The Wrong Message

AP Photo.

So, this week’s New Yorker features a satirical illustration by Barry Blitt on its cover and as you can see, it’s a pretty controversial drawing. The picture depicts Barack Obama standing in the Oval Office, dressed in traditional Muslim garb, bumping fists with Michelle Obama, dressed as a terrorist. A framed picture of Osama Bin Ladin hangs above the fireplace, where an American flag is burning.

The illustration, titled “The Politics of Fear,” was meant to satirize and point out the absurdity of many of the ridiculous attacks right-wingers have made against the Obamas. But I’m not so sure it was a great idea.

Both the Obama and McCain camps have come out against the illustration, calling it “tasteless and offensive.”

I see what they were going for here, but I don’t think they hit the mark. As the Huffington Post said, “Anyone who’s tried to paint Obama as a Muslim, anyone who’s tried to portray Michelle as angry or a secret revolutionary out to get Whitey, anyone who has questioned their patriotism — well, here’s your image.”

And they’re probably right. It’s just a matter of time before the ignorant rednecks in my family send some moronic, anti-Obama email forward, starring this picture.

What do you think? Is it over the top or just good satire?

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7 responses to “The Wrong Message

  1. An interesting concept gone wrong, but hey, what are the chances that your red neck relatives will read the New Yorker? No chance in hell. I can certainly see the war mongering Cainites latching onto this in a big way. An incredibly stupid faux pas by the magazine. Maybe they could follow up with a drawing of John and Cindy standing in a Mosque and looking at a mushroom cloud over Iran. He could have POW outfit, waving a little tattered american flag, and she could wear a prom dress with felt poodles on it.

  2. dorothyzbornak

    Ha, you’re totally right about my relatives. I’m not sure they’d even know what the New Yorker is (uh-oh, that was awfully elitist of me)! But, they dutifully forward emails that have somewhere down the line been pumped out by the right-wing propaganda machine, so I won’t be surprised to see this image coming from one of them.

    But yes, I agree it was a bad move and I shudder to think how the Cainites/war mongerers will use this to their advantage.

  3. I’m sick to death of seeing that damn cover already!

  4. I think they were successful in what they were trying to do: put an image out there for people to remember in the back of their minds on Nov. 6. The thought process could (meaning a possibility. not saying all people think like this.) go something like this:

    Man, can I really vote for a black guy? Did Michelle really say “whitey?” Even Jesse doesn’t like him. Oh, and the whole Rev. Wright thing pissed me off.

    That’s what they want to happen. Most people are smarter than that but some will fall for it.

  5. I’m going to go with satire on this. Not great satire, but satire just the same. I see what they were shooting for, but I think it misses the mark. (shooting…misses mark….hehehe…)

    It doesn’t offend me, but I see how it could be offensive.

  6. dorothyzbornak

    I agree that it was intended to be satire and it certainly missed the mark.

    But, I do think the evil ones in McCain’s camp will figure out some way to use it to their advantage.

  7. I’m not sure what to think-except I’m watching MSNBC and of course the top of the news is that. Hmm. It’s clearly meant to be ridiculous, and anyone who falls for it probably wasn’t leaning toward Obama anyway, butu eh, I dunno. Can’t decide if I like it or not, or if I think it goes too far. I’m on the fence here. I really liked the other covers the same guy did, as shown on HuffPost.

    Also, I demand to know why I can’t get in the finals of the damn cartoon contest. The other day there was a finalist that was very similar to mine, but apparently that one was worded better. Blurg.

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