I don’t even have any words for this… this bullshit. Note to the The New Yorker…


To see what I’m so livid about, go to this article in the Tribune.

Obama campaign slams New Yorker cover
The art satirizes right-wing portrayals of the candidate, magazine says.

Posted July 14, 2008 6:05 AM

The Swamp

New Yorker coverby Katie Fretland

The cover of the new New Yorker magazine depicts a caricature of Sen. Barack Obama as Muslim, standing in the Oval Office with a flag burning in the fireplace and a painting of Osama bin Laden hanging on the wall. He gives a fist bump to his wife, Michelle Obama, who is pictured wearing military fatigues and an automatic rifle slung over her shoulder.

The New Yorker said the cover by Barry Blitt called “The Politics of Fear” is meant to satirize “the use of scare tactics and misinformation in the Presidential election to derail Barack Obama’s campaign,” according to a press release about the new magazine issue.

The Obama campaign, as well as the campaign of Republican rival John McCain, slammed the cover as offensive:

“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,” Obama spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement, reported by Politico. “But most readers will see it as tasteless and offensive. And we agree.”

“We completely agree with the Obama campaign, it’s tasteless and offensive,” McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said in a statement.

Obama has fought rumors that he is Muslim and that his wife once said a slur on videotape directed toward white people. Conservatives also challenged the patriotism of Michelle Obama. The campaign started a website, fightthesmears.com, aimed at combating those and other rumors.

This summer, FOX News anchor E.D. Hill said the widely-televised fist bump shared by Obama and his wife had been characterized as a “terrorist fist jab.” (She apologized and lost her show, though FOX said the network had already planned to replace her show in the lineup.)

A journalist asked Obama about the New Yorker cover during a press availability Sunday in San Diego, according to news reports.

“The upcoming issue of The New Yorker, the July 21 issue, has a picture of you, depicting you and your wife on the cover,” said CBS News’ Maria Gavrilovic. “Have you seen it? If not, I can show it to you on my computer. It shows your wife Michelle with an Afro and an AK-47 and the two of you doing the fist bump with you in a sort of turban-type thing on top. I wondered if you’ve seen it or if you want to see it or if you have a response to it?”

Obama shrugged and replied that he had no response.

Other covers by artist Blitt have included Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad on a toilet reading a newspaper and Bush with a feather duster and an apron, while Cheney relaxes in a chair with beer and a cigar.

In an e-mail to the Huffington Post, Blitt defended the cover.

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

The cover accompanies an article by Ryan Lizza, which explores “the period that formed [Obama] as a politician”–his life in Chicago and his election to the U.S. Senate.

Lizza interviewed Toni Preckwinkle, a Chicago alderman, who spoke of political maneuvering by Obama.

“On issue after issue, Preckwinkle presented Obama as someone who thrived in the world of Chicago politics. She suggested that Obama joined Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ for political reasons. ‘It’s a church that would provide you with lots of social connections and prominent parishioners,’ she said. ‘It’s a good place for a politician to be a member.’ Preckwinkle was unsparing on the subject of the Chicago real-estate developer Antoin (Tony) Rezko, a friend of Obama’s and one of his top fund-raisers, who was recently convicted of fraud, bribery, and money laundering: ‘Who you take money from is a reflection of your knowledge at the time and your principles.’

“I asked her if what she considered slights or betrayals were simply the necessary accommodations and maneuvering of a politician making a lightning transition from Hyde Park legislator to Presidential nominee. ‘Can you get where he is and maintain your personal integrity?’ she said. ‘Is that the question?’ She stared at me and grimaced. ‘I’m going to pass on that.’

Our friend Dawn Turner Trice has more at the Chicago Tribune’s Exploring Race forum. Tribune also has a poll about the cover story and more controversial covers.

Top of the Ticket also has more on the Obama/New Yorker cover story.