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Home > Opinion > Was it satire?
Sat Jul 19 2008 04:30:00 Be the first to Comment
Was it satire?
(Jul 19, 2008)
Edited excerpts of U.S. editorials on this week's buzz over New Yorker magazine's cover spoof of Democratic candidate Barack Obama:
Las Vegas Review-Journal: So convinced are today's politicians of the simple-mindedness of the average voter that Obama's supporters
reacted with outrage to the cover of this reliably liberal magazine, as though The New Yorker has suddenly been taken over by right-wing racists.
"The New Yorker may think, as one of their staff explained to us, that their cover is a satirical lampoon of the caricature Senator Obama's right-wing critics have tried to create," railed Obama campaign spokesperson Bill Burton this week, "but most readers will see it as tasteless and offensive, and we agree."
Oh, please.
Showing some unusual spunk, the magazine's editors have
declined to apologize. Good. They should stick to their guns ... as it were.
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: So, a Muslim and an Afro-wearing militant, one a presidential candidate, walk on to a New Yorker magazine cover. Stop us if you've heard this one. Stop us if you recognize this instantly as a spoof on an existing satire.
Seemingly everyone involved in the presidential race -- including John McCain's campaign -- labelled as tasteless The New Yorker cover that features Barack Obama in Islamic dress fist-bumping wife Michelle, in Afro and carrying an AK-47, near a portrait of Osama bin Laden.
If ever there was a moment in this campaign when the politicos demonstrated that they were out of touch, this was it.
Hartford Courant: We thought it worked as provocative satire; many didn't, and they might have a point. If you have to explain a joke, then maybe there's something wrong with the material.
Perhaps The New Yorker should have put the monocled Eustace Tilley on the cover, as it has been doing periodically (one might say) since the magazine started in 1925. People who don't get past the cover are missing something. In an age when printing on paper is said to be going the way of etching on cave walls, The New Yorker remains a paragon of great journalism, criticism, poetry and cartoons. Long may it run.
Baltimore Sun: Will everyone be convinced that the senator isn't a Manchurian Candidate being aimed at the White House by al-
Qaeda operatives? Probably not. That is a consequence of a rigorous, free press and free political speech. Still, politicians have long successfully navigated past such trash, and we expect Mr. Obama will do the same.
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