOW CHUNKS, WITH BUSH JR BEHIND HIM WITH HIS PANT AT HIS KNEES HOLDING AN AMERICAN FLAG, POSITION DIRECTLY BEHIND MCCAIN, WITH THE OIL COMPANY EXECUTIVES FLANKING EITHER SIDE OF BUSH RUBBING THEIR OILY BEHINDS ON THE SIDES OF PRESIDENT BUSH'S HEAD ALL AROUND THOSE BIG OLD EARS. MEAN WHILE MCCAIN IS HOLDING A NEWS PAPER READING 'AMERICA IS IN A MENTAL RECESSION.' AS MCCAIN'S WIFE DANCES AROUND IT A BELLY DANCING OUTFIT, WITH HER FAKE , PLASTIC BOOBS, WHILE SHE IS ON HER KNEES IN FRONT OF ONE OF THE OIL EXECUTIVES, GIVING HIM A 'MONICA SPECIAL' TO AN OIL EXECUTIVE WHILE HE IS SCREAMING "heeee haawwww". NO MALE PARTS WILL SHOW CAUSE WELL ALL KNOW MOST OF YOU ARE SMALL IN HE DRAWERS. Then we can JUST ABOUT CALL IT EVEN'....DO NOT WORRY, JUDGING FROM YOU RECENT CONTENT, YOU ALL SHOULD BE ROLLING ON THE FLOOR RUSHING TO PRINT MY IDEAS I AM SURE... MAKE SURE I GET PAID.. I WANT $200,000 TO PRINT MY IDEA OTHER WISE YOU DO NOT HAVE PERMISSION TO USE MY IDEA(S) WITH OUT MY EXPRESSED WRITTEN AUTHORIZATION, WHICH YOU DO NOT HAVE... IT'S ONLY A CARTOON...RIGHT?????? I FIND MYSELF WRITING FROM A PLACE OF ANGER. WHICH MAKE ME THINK AND UNDERSTAND; THE EDITOR AND CHIEF OF THE NEW YORKER AND THE CARTOONIST Hendrik Hertzberg , Steve Brodner, Tom Bachtell, are WRITING FROM A PLACE OF HATE AND ANGER. HATE AND ANGER, BECAUSE A BLACK MAN IS ABOUT TO RULE THE FREE WORLD...WELL GET OVER IT AND DEFINITELY GET USE TO IT. 'HE'S A COMIN' ...THERE NO STOPPING HIM NOW...HE ON THE MOVE With a total loss of respect, C. N. Hart
Sent by Caryn Hart | 1:25 PM | 7-16-2008
If this caricature were of a Native American politician using insulting racial, religious and cultural stereotypes, would it still be funny? How about a satire of a Jewish person using ethnic stereotypes or a Chinese person using similar stereotypes, still funny?
I am not an African-American, but I am deeply offended and embarrassed by the satirical caricature of Barack Obama and his wife. It was not intended to be racially offensive. Many in the public and press have a hard time explaining why our guts wrench upon seeing something like this. It is because of the silent unspoken history of racial tension in this country. When we parody black persons in this country, it is impossible to ignore the history of how blacks have been treated in this country. The caricature reminded me of how blacks politicians were portrayed after the Reconstruction Era and in America's first nationwide hit movie, Birth of a Nation. Barack Obama and his wife are each extremely and individually accomplished black persons. They are an inspiration to many, especially many young black youth. By perpetuating the portrayal of Barack and his wife in gross caricature, compplete with the Afro and Alice Walker look, The New Yorker intentionally or not, essentially swept aside their accomplishments in favor of perpetuating insulting and offensive stereotypes. Some call it satire. Explain that to the Obama girls at the dinner table tonight. The message to young black people is that no matter how successful a black person becomes in this country, he or she can always look forward to the dehumanizig indignity of being seen as the "angry black woman," "the dangerous/untrustworthy black man"-- and, not a full American. I am sure The New Yorker will generate a lot of publicity and readership because of the caricature. I also know that this caricature will be defended as pure political satire devoid of any racial element. However, given the history in this country of dehumanizing black persons through media stereotype, the caricature of the Obama family necessarily involves race.
