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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Monday, March 4

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Andrew / July 15, 2008 12:25 AM

The cover in question.

CVAL / July 15, 2008 6:54 AM

My reaction upon seeing the pic was offense.

The artist really cranked up the offense factor: Placing the American flag in the fireplace ablaze, having some likeness to Bin Laden hanging from the wall, placing Barak in middle-eastern clothing (everyone wearing a turban is not Muslim), and then giving Michelle an afro and an AK-47! WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Would it be funny if any other politician were depicted in such an incendiary way? Say Ehud Olmert were (even for the sake of parody)placed in a similarly ridiculous sketch, would this have even been printed?

Would it have been funny if McCain were depicted wearing an adult diaper, leaning against a walker, and his wife Cindy feeding him?

The perspective being represented is all too often one sided.

Carlotta / July 15, 2008 7:36 AM

This is disgusting. The people responsible for greenlighting this cover should resign.

Political cartoons are grounded in a candidate's or politician's actions, track record or verified quotes. Those are MIA in this purported parody of anti-Obama propaganda.

Outside of the Obama haters the only person who can be happy about this is Jesse Jackson, who now has the heat taken off him for his "nutty" remarks.

printdude / July 15, 2008 7:44 AM

I thought it would have been appropriate for MAD magazine, or with a very slight possibilty Rolling Stone.
But the New Yorker?
Perhaps their reader base has fallen off so much they needed to make a splash. Now they've splashed into the hog trough.

R / July 15, 2008 9:14 AM

I'm surprised that no one's accused Hillary Clinton of having drawn it.

Much, much ado about nothing. It's called satire, Barack.

Natch / July 15, 2008 9:24 AM

I always thought satire poked fun at person's ACTUAL vices. Does Obama burn the flag and worship Osama? Does Michele wield an AK-47?

I agree with CVAL - the artist (and "The New Yorker") was deliberately trying to provoke a reaction by being as offensive as possible, ans I suppose we all fell for the bait by getting worked up about it.

Maybe the best reaction would just be to ignore the whole thing as the blatant publicity stunt it was, and not to reward "The New Yorker" by paying it any attention.

Pedro / July 15, 2008 9:49 AM

I think it is telling that the people most "outraged" are the people who think that their fellow Americans can't think for themselves and would believe that cover to be truth.

If they think you are an idiot, why would you trust them to make decisions on your behalf?

charlie / July 15, 2008 10:02 AM

Ho Hum...

Marginally funny but hardly offensive. It's just preaching to the choir and none of the hillbillies, whose attitudes and false beliefs this is poking at are ever gonna see it.


sb / July 15, 2008 10:08 AM

i like it. as an obama supporter, i think it's exactly the right amount of ridiculous. anyone with a thumb and a brain can pick up the magazine and see it's a parody. and yes, it's designed to be sensational. which doesn't fit the new yorker brand to me, but hey - maybe they'll start selling sea monkeys and joy buzzers on the back page. which i think they should have long ago. that extra sea monkey cash comes in handy on the months when no one is talking about the cover of the new yorker.

Greyhoos / July 15, 2008 10:19 AM

Props to Printdude and Pedro.

Personally, I think it's an incredibly weak, simplistic cartoon in every respect -- editorially, satirically, and (yes) artistically.

The artist just threw together a bunch of the ridiculous untruths than have been lobbed about by the wingnut fringe without giving them any additional satiric twist. It's a bit pathetic, actually. And yeah, one would expect better from the New Yorker.

sb / July 15, 2008 10:23 AM

hey hey now - as a hillbilly, and i'm being entirely serious, i take offense to that. just because we prefer to live apart from the urban hipster bike riding threadless t-shirt wearing masses doesn't mean we don't think or read. believe it or not, i can bass fish and also think for myself.

Leelah / July 15, 2008 10:59 AM

When I first saw it, I didn't realize that was supposed to be Michele, so I was just confused.

Josh / July 15, 2008 11:12 AM

Ditto Printdude & Greyhoos.

Funny that the Herald tribune just did an article about how comics are hard-pressed to find an angle to lampoon Obama. Apparently, many comics and writers find there's not much to laugh at.

miller / July 15, 2008 11:55 AM

Funny cover. Not the funniest New Yorker cover ever, but still pretty funny.

