Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Poor Barack

So what's the concern over the "offensive" New Yorker cover depicting Michelle Obama as a revolutionary and Barack as a Muslim terrorist? Are we afraid that somewhere down in Bugtussle, Cooter, having been nudged awake by cousin Ellie, is going to stumble out of the trailer and up the holler to get the mail and find his worst fears confirmed in his monthly New Yorker?

Is it that right wingers are going to circulate the picture because they could never have done one on their own and, in any event, potential McCain voters will certainly be swayed by the New Yorker masthead?

Mark Hemingway makes a pretty good case that the people who ought to be offended are mainstream conservatives whose criticisms of Obama are being unfairly caricatured. But such is politics.

The most significant effect of the cover, I think, is that it gives Obama yet another opportunity to be "wronged" and "offended."

14 comments:

grumps said...

Thank you for your concern

illusory tenant said...

Weekly New Yorker.

Publius said...

One thing, which Republicans are not watching, in the Obama-Hillary, Obama-Wright, Obama-New Yorker brouhaha(s) is that the “eye-time” that Obama gets from it. In this competition for attention-bytes in this world, Obama is winning.

John McCain reminds me of the character Tom Smith, in Laura Hillenbrand’s book, Seabiscuit.

Hillenbrand says (and I paraphrase) “Smith was so plain and white that when shot (in photos) against a background sometimes newspaper editors had to use pencil to outline him, so he did not disappear against a bright background.”

Meaning that despite Tom Smith’s accomplishments as a horse trainer (as portrayed in the movie by Chris Cooper, another man who’s character portrayals are so believable he tends to disappear into the backdrop) Smith was “pasty” and lost in the background.

The some voters, who have the attention span of an Amoeba, they hear Obama-this, Obama-that and forget John McCain.

In 1996, Bob Dole was made to fade into the background as Clinton made him out to be a Newt Gingrich clone. Dole, a decent man, was wacked by Clinton, perhaps the most immoral man ever to serve in our Highest Office. Clinton went on to do several women and the entire Country. Dole retired to do Viagra Commercials (perhaps a demonstration of his own impotence (the lack of potential, not the other one).

This issue is an important one and should not be ignored. The Country cannot be left with the sound byte, (McCain=same) Obama=Change).

Cherene said...

Nowhere did Obama say he felt wronged or offended, as the post's quotation marks suggest. Let's at least be truthful here, folks.

Anonymous said...

Cherene,

"[M]ost readers will see it as tasteless and offensive. And we agree."

-Obama spokesman Bill Burton, on the New Yorker cover controversy.

Let's at least be truthful here, folks.

John McAdams said...

The liberal New Yorker intended it to be a parody of what conservatives think of Obama, but what it turned out to be is a parody of Obama and his wife.

Every element has a connection with the real Obama. He won't wear a flag pen (until his advisors tell him it's necessary). His preacher says "God damn America."

Michelle says America is "mean" and that only in the last couple of months has there been anything about America to be proud of.

Obama doesn't want to fight the War on Terror. No Patriot Act, get out of Iraq, talk to the Iranians.

Of course the cartoon is exaggerated and unfair, as all such cartoons are. But the Manhattan elitists overlooked the fact that the supposed "right wing" view of the Obamas is sufficiently on target for the cartoon to hurt.

Cherene said...

To say that the cartoon is "tasteless and offensive," a claim which the McCain campaign reiterated, is far from saying that Obama is "wronged" and "offended."

Again, the point here is accurate and ethical summarizing of one's political opponents.

illusory tenant said...

Every element has a connection with the real Obama. -- McAdams

What a puzzle! Is McAdams unfairly caricaturing the Obamas, or is he not a "mainstream" conservative?

John Foust said...

McAdams must be parodying a crazed conservative, for surely a non-conspiracy-oriented professor at Marquette wouldn't hold such far-out ideas. Flag pens! Getch yer flag pens!

Dad29 said...

My only question is 'where is Obama's AK?'

Under the Muslim-wear?

Or does Michelle take it from him when she's home?

Anonymous said...

If one says a cartoon is offensive, doesn't that necessarily mean that they were offended?

Point taken Cherene. Now go shill for Obama on one of the Clinton websites. It was a nice attempt to undermine the Prof's premise, but Justice Marshall you ain't.

John McAdams said...

McAdams must be parodying a crazed conservative, for surely a non-conspiracy-oriented professor at Marquette wouldn't hold such far-out ideas. Flag pens! Getch yer flag pens!

You haven't bothered to actually read or consider my argument, perhaps because you're a true blue liberal.

Satire normally takes the real foibles and defects of the object and exaggerates them.

The "exaggeration" makes it unfair, but the fact that it starts with a real defect or foible makes it satire.

All the things I said about Obama are true. The cartoon is an exaggerated representation of those things.

The elitists at the New Yorker failed to get that, and you do too.

Cherene said...

If one says a cartoon is offensive, doesn't that necessarily mean that they were offended?

No, clearly not. The word describes the cartoon, not Obama's reaction to it. In fact, he tells Gwen Ifel explicitly that the cartoon did not offend him.

This blog said that the cartoon "gives Obama yet another opportunity to be 'wronged' and 'offended.'" This is an inaccurate, inadequate summary of the statement you quote.

The McCain campaign also called the cartoon offensive. This does not mean that they themselves felt offended.

Anonymous said...

If Obama himself is not offended by it, then how would he know its offensive?

Distinction without a difference Cherene. Whether the content itself is offensive (but not to us! really! maybe to that guy over there though!) or the reaction to the content is one of offense, Obama still gets to play the victim again.

If I claim that something is offensive, but don't myself find it offensive, then how offended can those that might find it offensive really be? And more importantly, what have you missed in your life while you've engaged in word jousting with me?