July 14th, 2008
06:06 PM ET

New Yorker cover - Satire or smear?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/14/art.tiltedobama.jpg width=292 height=320]
Gina McCauley
Blogger and founder
Oh yes folks, Liberal creatives are having a field day this election season with their depictions of Michelle Obama. Proving that you can revel in racist depictions of Black people as long as you have a really good reason.


We previously showed you a "satirical" piece where Michelle was depicted being lynched by the Klan( Michelle Obama Depicted Being Tortured: Liberal Bloggers Lose Their Ever Loving Minds)

Now they are back at it depicting her as a terrorist rocking an afro and a machine gun. Barack Obama offered his standard response: None at all. (the campaign later issued a statement after his initial non committal response)I am beginning to see the wisdom of his silence, this is going to go on and on and on for the next five months he might as well save up for October:

Keep reading

Editor's Note: Gina McCauley is the founder of Blogging While Brown, Michelle Obama Watch, and What About Our Daughters?

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Raw Politics
soundoff (225 Responses)
  1. Vicky of IL

    Not to be surprised by this since the standards of addressing others with civility have eroded over the years. I don't understand the "outrage" for years we have watched what used to be individuals in positions that once demanded respect be demeaned by humorist, comedians, news media, and the behavior slowly became the expected norm. Now, we watch an awakening to the conscious to exactly how debased it really is. Civility should be taught and practiced at all levels and respect should be paid to everyone; especially those in positions of the highest offices in our United States.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:16 pm |
  2. Angelina Orduno

    I think this is a blatant, wrong-headed ploy for more customers...and that's all it is, it's not good satire, not by a long-shot, the cover has nothing to do with the actual article...it's just perverse and stupid, shame on the New Yorker...doesn't Obama have enough obstacles? I'm canceling my subscription....

    July 14, 2008 at 10:16 pm |
  3. Lakshmi Kerner

    New Yorker magazine really blew it with this one. They are feeding into the racism and fear that runs rampant in this country. I am thoroughly disgusted with the New Yorker's lack of sensitivity to the Obamas, they deserve much better.
    Lakshmi Kerner
    Oakland, CA

    July 14, 2008 at 10:16 pm |
  4. Evelyn Kaye

    The front page of " The New Yorker" , is not a comic strip , that is until they changed it .
    Evelyn Kaye

    July 14, 2008 at 10:16 pm |
  5. Nick

    I think the news networks need to invite those who really believe in these rumors in order to show how crazy they are.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:16 pm |
  6. Shahdil

    i don't know what the new yorker was thinking when they published it, but this picture is tasteless and offensive. yes, we have the freedom of speech, but this freedom of speech doesn't need to be abused.

    putting obama and his wife in the same picture as osama's portrait and a burning american flag is unfair on the hopeful presidential candidate.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  7. rodney dollar

    why was did he get sworn in to his office in a privet seramony on the karon ?

    July 14, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  8. Michael

    It's disappointing to see how we're discussing this New Yorker Cover. Regardless of whether or not you're insulted, offended or even disgusted by the illustration shouldn't be the point.

    Fear mongering and the manipulation of less informed voters has been practiced for decades...and we see that alive and well in this election cycle...perhaps even stronger than ever.

    Let's all get off our high horses of needing to express how insulted or upset we are over the image - and actually take that time and energy to discuss the very issues and concerns the New Yorker cover represents.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  9. cindy hall

    This cover was slime jounalism of the worst kind. It was not funny, it failed as satire but accomplished one thing, and that was the the pandering to the fears of an ignorant, an uneducated demographic.
    Are the editors of the New Yorker really that stupid?

    July 14, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  10. Rose Mayer

    I think the cover shows the lack of respect "americans" have for our presidential candidates. If the cartoon was inside I might say OK but to be on the cover is despicable.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  11. Liz

    The New Yorker!!! And they LIKE Obama, How could they get it soooo wrong! With friends like that who needs enemies.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  12. Gloria Yandt

    Since when did Satire become Stupid???

    July 14, 2008 at 10:12 pm |
  13. Beth

    As soon as I saw the upcoming New Yorker cover I cancelled my subscription. While they can claim all they want that it is a satirical statement, I find it offensive and not at all amusing.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:12 pm |
  14. shaunna

    the problem is that many people don't understand satire.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:12 pm |
  15. john

    god forbid if anything is said against obama. how cnn allows the same inarticulate people on their programming is puzzling. you have to laugh though!

