The July 21 cover of the New Yorker perpetuates racial stereotypes. In the name of satire, the "Politics of Fear" cartoon plays into the smear that Barack Obama is not patriotic. The depiction of Michelle Obama as a machine gun-toting revolutionary in combat boots evokes the "Angry Black Woman."
In a transparent attempt to cover its rear, the New Yorker has compiled a gallery of past political covers. But without context, the current satirical cover merely fuels "a lot of distortions, lies and misconceptions about the Obamas."
A British cartoonist wrote:
Any regular reader would immediately 'get' that cover as it was intended. A not too subtle lampoon of the exaggerated right wing smears Obama has been subjected to so far. I mean, the Stars and Stripes burning in the fireplace. Come on.
So the message should be clear.
But I'm afraid it isn’t, because taken out of context, it can mean whatever you want it to. And here we come to the internet. Seen on its own, scattered randomly over the internet, with no knowledge of what the New Yorker's mindset is, this cartoon can be interpreted however you wish. As a stand-alone image on the web, it really could be some Right-wing website or magazine's propaganda. But it doesn't really matter - it's a cartoon of Obama worshipping anti-American terrorism.
Well, I know it was the New Yorker's attempt at satire. I don't think they were entirely successful with it. But you know what? It's a cartoon, Larry, and that's why we've got the First Amendment.
And I think the American people are probably spending a little more time worrying about what's happening with the banking system and the housing market, and what's happening in Iraq and Afghanistan, than a cartoon.
So I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about it.
King asked, "But didn't it personally sting you?"
I've seen and heard worse. I do think that, you know, in attempting to satirize something, they probably fueled some misconceptions about me instead. But, you know, that was their editorial judgment.
Ultimately it’s a cartoon. It’s not where the American people are spending a lot of their time thinking about.
OK, end of story.