Here's what they came up with.
What struck me first, right between the eyes, was Michelle Obama's nicely submissive posture, right out of some Victorian illustration. Then, her rifle and that over-the-top Afro, and Mr. Obama's outfit.
He's not about to kiss her hand, of course: that's a fist-bump. And, of course, a cultured New York magazine would never portray the wife of a presidential candidate in a posture that implied the properly submissive attitude of the nineteenth century. It just looks that way.
The Obama campaign, and the McCain campaign finally agree on something: that cover is tasteless and offensive.
And I agree with half of that.
- Offensive, yes
- Tasteless? I know what the campaign reps mean, but I wish I could get the taste out of my head
Some fairly wild rumors have been thrown against the wall. Quite a few stuck.
What I think about Obama's background:
- His middle name is Hussein
- "Hussein" is a fairly common name
- In America
- Live with it
- He is not now, nor has he ever been, a Muslim
- Remember the Reverend "God Damn America" Wright brouhaha?
- Not "Imam" - "Reverend"
- Even if Obama were Muslim, So What?!
- Blew up the Bamiyan Buddhas
- Built the Petronas Towers (Malaysia is 60% Muslim)
- Formed Al Qaeda
- Founded the American Islamic Forum for Democracy
(from " 'They’re all Muslims' - This Does Not Help" (December 29, 2007)
In fairness to The New Yorker editors, there's some reason for their assumptions about American voters. Newsweek did a poll recently, and came up with some disquieting numbers.
"Some of Obama's lag in white support may be explained by continual confusion over his religious identity." ("Glow Fading?" Newsweek (July 11, 2008))
Of American voters surveyed:
|Idea||Believed by||True or False|
|Obama was sworn in as a United States senator on a Quran||12%||False|
|Obama was raised as a Muslim||26%||False|
|Obama went to an Islamic school while growing up in Indonesia||39%||False|
Newsweek writes, "Finally cracking the code with less-educated whites could have a big payoff for Obama: 85 percent of undecided voters are non-Hispanic whites and only 22 percent of those undecideds have a four-year college degree."
Be Different - Look at the FactsThe article doesn't connect those appalling proofs of ignorance with the 'undecided' voters - it's 39% of all voters who believe that Mr. Obama went to a Muslim school. That 39% could be part of the block that
- Won't vote for Obama
- Will vote for Obama
- Don't know who they'll vote for
And, I've known college grads with some dubious ideas lodged in their heads so tightly, it'd take a backhoe to move them around.
Satirical, or Out of Touch?I'm accustomed to the covers of major magazines not conforming to my values, cultural or otherwise. Minnesota, where I live, isn't even a flyover state: we're well north of the major American air routes. And, I don't live in the Twin Cities, where state policy is determined.
This 'Osama Obama' cover for The New Yorker magazine seems to have offended people in the American coastal cultures. That's remarkable, since I've gotten the impression that those are the people that the big, important, magazines aim at.
It's not good news, if editorial boards get isolated from their own culture.
There's an Election Coming Up: Stay Informed, or Stay Home!I'll be coming back to this idea from time to time: If you don't care about the election results, please: stay home!
(from "Obama Camp Slams Satirical 'New Yorker' Magazine Cover" (FOXNews (July 13, 2008), used w/o permission)
Other bloggers' on The New Yorker satirical cover:
- "Poor Obama - The New Yorker outed him…"
Right Commentary (July 14, 2008)
- "It's Not Called Racism Anymore, It's Called Irony
Womanist Musings (July 14, 2008)
- "The New Yorker, Obama, and Real Tragedy"
Wonderland or Not (July 14, 2008)
- "The New Yorker Cover and Victorian Postures"
a BlogCatalog discussion thread (started July 14, 2008)
The New Yorker 'satirical' cover in the news:
- "Obama camp calls New Yorker cover 'tasteless and offensive' "
CNN (July 14, 2008)
- "Obama Camp Slams Satirical 'New Yorker' Magazine Cover" (FOXNews (July 14, 2008)
- "Controversy over The New Yorker's cover illustration of Obamas"
International Herald Tribune (July 14, 2008)
- "Mika: New Yorker Obama Cartoon 'Dangerous' "
NewsBusters (July 14, 2008)
- "Obama Campaign Calls New Yorker Magazine Cover 'Tasteless and Offensive' "
FOXNews (July 13, 2008)
Barack Hussein Obama's funny-sounding name and distinctly non-Anglo-Saxon appearance have raised the nonsense quotient of this presidential campaign to epic levels:
- "Obama Supporters Take "Hussein" Name"
(June 29, 2008)
- "Obama, Clinton, AIPAC, America, and Strength: Sounds Good"
(June 4, 2008)
- "Michelle Obama's "Whitey" Video, Common Sense, and Michelle Malkin"
(June 3, 2008)
- " 'OBAMA OSAMA / HUMM / ARE THEY BROTHERS' Church Sign: Daft or Devious?"
(April 21, 2008)
- "A Presidential Candidate Named Hussein? Get a Grip!"
(February 28, 2008)
Update (October 4, 2008)
While reviewing this blog, I noticed that the New Yorker cover pictures had disappeared. This happens once in a while. Happily, this time I found another source, changed the graphics and links: and added the source to this post's "In the news" list.