    July 14, 2008 at 10:08 pm |
  16. Renee

    I consider myself a democrat and I think the primary race broke the party into two factions of democrats that supported Clinton or Obama and I sensed intellectual supporters of Clinton's that looked down upon those of us who backed Obama. This cover seems like some high brow attempt at satire that instead looks like something that MAD magazine wouldn't even show. Freedom of speech? Sure, they have their right but the cover isn't clever, it's just plain tasteless.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:07 pm |
  17. Mark

    It's a good thing that Don Imus didn't have anything to do with this cover or the magazine would be removed from circulation until a thorough Congressional investiagtion could be conducted.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:07 pm |
  18. Andrew L

    The fact that the media is even talking about this on their broadcasts, is disgusting and plays right into the hands of those who perpetuate these hateful and completely false lies.

    The media should be ashamed. We have real issues out there but they would rather talk about distractions. Shame.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:04 pm |
  19. WinB

    Wow well let me count the covers of the New Yorker have had over the years that are controversial...hmmm out there are too many.

    Anyone who doesn't find this funny is obviously not a New Yorker reader and not smart enough to get it.

    No most New Yorker readers are smart enought to get it. It is everyone else who doesn't read the magazine who are "bent out of shape"

    Oh yea and did they actually read the related article...i doubt it.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:03 pm |
  20. Chris

    Correct yourself.

    This is not slander. It is libelous.

    Published falsehood.

    Chris Fotheringham
    Elko, Nevada.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:03 pm |
  21. Vivian

    It is apparent that the New Yorker is attempting to smear Barack Obama name, culture, religion, family and our great country. Instead of the American Flag in the fire place it should be the New Yorker MAGAZINE. This is a despicable reference to this man and his family. If this was a boxing match, this would be a below the belt hit, or worse a bite to the ear.

    July 14, 2008 at 9:58 pm |
  22. Jo Anne Cummings

    I find a huge difference between satire and bad taste....although not an Obama fan I found this offensive.

    July 14, 2008 at 9:50 pm |
  23. Teresa, OH

    @destiny: being that YOU'RE not racist, why are you excited for the first time about the political process THIS YEAR?

    " I am a 23 year-old African American recent college graduate who, for the first time is excited about this country’s political process. I expected people to attempt to reopen the wounds "... I'm gonna take a wild wild guess and say you're voting for the bi-racial Obama??? You see, TRUTH BE TOLD, everyone is racist in some form or another. Most are HUMAN enough to never act on it.

    CNN: I thank you for allowing destiny to post that much. She had a lot to say and it was worth merit. Congrats on your college graduation and I wish you much success in any future ventures, Destiny.

    July 14, 2008 at 9:46 pm |
  24. John M

    Why the vitriol?

    Who cares about the magazine cover?

    As satire it was effective. If you think it was bigotry, quit whining , just exercise your right to not buy it. Like it or not, we live in a country that still does give the right to free speech and choice. Granted, we seem to be moving towards a social structure that wants to limit the basics our country was founded for.

    Have we become a nation of victims? Or do we find ourselves in a position of our own making? As a nation, we elected this president, not once but twice. Well maybe just once, depending on your views of the Supreme Court's decision to involve itself in the election.

    Look deep inside and see what your gut tells you about the state of affairs, the intentions of those running for office and let go of the need to react to every little blip the media blow up into rating and profit.

    There are tremendous forces of self interest and special interests at work in all things and we, the electorate, have the opportunity to send a message.

    Quit being reactive. Quit being victimized. Take responsibility our actions and work through the tough times our prior choices have created.

    July 14, 2008 at 9:44 pm |
  25. Larry

    Its incredible how the cover of a magazine can generate so much explosive hate. But then its not the magazine, its that this undercurrent of divisiveness was just looking for an excuse to let some people say how they really feel about other Americans while blaming a cover illustration. Those Dutch cartoonists showed us that we are not immune to radical outcries for censorship in this country; that scares me.

    July 14, 2008 at 9:40 pm |
  26. Larry

    @IGNOR Did the Gestapo tell you who I voted for? I'm an American not a hyphenated American. If you actually read past the cover then you would become educated ( that is the promise of Barack) .

