16 comments on “Botched delivery: On Newsstands Now!

  1. I’ve seen some of the New Yorker’s past covers and this isn’t the first time that politicians have been parodied. That being the case, I don’t see; from an equity standpoint; why this cover was any worse than the others.

  2. I’ve seen some of the New Yorker’s past covers and this isn’t the first time that politicians have been parodied.

    I agree. But the New Yorker also has to realize that race and religion (two notions that were clearly satirized on this cover) are a little more complicated that just caricaturizing President Bush with big ears and a cowboy outfit.

    Like I said before, the cover didn’t bother me. I got the joke. But I don’t expect that most people will get it. If anything, their fears are played in to.

  3. Dre, you hit it on the head. Satirists usually miss the mark when the audience fails to find the satire itself. Even some of the satirical sites you included in your post are included in that number.

  4. Satirists usually miss the mark when the audience fails to find the satire itself.

    No argument there. I remember once talking to a guy (a liberal; though not the sharpest tool in the shed) about the Colbert Report. He told me that he hated the show because Colbert acted too much like Sean Hannity. I wanted to hug this guy and pray over his soul. When I proceeded to tell him that the whole point of Colbert’s show is to poke fun at pundits like Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly, the few seasons worth of the Colbert’s satirical antics finally started to sink in with this guy.

    This brings us back to the ultimate point: satire is only as good as the audience who processes it.

  5. While the satire is there, and I get it, as well, I see it as more than satire. I see it as an intentional attempt to make Obama and his wife appear as evil villains. The purpose is to scare the living hell out of those who are even the slightest bit afraid of what Black people are all about. Those who have those fears, get them from the history of misrepresentations that have been aired on the tube and in Hollywood. These frightened souls know no better. The Right-wingers know better. They also know that these frightened souls DON’T know better, and use this type of propaganda to run those votes to the other side.

    When I say “I get it”, that only means that I get what would have been humorous in my eyes had most of America been able to get it and see it for what it was (possibly) meant to be. In my mind – I still see it as intentional propaganda.

    For me, Black Americana (in MY eyes) is living vicariously through Obama and campaign and the idea that there are, no doubt, but a handful of Black employees at the mag, particularly in an editorial position, is where my racial slant came into play, that coupled with the idea that I believe it to be intentional misrepresentations of the Obama’s.

    Bobby Seale? What you know ’bout that, son? Peace.

  6. Hey Dre,
    Every since Ben Franklin published the very first political cartoon, the press has taken shots at candidates and especially standing presidents. I wouldn’t even put this one in the top 1000 that I’ve seen. I understand your point about the misconceptions that this cartoon will help perpetuate. But I don’t think that we, as Obama supporters, should protest every little thing that takes a shot at Barack. To further prove my point, here’s a collection of cartoons portraying G.W. as Satan.
    http://earthhopenetwork.net/bush_satan.htm I really don’t think this one is any worse than those.

  7. HC: Bush isn’t Satan? Huh! To think, all this time I thought…

    *joke*

    On the real:

    …I don’t think that we, as Obama supporters, should protest every little thing that takes a shot at Barack.

    No argument there. Still I would challenge both the candidates and those reporting on the candidates to use tame, objective, and direct approaches during this campaign season. One of the fortunates of owning a blog (especially one as unpopular as mine. *Sob*) is that we can say and do just about ANYTHING we want without having so much as an ounce of influence. Even some of the more popular blogs are not necessarily influencial; they just get a lot of hits. But major media (network news, publications, etc.) have a different arm of influence and a responsibility to be as precise in disseminating information as possible. So, in contrast to your point, calling the New Yorker out for its bad taste in satire is not all bad.

    Hmmm. I just agreed and disagreed with you in one post. I guess that makes me a flip flopper…

  8. @ Freedom:

    I see it as an intentional attempt to make Obama and his wife appear as evil villains.

    For people who have already made their minds up about how evil the Obamas are, this strip simply validated their fears. I suspect that people who were supporters of Obama didn’t change teams just because this cover was produced. Where the New York missed their opportunity was when they could’ve successful debunked those notions minus the satire. But they don’t (and won’t) see it that way since they’re in the business of making other liberal elites laugh. That’s ALL they care about. Educating unenlightened fools in West Texas is not high on their list of priorities.

    …there are, no doubt, but a handful of Black employees at the mag, particularly in an editorial position, is where my racial slant came into play…

    Now you know that white liberals always think they know what’s best for black people. *joke* *sort of*

    Bobby Seale? What you know ’bout that, son?

    I do a’ight!

  9. Dre/HC, I’m very suprised to see you two come to the New Yorker’s defense so easily. Even if they know what “satire” means, that doesn’t make their cover any less offensive or any less damaging to Obama’s campaign. I mean, even YOU pointed out how destructive this cover could be to his candidacy. If Obama is going to lose, let him lose based on the issues; not because of some dumb a** racist cartoon.

    Regardless to what they “intended” to do with their cover, the end result is what matters most.

  10. Cyn, my “defense” of the New Yorker is just by virtue of me “getting” their joke. I never said that it wasn’t crass and [potentially] destructive. Just because I’m not as quick to pull the racism card or organize a New Yorker bonfire doesn’t mean I’m the president of their fan club.

  11. Points well taken. Money is always a motivating factor in a capitalistic society. In my rush to find “justice” or speak out on “injustice”, I sometimes forget that little tidbit. Thanks for this site – it makes for great dialogue. Peace.

  12. Hi Cynthia,
    I was merely pointing out that a lot of the things that have been done to Bush are every bit as bad if not worse (although I’m sure a lot of people think he deserves it). I would like to see a campaign that is run without these sniping shots but as long as you have fuckbush.com I don’t see much of a differenece.

  13. @ Andre:

    Discussion is apparently not over, so, one last shot: When I mentioned scaring off folks, I meant those who had NOT made up their minds. Those who were on the fence, may be fearing for their lives, casting their votes for the Great white Hope. In my mind, I see that as the motivating force behind the cover. As with the LeBron cover, there’s another concept that should be addressed: the editors at every major magazine scrutinize potential covers over and over and asks a million questions before releasing that cover for publication. The repercussions regarding feedback were discussed. The cover got the OK. In short, I believe there was a great deal more in mind than pure and simple satire.

  14. Freedom,

    I think you hit the important point of the entire discussion: the thought processes magazine editors employ when deciding on covers to use. I’ll buy the idea that editors decide on the most attention grabbing covers to use for their magazines. But I’m not so sure that their intentions are often to go anywhere beyond that. The New Yorker, for instance, tends to swing liberal; so I doubt that they had intentions above and beyond attacking the recent Conservative-generated ideas mocked in the strip. Would they delieberately make Obama the antithesis of any kind of “Great Hope” (white or not) if that meant people would side with McCain? Given their open endorsement of John Kerry back in ’04, it’s not likely.

    Their only intention, IMO was to entertain with satire. All the other effects were pretty inadvertent.

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