San Jose, CA
Sent by Andy Gutierrez | 1:54 PM | 7-16-2008
Well, it comes as no surprise. Conflicting Stories since the beginning, People tossing the fear of race into the mix, and the young Senators lack of leadership experience. I had the pleasure of experiencing Mr. Obama's leadership first hand as a constituent in Chicago. He was not honest then and he's not telling us everything now. I fear for this nation if he is elected into the Presidential Office. Think what you will, be dazzled by the Charisma, and Vote an idiot who is lost without a script / teleprompter Into Office and witness the destruction of the USA.
Sent by DH | 2:26 PM | 7-16-2008
Mellow out, people...
Sent by john hunter | 2:48 PM | 7-16-2008
If you have to explain a joke, it ain't funny.
Sent by Tish Owen | 3:34 PM | 7-16-2008
I was taken aback by several comments durint the readio broadcast regarding folks out in Kansas (or non-New York) of course not understanding the satirical intent of the cover art. As a 40-plus years s1/4riber who lives only a couple of miles from Kansas and has lived in the Midwest nearly all my life, THAT offends me. How can anyone live out here and NOT understand (a) politics or (b) political satire. Since my issue comes by mail, (and I believe gets read along the way) I have not received it yet. I expect it to arrive a bit dog-eared. And I will be voting for Obama and I will be renewing my subscription to the NY. Marilynne Robinson (Gilead) wrote in The Death of Adam, "I assumed, I was educated to believe, that I would live my life in a civilzation of expanding comprehension." She is disappointed. So am I.
Sent by J Wheeler | 3:46 PM | 7-16-2008
And NOW I'm taken aback that someone at NPR retyped what I wrote and left it riddled with typos! At least now I know better than to judge other writers for what I thought were their goofs.
Sent by J Wheeler | 7:05 PM | 7-16-2008
pick on McCain already...he does not have school age children to protect...I am now done with the new yorker and hope I can get "fiction" only at library of congress.com!!!!!!!
Sent by sharon blount | 11:01 PM | 7-16-2008
The New Yorker unintentionally has given us a look at the leanings of this Trojan Horse candidate and his radical wife.
Just read her Princeton thesis and his law school writings and you'll have a better idea of where these two frauds stand on the issues.
Sent by Marc Bernstein | 3:45 AM | 7-17-2008
The reason why the Obama comic doesn't work is because there's too many people in this country that would find the images to be an accurate reflection of their beliefs. Looking at the cartoon, you can sense the artist's determination to reach for images that can only be taken as buffoonery. Well, he failed, because sadly, it's literally impossible to imagine how stupid some people in this country are. Therefore, to go ahead and release these images anyway, in the face of the realization that about 10 percent of America will look at the magazine and think, "I knew he was Moslem," is to willfully play into the hands of the stupid people that, like it or not, will have a hand in electing our next president.
Sent by Winston Steward | 8:08 AM | 7-17-2008
Obama certainly is not a rascist, but he did belong to a church whose paster urged his congregants to "hate whitey". And he himself made much of his Muslim father in his book, "Dreams of My Father" which is almost entirely a fantasy. He used quotation marks as if he remembered every conversation that ever took place. Nevetheless, the cover on the New Yorker is in bad taste, to say the least, as was Father Pfleger's mockery of Hillary Clinton
Sent by D. Singer | 11:46 AM | 7-17-2008
The cover is offensive alright. However, I think ALL politicians get themselves put through the mill for wanting that high office. It sort of comes with the territory. I'm not saying that it is right for ANY politician to get slammed like I've ALWAYS seen, but, I think that people are over-reacting to the Obama caricature. People wrote and drew terrible things about Hilary Clinton too, and it was expected to be accepted. So, now that they are doing the same to Obama, let the chips fall where they may! If he is meant to win the November election, he will! If he is meant to Lose, then he will! So, hey, if you Obama cannot stand the heat, he needs to get out of the fireplace!
Sent by Hopalda | 12:53 PM | 7-17-2008
This is cruel and the usual punishment for African Americans, but this time The New Yorker, The Clinton's or whoever put this together are trying to fan the flames of the fear of the common white men and women of america. Before you believe something, check it out. Don't let the media tell you. Do your own research. All the other front page people they have made fun of were never like this one piece. If they had any sense at all they should have pulled it before it came out on the street. There again what do I see White Supermacy at work again. At one time I use to read this magazine on a regular basis never again will I pay for a copy of this trash.
