magazine has created a political storm
with the publication of a cartoon cover
that depicts the Democratic candidate
and possible American president Barack
Obama looking like Osama Bin Laden next
to his wife Michelle
with a machine gun strapped to her back
and looking very militant.
cartoon on the cover of the July 21, 2008
edition of the New Yorker magazine is
called "The Politics of Fear"
and drawn by the illustrator Barry Blitt.
One would expect conservative media to
publish similar images, but the New Yorker
is considered a liberal publication.
Cartoonist Barry Blitt shows the Obamas
in the oval office looking like a pair
of terrorists. Barack is dressed in traditional
Muslim clothing with a turban and sandals.
Michelle Obama is wearing camouflaged
military clothes, army boots, a belt of
bullets, an AK-47, and a giant afro hair
style. The potential US president and
first lady are fist bumping, while the
American flag burns in the fireplace,
below a portrait of Osama Bin Laden hanging
on the wall.
is a cartoon and it is meant to be funny,
but in a climate of fear, untruths, and
outright lies a lot of people are not
laughing. Damaging rumors have already
been spread in the media about Barack
Obama having Muslim connections, that
he is unpatriotic, and that his wife Michelle
is "angry and bitter."
could argue that readers of the New Yorker
magazine might see the humor in the cartoon
which makes fun of right wing conservative
media and the untruthful caricatures that
they have presented Senator Obama as.
But the New Yorker's magazine cover will
now be used by conservative media outlets
to propel the myths and stereotypes portrayed
in the illustration.
The editor of the New Yorker magazine
David Remnick said the satirical cartoon
cover "combines a number of fantastical
images about the Obamas and shows them
for the obvious distortions they are."
The editor also said "The burning
flag, the nationalist-radical and Islamic
outfits, the fist-bump, the portrait on
the wall - all of them echo one attack
or another. Satire is part of what we
do, and it is meant to bring things out
into the open, to hold up a mirror to
the absurd. And that's the spirit of this
Remnick also spoke to the Huffington Post
and said "I can't speak for anyone
else's interpretations, all I can say
is that it combines a number of images
that have been propagated, not by everyone
on the right but by some, about Obama's
supposed 'lack of patriotism' or his being
'soft on terrorism' or the idiotic notion
that somehow Michelle Obama is the second
coming of the Weathermen or most violent
Black Panthers. That somehow all this
is going to come to the oval office."
Obama's campaign spokesman Bill Burton
said "The New Yorker may think, as
one of their staff explained to us, that
their cover is a satirical lampoon of
the caricature Sen. Obama's right-wing
critics have tried to create. But most
readers will see it as tasteless and offensive.
And we agree."