Saturday, July 19, 2008

New Yorker's Referendum on Obama

Eleanor Clift argues that the New Yorker was woefully dull in believing that the Obama fist-bump cover would go over well as high-brow satire. Clift offers this reader's e-mail to the New Yorker as an example:

Your embarrassing attempt at satire is disgraceful in this climate of fear and ignorance. There is no journalistic freedom to justify this cartoon that could have easily been generated by the merchants of hate and fear and will certainly be used by them to justify their own moronic diatribes against this most American family. Shame on you New Yorker for this blatant attention grabbing exercise!
It's seems, however, that the cartoon hits so close to home that the left's not content to let this satire play out. A good case in point is No More Mister Nice Blog's post, "One More Word About That Magazine Cover":

I wonder what the reaction would have been if, one September or other in the past couple of years, the cover of The New Yorker featured a cartoon in which Dick Cheney in a hard hat oversaw the wiring of the Twin Towers with explosives, while out on the WTC plaza Ariel Sharon handed out flyers to yarmulke-wearing office workers that said STAY HOME FROM WORK ON TUESDAY! and, in a cutaway, George W. Bush sat down in the Situation Room with Osama bin Laden over artist's simulations of planes flying into buildings, as a calendar on the wall read SEPT. 10, 2001.

I'm sure the reaction would be that anyone who didn't think it was funny was just a snotty elitist who contemptuously assumed other people wouldn't recognize a joke as a joke. Don't you agree?
No, I dont, but since there's apparently a prohibition against analyzing satire, so I'll just note that satire seeks to hold up authentic human vices to ridicule, and Barack Obama's genuine vices include a still murky sympathy to the very images the New Yorker hoped to lampoon.

as Clift notes, this election's going to be a "referendum on Obama," with luck we'll see more New Yorker-style satirical "CliffsNotes" to inform the electorate's decision-making.

See also, "We Are All Racist For Not Hating that 'New Yorker' Cover."