Sent by Hilda Thomasine Wren, Author of A Plain Brown Wren | 2:39 PM | 7-17-2008
"it speaks to White America's fears about Barack Obama being close to America's first Black president" Is a quote for what was behind the cartoon on the New Yorker, but we can clearly see whey there is a fear. The media is responsible for fanning the flames of racial tension
Sent by Michael Heaven | 4:44 PM | 7-17-2008
The cover was hugely offensive, and anyone who thinks it is not is blind to human nature. Just publishing the cover implies the opinions have merit.
The New Yorker has the freedom to publish such a cover, but there is no excuse for the moral offense they committed by doing so. Just doing so gives justification to the hate mongers who think the cover is an accurate depiction of the Obamas. Swift Boating by stupidity?
Sent by Krista Maki | 5:49 PM | 7-17-2008
I am sick and tired of having to walk on egg shells concerning everything about black people. They have know problem about satire against white people, so suck it up and take it.
Sent by Linda P | 6:31 PM | 7-17-2008
So if you are for protecting the unborn and killing the terrorist instead of killing the unborn and protecting the terrorist you must be a raciest.
Sent by Ed Driscoll | 7:38 PM | 7-17-2008
In response to the idea that "if you get it, why won't so and so get it?" I have to say that my own family (my mother and my grandfather and both of their social networks - one fundamentalist Christian, one liberal Chicano) have these exact fears, and for them, seeing them illustrated only serves to confirm or give voice to their fear. That doesn't diminish the value of examining and calling out those fears, but I don't think this cartoon effectively locates the satire in the "culture of fear" but instead locates it squarely on the Obamas.
Sent by Becca L | 11:57 PM | 7-17-2008
Just read NPR's coverage of the issue, and I have to give the illustrator the benefit of the doubt. At first, seeing it on CNN and other big media stations I found it offensive. But thanks to NPR for putting it a non-bias light, this illustration is laughable. Also, I'm from the midwest, and I do get it. Thanks to the illustrator for dubbing the "only the elitest" argument illegitimate
Sent by Jake | 12:43 PM | 7-18-2008
Dear New Yorker, I liked your older, funnier stuff. Wonder why all these brouhaha cartoonists don't spend more time on worthwhile topics, like the treatment of women worldwide. Oh yeah, it's not funny.
Sent by Mevrouw Haus | 8:02 AM | 7-21-2008
I think that Remnick misses a point. There are all sorts of people out there---voters---who are busy enough working hard at what they do, some living very rich lives or doing wonderful creative things, or some perhaps just surviving, who don't bother to parse the universe of this magazine's posture, or that tv station's political leanings, and so forth. It's not really a question of whether there exists "unsophisticated flyover state people", but whether people are on the wavelength. This cover is more than a cover, it's a meme...and it will take root organically in ways different than the author intended. See more at my blog: http://gregsandell.blogspot.com
Sent by Greg Sandell | 11:54 AM | 7-21-2008
How about a picture of a jewish person with a huge nose and money stuffed into his pockets standing on top of a gentile baby? Hilarious! So funny! I think there is to much at stake for the USA, indeed the "bloody" world for this sort of satire. Why not show a police man shooting a black guy 55 times? So funny! I dare you! This magazine was one of the few publications that still gave the US a fig leaf if civility amongst the killing and lies its political elite presented to the wider world. Bad move dudes. The severity of the situation seems lost on some.
Sent by Daniel, London | 7:39 PM | 7-21-2008
Offensive, stupid and wrong
Sent by Rameor | 4:10 PM | 7-29-2008
Dialog is germane to knowledge of things a closed mind might never have encountered, pondered or accepted. Denying freedom of expression in artistic form, be it writing or political cartoons, clearly meant to make reader or viewers think outside their biases repudiates democratic ideals. Whether Senator Obama wins the election or not, Americans have made a huge leap towards a final healing of race issues we inherited from the founders of our nation. Things will never be the same no matter who wins next November. And that is something that comforts this American female. Next goal, gender parity!