The political news cycle yesterday was dominated by the controversy surrounding this week’s New Yorker cover; called “The Politics of Fear,” it depicts Senator Barack Obama and his wife Michelle as America-hating radical terrorists gloating in the Oval Office. New Yorker editor David Remnick, who celebrates his tenth anniversary helming the magazine with this issue, spent the day making the interview rounds and getting some great publicity for the magazine; speaking to Wolf Blizter on CNN, he defended the cover as “Colbert in print.”
The main gripe is that while big city sophisticates will get that the cover is a satire of right wing fearmongering, those hayseeds in the sticks will mistake cartoon for fact – just like when Garfield was syndicated and everyone in flyover country started feeding their cats lasagna. Of course, those dense enough to miss the point of this rather broad cartoon probably aren’t spotting it on line at the Winn-Dixie. But that’s where the media steps in to make sure everyone knows about this important story. Watch!
Anyone with an internet connection has been mandated to give their two cents; New Yorker-phile Emdashes is unfazed, liberal blogger John Aravosis argues that the cover “reinforces” the lies about Obama cirulated online, and 59% of those who answered an online poll at World Net Daily agreed that “the image isn't too far from the dangerous truth about the Obama family.” But blogger, actor and friend of Gothamist James Urbaniak poses a perceptive question in his “obligitory post on the New Yorker cover” : “Are cartoonists allowed to represent the debasement of our political culture without bordering the image in 'irony tags'? I vote yes.”