Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Satirical Cover of “The New Yorker” Magazine Stirs Controversy

The cover of the July 21st issue (2008) of ‘The New Yorker’ magazine has generated controversy, and on the Internet as well, which brought up harsh criticisms from both Obama and McCain campaign camps. It was called, “tasteless and offensive.”

It illustrates a satirical caricature of Michelle and Barack Obama bumping fists in front of a fireplace with a conspicuous American flag burning. Above the fireplace hangs a portrait of Osama Bin Laden. The Democratic presidential candidate is depicted as a Muslim – wearing a robe (a typical Muslim garb), sandals, with a head turban; and his militant wife Michelle – dressed in camouflage, combat boots and an assault AK47 rifle strapped over her shoulder; both of them standing in the Oval Office, presumably after winning the presidential election. What a portrayal of the would-be First Couple!

The cartoonist and illustrator is Barry Blitt, who captured the essence of the Obama nightmare. Some say that it’s a brilliant piece of satire, apparently, it exposes how laughably transparent many Americans are in their Obamaphobia. Yet, not everyone agrees. Of course, everybody has the privilege of the pros and cons, depending on how they perceived such funny cover art. One might say it will help Obama more than it will hurt him. It may redirect the people’s irrational prejudice and fear mongering or it may be just a joke soliciting humor.

As Obama addressed and downplayed the impact of the magazine's illustration, he said that it is an unsuccessful attempt at satire that will likely fuel misconceptions he has long battled over the course of his presidential campaign,
"It's a cartoon ... and that's why we've got the First Amendment ... And I think the American people are probably spending a little more time worrying about what's happening with the banking system and the housing market, and what's happening in Iraq and Afghanistan, than a cartoon. So I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about it … I've seen and heard worse … I do think that in attempting to satirize something, they probably fueled some misconceptions about me instead. But that was their editorial judgment ..."
Kindly checked more cartoons of Barack Obama and more of the story on the video below:

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1 comment:

Malloy said...

The only reason that this Mr. & Mrs. Obama satire DOES have impact — and may very likely spread — is because like all good satire, or good humor for that matter, there’s more than a germ of truth in it. Otherwise, the satire would utterly roll off the Obamoids’ backs, having no impact.