It's the New Yorker, people!
I apologize for the fact that a number of the posts in the next month or so will probably be referencing events that have long passed and been blogged about, but I’ve been amassing things I want to talk about, and I still want to! The first of these is the New Yorker cover that had everyone up in arms a few weeks ago. People were freaking the hell out before it even showed up in my mailbox, and my reaction was “uh, really?”
As the cartoon in the Post and accompanying comment by Howard Wasserman point out, there is context here. It’s the New Yorker. It’s irreverent. I thought it was pretty darn clear that the point of the cover was to poke fun at the absurdity of equating Obama’s race, “fist jabs,” and middle name with terrorism. I found it funny. I think a lot of other New Yorker subscribers would agree. The Daily Show did a great piece on the ridiculousness of it all, as well.
But the first things I heard of the cover were from Feministe and Feministing. Commenters on both blogs recognized the joke, but argued that only the “elite readership” would get it and that it was inappropriate as a “recruitment poster for the right wing.” Frankly, I’m not so worried. I think people, elite or not, are smart enough to know that Obama is not a terrorist. Considering the barrage of images and suggestions those who watch the television media get on a daily basis, I can’t imagine that the New Yorker would have a greater impact – unless, of course, mainstream media decided to latch onto the cover and talk it to death until people started wondering if… oh, wait.