Monday, July 14, 2008

Obama "The Terrorist" on New Yorker Cover


The New Yorker, the magazine best known for its sometimes inscrutable cartoons has published a cartoon that has taken on Danish proportions in the Media. The cartoon is intended to be a satire of all the false accusations against Barack and Michelle Obama. If you haven't seen it click here.

Here's the funny part.

All the commentators have said that the problem with the cover (which you will notice I am not posting here), is that while New Yorkerer readers probably understand it is satire, the rest of the public won't. Translation. That cover, which you ostensibly published for your 1.1 million (liberal, east coast, well-off) readers and other people from that demographic, won't be understood by the millions of people who watch television or see the Newspapers that will reprint this cover tomorrow. HUH!?

This is ridiculous. Do we really live in an age when publications above a circulation of 10,000 need to think about how their writing or pictures will play in DC, or Iowa, or Pakistan? Where does responsibility lay in this case? Should the New Yorker have to think about how their cover will play to their reading audience (like they do for every article or cartoon they write)? Or should the greater media be more conscience about distributing the image beyond where you would find it anyway (a New Yorker cover).

I guess those are the questions we have to face on a slow news day in the 21st Century.

2 comments:

stephanie said...

I think the New Yorker should apologize for its cover. As a prominent publication, the New Yorker has a greater responsibility to the consequences of its art than to the art itself.

There's a campaign to get the New Yorker to apologize:

www.thepoint.com/campaigns/the-new-yorker-should-apologize-for-the-obama-terrorist-cover

John Maszka said...

I think Obama should apologize for even suggesting yet another front on the war of stupidity.

Taking the war to Pakistan is perhaps the most foolish thing America can do. Obama is not the first to suggest it, and we already have sufficient evidence of the potentially negative repercussions of such an action.

For example: On January 13, 2006, the United States launched a missile strike on the village of Damadola, Pakistan. Rather than kill the targeted Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s deputy leader, the strike instead slaughtered 17 locals. This only served to further weaken the Musharraf government and further destabilize the entire area. In a nuclear state like Pakistan, this was not only unfortunate, it was outright stupid. Pakistan has 160 million Arabs (better than half of the population of the entire Arab world). Pakistan also has the support of China and a nuclear arsenal.

I predict that America’s military action in the Middle East will enter the canons of history alongside Hiroshima, Nagasaki and the Holocaust, in kind if not in degree. The Bush administration’s war on terror marks the age in which America has again crossed a line that many argue should never be crossed. Call it preemption, preventive war, the war on terror, or whatever you like; there is a sense that we have again unleashed a force that, like a boom-a-rang, at some point has to come back to us. The Bush administration argues that American military intervention in the Middle East is purely in self-defense. Others argue that it is pure aggression. The consensus is equally as torn over its impact on international terrorism. Is America truly deterring future terrorists with its actions? Or is it, in fact, aiding the recruitment of more terrorists?

The last thing the United States should do at this point and time is to violate yet another state’s sovereignty. Beyond being wrong, it just isn't very smart. We all agree that slavery in this country was wrong; as was the decimation of the Native American populations. We all agree that the Holocaust and several other acts of genocide in the twentieth century were wrong. So when will we finally admit that American military intervention in the Middle East is wrong as well?