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New Yorker cover “tasteless and offensive”?

The McCain and Obama campaigns finally agree on something — this upcoming cover of The New Yorker magazine is “tasteless and offensive”:

New Yorker
via Politico

full size image

The artist defends his cover art

Personally, I find the cover funny, although I’m not sure if everyone will get the humor. The bottom line is that The New Yorker will probably sell a bunch of magazines because of this cover.

UPDATE: 23/6 has a hilarious “outrage guide” to the New Yorker cover. Includes new, creative ways to be offended!

UPDATE 2: Newsweek magazine tells you why — even if you think the cover is funny — it will be a problem for Obama. Unfortunately, images — even sarcastic ones — speak louder than words.

UPDATE 3: What The New Yorker should have used for a cover:
Libby Spencer

UPDATE 4: The New Yorker editor defends the cover. “Satire doesn’t run with subtitles. A satirical cartoon would not be any good if it came with a set of instructions.”

UPDATE 5: See the rebuttal!

UPDATE 6: Political cartoonists give their take. For example, Ruben Bolling (author of Tom the Dancing Bug) calls the cover “failed satire”:

Good satire has got to take the premise further comedically, and it has to make clear what the target of the satire is. The target of the satire is not how radical Obama is, but, rather, how ridiculous the right wing apprehensions are. Because that was unclear, the satire didn’t work.

But Matt Bors says “It seems that more people are worrying about people not getting it, than people actually not getting it.”

UPDATE 7: Obama himself responds:

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.



  1. Dave wrote:

    that is so gross.

    Sunday, July 13, 2008 at 10:38 pm | Permalink
  2. bushgirlsgonewild wrote:

    You librals make me sick!

    Every Christain knows Obama is a gay Muslin send here by Saddam Bin Laden.

    The Bible tells us in Genesis 47:1, that “Joseph went and told Pharaoh, ‘My father and brothers, with their flocks and herds and everything they own, have come from the land of Canaan and are now in Goshen.’ Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh and went out from his presence.”

    See there, you librals don’t know how to argue with that.

    John McCain will be president, then Jesus will return and the two of them will go a ridin’ across the earth, a whopin’ and a whompin’ ever living thing within an inch of it’s life.

    Then you’ll see, you just wait.

    Monday, July 14, 2008 at 1:10 pm | Permalink
  3. Bill wrote:

    The rebuttal from the Seattle Post Intelligencer is even better…

    Tuesday, July 15, 2008 at 6:42 am | Permalink
  4. khel wrote:

    can you explain to me how the cover is satire? my understanding of satire is that it requires three elements:

    1. it must pick a worthy target to pick on–this usually requires the target be pompous, stupid, hypocritical, and privileged in some way

    2. the satirical commentary must capture the essence of the target spot-on

    3. the satire must be viscerally funny

    even if you assume that obama is a worthy target (he flirts with being pompous and hypocritical), is his wife? do we even know enough about her to say so one way or another? if not, isn’t the portrayal of her just racial humor (which is not satire BTW)?

    even if both are worthy targets, how does this capture their essence? it is completely false–i have never seen any satire succeed that wasn’t grounded on at least some truth.

    i wasn’t offended by it, but i didn’t think it was funny either–it’s like only half the joke was there. portraying obama as jesus and michelle as the virgin mary would have been funnier, and truly satirical–it would have captured the “can’t laugh at the obamas” element, his pomposity and hypocrisy, and made fun of the left all at once. i haven’t yet had one person, who has lectured those of us who didn’t think it was funny, explain how it is funny. so other than as racial humor what exactly makes it funny? and how exactly is this satire?

    i am not trolling, i am truly curious. thanks!

    Tuesday, July 15, 2008 at 2:47 pm | Permalink
  5. iron wrote:

    Khel! Everyone is worried that other people won’t get it, but you are proof that some people don’t. The target of the satire (according to the artist, even) is right-wingnuts who are spreading rumors that the Obamas are muslim terrorists.

    Tuesday, July 15, 2008 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

5 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Political Irony › Obama is not funny on Tuesday, July 15, 2008 at 9:29 am

    […] now The New Yorker magazine tries to joke about Obama on their cover. I posted that here, but the reactions to it are turning […]

  2. Political Irony › Cover Wars - the rebuttal on Tuesday, July 15, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    […] I find ironic is that while the images in The New Yorker cover were completely false (Obama as a Muslim terrorist?), there is video of McCain singing “Bomb […]

  3. […] cartoon is from April, but it is similar in nature to The New Yorker cover: © Ruben […]

  4. Political Irony › McCain New Yorker cover on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    […] all the fuss about the Obama cover of The New Yorker, I guess it is only fair that the McCains get their own cover. […]

  5. […] Here’s the original cover they are recreating. Close Bookmark and Share This Page Save to Browser Favorites / BookmarksAskbackflipblinklistBlogBookmarkBloglinesBlogMarksBlogsvineBuddyMarksBUMPzee!CiteULikeco.mmentsConnoteadel.icio.usDiggdiigoDotNetKicksDropJackdzoneFacebookFarkFavesFeed Me LinksFriendsitefolkd.comFurlGoogleHuggJamespotJeqqKaboodlekirtsylinkaGoGoLinksMarkerMa.gnoliaMister WongMixxMySpaceMyWebNetvouzNewsvineoneviewOnlyWirePlugIMPropellerRedditRojoSegnaloShoutwireSimpySlashdotSphereSphinnSpurlSquidooStumbleUponTechnoratiThisNextTwitterWebrideWindows LiveYahoo!Email This to a FriendCopy HTML:  If you like this then please subscribe to the RSS Feed or Email Feed.Powered by Bookmarkify™ Bookmark/Share » This was written by iron. Posted on Friday, September 26, 2008, at 1:35 am. Filed under Humor. Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments here with the RSS feed. Post a comment or leave a trackback. […]