    July 14, 2008 at 9:14 pm |
  27. lampe

    Kent, before you go pointing fingers at The republicans,please get your story straight. The NewYorker, likes the Obamas this I do not understand,but to each his own. And if this picture made you cry, you must not have much of a life. Since when did Blacks become AA's, if you were born in The USA, and your parents were born here you are Americans, If you were not born in Africa, or lived in Africa how can you be AA's. If America has treated you and your family so bad maybe you should move to Africa.

    July 14, 2008 at 9:06 pm |
  28. Maura Honolulu, Hawaii

    Those people from the New Yorker need to take a lesson from Barack Obama .The school he attended was, and still is a Christian influenced Prep school.He attended classes with children of many diffrent races and religous backgrounds. He went to the beach and shot hoops with them after school. He learned that what is IMPORTANT is not the color of your skin or what church you attennd but who you are and how you treat people. He grew up, studied hard and married a smart , beautiful woman. They are the kind of people this country needs in the White House. Shame on you New Yorker!!

    July 14, 2008 at 9:03 pm |
  29. Steve, Central NJ

    Yes – what a great country we live in where this is not censored.
    But...how stupid can the New Yorker be to think this is amusing? I've lost all respect for the magazine – I mean, Satire?? What does promoting the slanderous email chain letters with this cartoon have to do with Satire.?

    July 14, 2008 at 9:00 pm |
  30. Annie Kate

    For those people who won't know that the cover is satire they probably don't read the New Yorker anyway. For those that do, they need to educate themselves on what satire is and isn't and then make up their own minds as to the cover. The New Yorker is pitched at a specific audience – one that knows these things are not true about Obama.

    If this is what the next 8 years will be like if Obama is elected President where everything we say or print is decried as tasteless and offensive unless its laudatory of Obama then I fear for our freedom of speech and literary expression.

    Obama probably in a way loves this cover and the controversy it has created – it keeps his name at the forefront of the news without him spending a dime.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    July 14, 2008 at 8:50 pm |
  31. Larry

    Jesse Jackson already threw Obama under the bus for wanting unity.

    July 14, 2008 at 8:49 pm |
  32. nmt

    SHAME on you New Yorker!! I immediately canceled my subscription as my small symbol of the disgust I feel toward your staff and the heinous cover.

    This is not satire- this is hate mongering at the basest level. There is no positive message to be gotten from this – have you all become so puffed up with your own importance at the New Yorker that you have lost touch with what hurts, offends, demeans, and sickens? Are you so desperate for attention that you could stoop this low??? Leave that to the tabloids, please.....

    July 14, 2008 at 8:42 pm |
  33. DRN

    I found this cover offensive and divisive. It only fuels fear of Muslim Americans and hurts Obama's chances for unity. It's disgusting. I will never read that rag again. I mean the rag THE NEW YORKER.

    July 14, 2008 at 8:31 pm |
  34. allan

    Sad !
    Two different messages come out of this cartoon. Ridiculing the Obamas and the burning of the flag ?
    Shame on you New Yorker!


    July 14, 2008 at 8:25 pm |
  35. IGNOR

    Larry, ignorance is bliss. Does bigotry an excuse for what you don't understand or do not believe in. What does your comment got to do with the price of tea in China? So you voted for the dummy we now have, Where did that get us. Again, what does cartoon bigotry got to do with your comment?.

    All sewer smears and bigotry are coming out daily. Who will "bee" the next Xhole?

    whatever it takes, when they come out with this trash either turn the channels or hit them in the POCKET WHERE IT HURTS DEEPLY. That is what Martin Luther King did, now we have the technology to do even more.

