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Apologies to the poor schlub who had to slap together this past week's New Yorker cover-- his rendition of the Cheney shooting incident was just weak weak weak. We much prefer the alternate cover that got shelved-- a nod to the Mardi Gras currently underway in New Orleans. CartoonBrew has the first-hand account by Bill Joyce, who drew the abandoned cover:

The editors were very pleased with the results. The proof looked great. Some friends cried when I showed it to them.

The image did what I'd hoped. It made people from here sad and proud at the same time.

I was hoping it would, I don't know, somehow help. Help call attention to our plight. Help people understand us.

Then Dick Cheney shot his friend instead of a bird.

A more topical cover was cobbled together. A clever twist on Cheney's folly.

I've had covers at the New Yorker bumped before. That's just part of the game. But this one really mattered. The hurricanes have turned the people of Louisiana into activists. We no longer have the luxury of emotional distance with this story.

Louisiana had received its share of coverage lately I was told. They tried to find a place for it inside the magazine. Everyone said they were sympathetic. But nothing happened.

So we've been shunted aside again.

Our collective sorrow and tragedy mattered less than a single hunting accident.

I really had hoped that compassion would win out over clever.

Mr. Cheney's friend is thankfully alive. Meanwhile we're still finding bodies in New Orleans.

Here's the cover. I hope you can use it to keep the story of our troubles alive.

Well, that's a pretty sad statement about the state of media today. Shame on you, New Yorker cover people! Jen also adds: "Brokeback Mountain references are soooo 2005."