Satire In Politics: When Does It Go Too Far?

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New Yorker cover with Obama and wife

A newspaper vendor holds up a copy of the New Yorker magazine cover showing Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama dressed as a Muslim and his wife as a terrorist. Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

Barry Blitt's cover of this week's New Yorker shows just about every rumor you've ever heard about Barack Obama. Only when you open the magazine and turn to the contents page do you see the caption, "The Politics of Fear."

Both the Obama and McCain campaigns were quick to denounce the cartoon as tasteless. New Yorker editor David Remnick, meanwhile, has given a number of interviews maintaining that, while satire is sometimes offensive, the cover lampoons those who believe — and maybe even perpetuate — the rumors about the presidential nominee and his wife.

Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist Mike Peters, the man behind the Mother Goose and Grimm cartoon strip, speaks with former New Yorker staff writer and artist Art Spiegelman about whether the magazine's cover missed the mark and reinforced stereotypes, or if it did its job.

Spiegelman is also the author of the book, Breakdowns: Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@&*!



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