    July 14, 2008 at 8:24 pm |
  36. Carol Lazell, Novato, California

    I've been listening to the New Yorker people and other journalists defending this cover all day –but they haven't convinced me. I realize the cover is supposed to be satire for the sophisticated–but I find it offensive and abhorrent and not even thought-provoking (as satire should be). I'm afraid it will fan the fires of ignorance, fear, stereotyping, and racism. I remember the day many months ago when my hairdresser said to me that she didn't like Obama, whispering "Did you know–he's a Muslim!" There is so much ignorance and prejudice out there, and I'm afraid this cover will just feed the fire. Even if people realize that it is perhaps "exaggerated," I think many will also say, well, where there's smoke there's fire–so maybe the Obamas wouldn't BURN the flag, but they aren't really patriotic, maybe they wouldn't hang up a picture of bin Laden, but maybe they would be "soft" on him, or whatever. Also, I think depicting Michelle Obama as a black miltant is really racist and shows more fear-mongering, implying that any strong black woman (or man) must be angry and militant and anti-American. We are already dealing with trying to overcome a lot of fear and ignorance to encourage people to be broad-minded enough to consider a candidate on his merits and judment and ability to govern, not on whether he looks like and has a name and background like Presidents from the past. I think the New Yorker people are preening themselves because they think they are so sophisticated in putting forth this cartoon, but in this case I think they have not examined this deeply enough to realize that this cartoon isn't smart, it's dumb, in more ways than one.

    July 14, 2008 at 8:11 pm |
  37. IGNOR

    So Remnick, like i said the hood is off and here comes the real people. If a person that is running for the president of your country and you can be such a dirty bastard for free speech. just imagine what the other country and the world is saying about these US of A. Sgaskellhels others and the media relishes in such distasteful journalism along with all the other gutter news media who just enjoy this kind of mud, like the pigs they are. " Like this comment or not". These are the reason the USA is so not respected and its citizens not liked abroad. Because cartoons or no cartoon where does it begin and where does it end. No one can blame young folks for the garbage they portray on TV or in the music media. The way we disgrace our leaders, our country and ourselves comes in many different forms. This is just one of the bigotry, shameful, decayed and disgusting so called art or so called cartoon gutter news. Like I said all the hoods are coming off and it is not even close to November as yet. WHAT’S NEXT

    July 14, 2008 at 7:58 pm |
  38. Jacqueline

    I strongly feel that the cover of the New Yorker magazine was very offensive to Senator and Mrs. Obama. It reminded me, a 57-year-old African-American teacher, of an awful time, in this country's history, when African-Americans were characterized as "childish", uneducated and "buffoons". Blacks were depicted as caricatures that were "satirized" in the form of drawings, photographs, toys, salt and pepper shakers, etc. The Obama picture on the cover of the New Yorker magazine that is depicted as "satirical" reminds me of the Black memorabilia of long ago in which Black adults and children were portrayed in a false, misleading and cruel light.

    July 14, 2008 at 7:55 pm |
  39. Scott,Anderson,SC

    I completely agree with you destiny .I am a white male 28 that is also excited for the first time about the opportunity we have as a country ,and i am very dissappointed that people would resort to this.You can clearly see that someone had to be racist just to draw people depicted the way they did .They can say what they want ,but the saying is "a picture says 1000 words"

    July 14, 2008 at 7:54 pm |
  40. Jan from Wood Dale IL

    Funny, I don't seem to recall reading any of your blogs while Hillary Clinton faced sexist remarks from the media and their political pundits. So I guess this blog isn't about ALL of our daughters, just some of them?

    July 14, 2008 at 7:50 pm |
  41. Michael, CA

    I can't believe that the New Yorker published this pathetic image. The First Amendment gave them the right to do this, but where is their sense of responsibility to the American people? Will next week bring us a caricature of John McCain making propaganda tapes for the North Vietnamese?

    July 14, 2008 at 7:45 pm |
  42. Mari, Salt Lake City

    Yes, we do have freedom of speech. However, the reason so many of us, Obama supporters are upset by the New Yorker's cover is that a vast number of Americans will NOT read the corresponding article, they will simply see the cartoon online. A vast many of these people, do not understand the meaning of satire, nor do they "think" for themselves. They will look at the cartoon and take it at face value.

    Sadly, most of us, do not read, we get our 'news' through AM Radio sound bites from the likes of Limbaugh, Savage, Reagan & Hannity. Or they get emails, like the ones floating around the web about Obama being Muslim ( A LIE). POLLS SHOW THAT 29% OF AMERICANS BELIEVE HE WENT TO AN ISLAMIC SCHOOL! And another 12% believe that he is Muslim. So when the cover of the New Yorker shows Sen. Obama & his wife, in a light which these people believe to be TRUE.......... ITS A PROBLEM!

