by Deb Cupples | The most recent edition of New Yorker Magazine has an incredibly detailed article about Barack Obama's early years -- how he evolved as a politician in Chicago. Given that Obama may be our next president, it's certainly information that voters might find interesting.
Unfortunately, the article will likely get little attention, because the magazine's illustrator drew the cover pictured to the left.
Yes, you're seeing it correctly: there's a flag in the fireplace, Barack is in foreign garb, and Michelle has a gun slung across her back as she bumps fists with her husband.
Barry Blitt, the artist who drew the cover, explained his motives in an email to a Huffington Post writer:
"I think the idea that the Obamas are branded as unpatriotic [let alone as terrorists] in certain sectors is preposterous. It seemed to me that depicting the concept would show it as the fear-mongering ridiculousness that it is." (HuffPo)
In other words, Mr. Blitt intended to spoof some of the absurd characterizations of the Obamas. I suspect that his explanation is sincere, but I think the outrage that's already building is evidence that Mr. Blitt's efforts at satire failed this time.
Way to go, New Yorker! Now, the well-researched article beyond the cover will be largely ignored while people instead devote enormous amounts of energy to condemning your publication.
In the current climate, even people who understand that the New Yorker was trying to goof on Obama's nuttier critics will feel that they'll look socially irresponsible if they don't point fingers and say "tasteless."
Hasn't our nation's political debate this year been devoid enough of policy-related substance? Isn't our media already too easily distracted by non-substance and too easily tempted to fuel emotional frenzy among the masses?
Memeorandum has commentary.
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