Jul 14, 2008

Merely Tasteless? Or an Outrageous Slur Disguised as Urbane Humor?

The New Yorker. The bastion of all things clever, urbane, adroit, and satirical. The magazine’s latest cover shows,

“Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, dressed as Muslim terrorists standing in the Oval Office with a portrait of Osama Bin Laden hanging on the wall. An American flag burns in the fireplace in the background. The magazine claimed that it was a satirical lampoon of the caricature that right-wing critics have tried to create.”

Dripping with witty satire? Or sheer malice? Images are more powerful than words, though, and surely the editors knew the effect their image might have on those who would never read the article (18 pages long—have you read it?) but would pass around the image. The more controversial, the more the image gets seared into our retinas. The more the image haunts us with it’s slurs, the more damage it could do.

From HuffPost:
“Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton called it ‘tasteless and offensive’ and, according to Jake Tapper at ABC, another high-profile Obama supporter called it ‘as offensive a caricature as any magazine could publish.’

What do you think? Was The New Yorker oh-so-witty or was it brutally foul? Cast your vote in the poll above this post.

No comments: