Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Image of the Week: Satirizing the Smear

I don't think that I need to go into detail as to what the New Yorker was trying to convey here and, just like most the the New Yorker readership, I wasn't even terribly offended. I think it accurately depicted the absurdity of what the GOP is doing to win this election. However, the readers of the New Yorker are nowhere near the voting bloc that will fail to see beyond the racist, religious and sexist stereotype and that doesn't even include the "coverage" that the Media will give this. I think the best way to get a feeling for the effect that this tasteless caricature might have is to scour the internet to find the reactions from all sides.

Here is what the cover artist Bill Britt said.

"I think the idea that the Obamas are branded as unpatriotic [let alone as terrorists] in certain sectors is preposterous. It seemed to me that depicting the concept would show it as the fear-mongering ridiculousness that it is."

"It seemed to him", huh? We get it Bill, but you should have had the forethought to see the shitstorm that this kind of cover would provoke.

And here's Bill Burton of the Obama camp...

“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. But most readers will see it as tasteless and offensive. And we agree."

McCain camp says...

"We completely agree with the Obama campaign, it’s tasteless and offensive.”

We couldn't expect much else though could we? Obama probably wants to ignore this issue just as much as McCain, but don't think that McCain is not tucking away his pedophile grin as another major outlet goes to bat for him.

How about the news media?

CNN offers this.

And Fox.

She really thought that they should "laugh at it"? Right. She misses the point all the way around and says that he shouldn't be so sensitive and then they compare it to Bush dressed like a maid. For a woman, I would think that she would realize that it's not so easy to just laugh it off. Did she say that when Hillary was the victim of vicious sexism during the primary?

And here are a couple right-wing comments.

"For those who either can not read or care not to read, I refer you to the Koran and Shari'a. Of course Obama is a Muslim. The faith passes from father to son and the literature clearly says any person converting to another religion is an apostate to Islam and is subject to DEATH.You can not leave the Muslim faith without exposing yourself to retribution. And where do you think he went to school, a madrasa where Jews are pigs and Christians are traitors to the book. He obviously "converted" to Christ to enter politics. I seriously question his beliefs. Would it not be the heighth of insanity as we die in Irag and swear to protect Israel to elect a closet Muslim. America you are signing your own death warrent due to your ignorance. This cover may be more factual than we want to admit."

"Hey, all you Montessori schooled, children of single mothers,Liberal crybabies. How does it FEEL when someone disrespectfully mocks YOUR "Great White, umm, I mean Black Hope"? Like you haven't been continuously disrespectful to our sitting president for 8 years, right? Kiss our well fed Conservative butts, you sniveling, ill spawned products of drunken trysts between gender confused, stoned feminists and dull witted, semi-literate Irish bartenders and folk singers."

"Hussein Obama was born a Muslim. The child of a Muslim man, at birth is a Muslim. The child of a Jewish woman, at birth, is a Jew. Barack is Lying to America when he said he has never been a Muslim! "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinski!" Bill Clinton "I did not inhale!" Bill Clinton "I did not swallow!" Monica Lewinski "I have never been a Muslim!" Barack Hussein Obama."

There voters were already decided and sure that Obama was a muslim and anti-everything-that-America stands for, so no loss here.

And the left...

"As much as the cover itself bothers me, I'm almost more concerned about the number of people here at dKos who are unable or unwilling to see WHY it's a problem.
The people who argue until they're blue in the face that "It's satire! It's the New Yorker! They're Obama-friendly! Relax! Chill out! I wanted to scream last night when I kept reading that "The only people who will see it are New Yorker readers who 'get' the magazine's intent. Right, because in the months leading up to a Presidential election any magazine cover with one of the candidates on it gets no media attention whatsoever. How's that idea working out?"

It is the disrespect that they show to him as minority that offends me. They would NEVER do this crap to a white candidate. if you think they would then why have i not seen cartoon of...

Mccain and his wives fighting
Cindy popping pills
Mccain trying to blow up Iran and Iraq
POW mccain giving American secrets in Vietnam

"On my lunch break I am canceling my subscription. Like others, I will send the extra money to the Obama campaign."

This won't make a difference:

Anyone who understands this type of "humor" will get it and just laugh and move on. It won't really effect their voting decision one way or the other since they are probably discerning enough to have made up their minds about the election, using partisan reasoning. The comments above suggest that there will be no shift in voting. CNN is appalled, while Fox brings in jokers who think that Obama shouldn't be so sensitive. I don't think this is will have much of an effect and it will be gone in a week. Still, many more people will see the cover, not read the article, and will take the cartoon as a message of facts. Again, those "facts" are not going to change any minds, only make them more stubborn.

For what it's worth, I donated again to BO.


Micah said...

Why aren't the videos no longer available?

The Morning Clam said...

I just clicked on them. They seem to be working.

Micah said...

The Fox commentators couched their conservative views very well. I think this is how all biased commentary should be done.

The Morning Clam said...

I don't have headphones with me right now, but I do recall that they expressed their views by ways of dismissing and downplaying the seriousness of the underlying racism by saying "he missed his chance" and "he should have just laughed it off." They do this often and constantly drive a fatherly narrative which makes their viewers treat serious issues and liberal views as somewhat of a "phase".

Obama was on Larry King last night and delivered a great response. You should check it out.