The cover collected a gaggle of stupid fears about Obama and simply made fun of them. That people on the left are so up in arms about this is its own depressing story. God, we can't go a day in this country without some group being outraged about some stupid silly thing. There is a lot to be pissed about in modern America--more than most people seem to grasp--yet we seem to reserve our outrage for relative trivia such as magazine covers that are simple, and classic, parody/satire.

Regain your senses of humor and perspective, my fellow citizens. Otherwise we are in worse shape than I thought.

Gaigen / July 15, 2008 1:25 PM

1) I understand that it's satire and how some can honestly believe that no one will take it seriously. But that's in a NORMAL world where the Olsen Twins are front page news and people DON'T think that Project Runway really matters. Reasonable perspective is dead and buried. Face it, we're living in an Idiocracy (to steal a phrase) and many, MANY people will completely miss the satire. I've read enough comments from people in the past day or so to know this to be a fact. There are people who honestly believe that the cartoon only supports what they already believe. They've said as much. It's not the New Yorker's job to talk down to their level, of course, but if there aim was to show how ridiculous all of those theories about Obama are, I think they missed their mark.

2) Personally I don't care. In fact I think the cartoon was rather simplistic and didn't show a whole lot of imagination. ("Hey, everyone things Obama is a Muslim.. let's show him as a Muslim!") But like CVAL said I think it would have been funnier to include McCain in a pair of Depends maybe Cindy McCain dressed as Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS.

charlie / July 15, 2008 2:01 PM

hey hey now - as a hillbilly, and i'm being entirely serious, i take offense to that. just because we prefer to live apart from the urban hipster bike riding threadless t-shirt wearing masses doesn't mean we don't think or read. believe it or not, i can bass fish and also think for myself.

Oh Yeah...

If you was a reall hillbilly you wunt have no computer.

I supose you is wearing cut off overalls and a steraw hat too?

Ain't it bout time you needs to be checkin on the stil?

Dubi / July 15, 2008 2:51 PM

If the point is to scare, the drawing could have been scarier.
The artist left out the "faith based" initiatives which is what is really alarming about Barack Obama.

Ramsin / July 15, 2008 4:22 PM

It doesn't count as racism if ironic self-aware liberals do it. Duh.

jen / July 15, 2008 4:58 PM

well, CVAL, here you go:


Greyhoos / July 15, 2008 6:18 PM

I'm actually getting very annoyed with "racism" being cited as the big issue, here. I think it fails to address the issue at hand and cheapens the word "racism" for being applicable in more appropriate cases.

The actual issue here is the severely degraded (as it rotten) state of the news media and of political discourse in this country, of late. Which, I might add, the cartoon in question totally failed to offset. Quite the opposite -- it only further contributed to it.

Steven / July 15, 2008 9:09 PM

Shrug. Who really reads New Yorker anyway? Too many words. Now if it were the cover of Readers Digest, I'd be pissed.

fluffy / July 15, 2008 9:29 PM

I'm not terribly insulted, but I don't think it was appropriate for the cover of the New Yorker. It's more appropriate, in my opinion, in the middle of a very liberal 'zine, where most readers would "get it". The New Yorker knew the reaction that cover would get. They could have easily come up with a more diplomatic or sophisticated image to convey their Obama satire.
On the other hand, it has brought up the issue out to the open for discussion and maybe it has been an enlightening experience for a few of those fuckers who believed all that Obama Muslim mumbo-jumbo.

CVAL / July 16, 2008 4:51 AM

Thanks Jen ;))

Eva / July 16, 2008 8:02 PM

Yes, thanks Jen!

I agree with Jon Stewart, 'It's a f***ing cartoon'.

brad / July 17, 2008 8:54 AM

Sort of disappointed that no one has used the opportunity to call the cover an obamination.

spudart / July 17, 2008 9:37 AM

Beachwood Reorter had the following observation: Recent polls show that 12 percent of the population believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim (not that there's anything wrong with it) and that Rod Blagojevich has a 13 percent approval rating.

Greyhoos / July 17, 2008 4:37 PM

I might add that I live on the South Side, and the NYer issue in question never arrived in my mailbox. So I'm thinking maybe my mail carrier has weighed in with his/her opinion of the cover cartoon.

But then again, that might just be another case of the CPO being the CPO.

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