    July 14, 2008 at 7:39 pm |
  43. Scott,Anderson,SC

    Unfortually they have the right to do it ,but it shows how mentally challenged the staff of The New Yorker odviously are.To think they set around a table thinking of some ideas ,and someone suggested this cover ,and the rest of the staff was like thats awesome,that will be the greatest cover ever.Like i said MENTALLY CHALLENGED,

    July 14, 2008 at 7:38 pm |
  44. destiny

    To Every Last New Yorker Employee,

    I am disgusted, hurt, insulted, and disheartened by the lame excuse for satire that reared its hideous face today on the cover of your magazine. Have sales been declining? Are you really all that racist? Have you any idea what you have just done to the mentalities and sentiments of those who have for years been afraid of and intimidated by this country’s political process? Perhaps that notion is what motivated you to publish the sick, sad, lack of artistic expression that you have shoved into the sight and minds of those innocently trying to make an honest effort to learn about and understand the political process. The New Yorker has foolishly mistaken the true meaning of free speech; evidenced by your excuse for publishing the cover as is. While I am sure you are aware of the impact it will have on this year’s political process and the persons of African decent that were considering participating in it, allow me to take a moment to explain to you why so many Americans are upset and hurt by your latest publication. You see, this is not the first (and probably not the last) destructive, fear motivated depiction of us as a people. For years, we have been depicted as monkeys, terrorists, drug addicts, sex-crazed, and much, much more. Images of us have long been used to scare white people away from supporting dialogue about issues pertaining to us and the candidates that dare to bring them to the forefront. For even longer, media has done the same to insure that there is an imprint in the minds and souls of Black people reminding us that we really have no place in your society/politics. How sick of you to even consider such an illustration. You should all be ashamed of yourselves. In fact, the person who drew the image should step down IMMEDIATELY. I am a 23 year-old African American recent college graduate who, for the first time is excited about this country’s political process. I expected people to attempt to reopen the wounds left by slavery, jim crow, the civil rights, movement, and just the basic every day mistreatment and degradation brought about by such entities as yourselves, but never did I expect this. I was in tears the minute I saw this on the news. I don’t read your publication, never have, and never will; yet somehow I have been exposed to your garbage. I sure hope this isn’t your attempt at marketing your tasteless magazine. Even if this were honestly your attempt at satire, it is proof of the racism that exists within your hearts and proof that when it comes to intelligently bringing the politics of race to the mainstream of political discussions, you made a deliberate attempt to do so at the expense of black people. What a sad day this is for America .

    From the heart,

    Destiny Thomas

    Oakland , CA

    July 14, 2008 at 7:36 pm |
  45. Lauren

    Satire really only is effective when there is a little truth behind it. So no, I don't call it "satire" at all. What WOULD be satire would be a cartoon of a boozy Cindy McCain being carried around in a litter on a mattress stuffed with old money, and being carried by old, out of work, and underinsured, union brewery workers, while throwing money-filled hot dogs to the fat, special interest "fatcats" lapping at her feet.

    July 14, 2008 at 7:32 pm |
  46. Larry

    People need to look in the mirror and see where The New Yorker got the concept for the images. This country is gonna end up like Nazi Germany and we'll have Gestapo police watching our every move.

    July 14, 2008 at 7:14 pm |
  47. Mary Rothschild, Brattleboro, VT

    Geez...the New Yorker. Another stereotype bites the dust. Why would they do that. Of course, your own Jeff Toobin scoffed at the idea that "someone whose middle name is Hassein could beat a Clinton" So, it goes on.

    July 14, 2008 at 7:07 pm |
  48. Cynthia

    I get what they are saying about it being satire but I still find it offensive and disrespectful to the Obamas. Can't wait to see the one that they do on the McCains.

    July 14, 2008 at 7:01 pm |
  49. Kent Fitzsimmons,Kewanee, IL

    Why do you think Obama made the speech where he said the hate is coming?. This will all blow up in the face of the GOP. The more you hate the worse it looks on you after awhile. So.........keep it coming Republicans. That is the way your party always plays the game. Obama is ready.......................

    July 14, 2008 at 6:39 pm |
  50. Cindy

    Hey we do have freedom of speech. And you are free to take the pic and think of it as you will! No matter what pictures are posted there will always be people who don't like the Obama's and think that they are bad people. So to each his own I say.

    We just need to be glad that we live in a country where we can say or do anything in the press with out fear.


    July 14, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
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