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. Genny G

    I wonder how many "average" Americans know what a satirical drawing is or what the message is suppose to convey. This was a terrible mistake by the New Yorker and certainly was not funny. SHAME ON YOU.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  2. lampe

    Obama supporters,get over yourselves. The Clinton supporters do not give a rats-behind about your or him. How will in feel in Nov. to be the losers, lets just see how long it will take for you to get over-it. If he does win it will be because he made back room deals with THE DNC,clearly not because he was the better WOMAN for the job. I think the picture is hilarious.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  3. Sam R

    The New Yorker should be ashamed of itself for publishing this cover. The question I have is why didn't the New York depict Senator McCain bombing Iran instead of using Obama and his wife in this despicable cartoon to defile their person. At least McCain was very clear that he would bomb Iran if he were President, and he would have been a good candidate for the cartoon picture on the front cover of the New Yorker. I have been a life long Republican, but that was in the past.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  4. MJ Rhone

    It is amazing to me that people could even think that this is satire. It is plain and simple a slap in the face to African American people. Why do we have to be twice as good at anything in order to apply for a job and when we are you will try to destroy us by any means neccessary.

    I notice that with the mortgge meltdown, no one remembers the Savings and Loan mess in the early 90's and that John McCain was connected with the Keating five. No one ever even mentions that but they are on Barack no matter what and it just goes to show that the country is not ready for the power of the president to pass to any other Nationality.

    I have been voting since I was 18 years old and I am now 63 and my choices to vote have always been a white man, whether he had my best interest at heart or not. I simply do not understand this hatred that people seem to have for Barack and it is all because of his race.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  5. LA2NC

    rodney dollar July 14th, 2008 10:15 pm ET

    why was did he get sworn in to his office in a privet seramony on the karon ?
    Your comments prove the point of most of the people who've made comments here and on other blogs. Maybe, just for once, do a little research yourself instead of repeating rumors.Barack was sworn in publically on his Bible, not the Koran.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  6. Eiman

    Well I think the picture of Barack Obama & Michelle Obama wasn't funny .Also ,whats wrong with being a Muslim ? One more thing the picture may have hurt the feelings of some Muslims.

    E.Z.K NY

    July 14, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  7. Mr. L

    There are other newsworthy subjects to talk about today, but I guess this one is now a headline on cable news. It's like a political cartoon. I thought the New Yorker would know better than this?

    People are clearly not viewing this as satire.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  8. Mark Mulqueeney

    The New Yorker gives the "average american" way, way to much credit in understanding satire. With a college education, you might "get it". Hell, I've got a degree in journalism and I didn't get it . But for 95% of the country who does not read the New Yorker, all they are going to see on this cover at the grocery stores, the airport or on t.v. is having it play to their darkest fears, (no pun intended).

    Maybe next week we will see a cartoon of John McCain in an airport bathroom stall "with a wide stance" passing visas to Mexicans under the separating wall.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  9. Brenda

    As I previously stated before, many are ignorant of the facts and post comments likke FT (more likely ET). Obviously speaking out of the doldrums of ignorance. The blind being led by the blind.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  10. Deepak

    Rather than debating satire vs slander, why don't face the fact that Obama is a born muslim, even though he claims that he converted to Christianity.
    How many muslims are "allowed" to be converted to other faiths? If a Muslim girl tries to convert to other faith for whatever reason, she is most likely to be murdered. And, a non-muslim girl is forced to become muslim if she wants to marry muslim boy. This is the sad situation in India.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:43 pm |
  11. Gary Millspaugh

    The New Yorker cover was a brilliantly calculated move, in SUPPORT of Obama. It was neither a mistake, nor an attack. The Obama campaign now gets hundreds of extra hours of news coverage, plus the race discussion continues; all to the benefit of Obama.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:43 pm |
  12. Don Wiltsie

    I think an established magazine such as the New Yorker is should have know better than to release such a cover of a candidate for the presidency without thinking about what the real or implied first glance impressions would have been especially on such a volatile subject as Terrorism is for America.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:42 pm |
  13. Bob Drake

    The New Yorker claims this is satire? I thought they were supposed to be smart, not stupid.

    I'll believe them when they satirize the criticism they are receiving as racist and anti-Muslim. I'll believe their excuse if next week they run a cover cartoon - with no explanation and nothing mentioned in any article, as with Obama - showing David Remnick and Ryan Lizza, and the cartoonist, in Ku Klux Klan robes, holding white robes lynching a black man and burning the Koran. Real funny, huh? I dare them. I especially wait for the fatwa against them.

    PS Just hear James James Carville making excuses. New Yorker, hmmm. Follow the money, as Deep Throat said. Can some enterprising journalist track down the relations with Hillary Clinton? You know, the Senator from the New Yorker... I mean, New York. Seems Hillary's last, secret hope is for something that makes Obama "unelectable," isn't it. Then she could take another turn at swinging the Super Delegates.

    Maybe Carville and the New Yorker are just stupid? As Newt Gingrich complimented Bill Clinton, when asked if his remarks after SC were intentional - as predicted in early Jan by Dick Morris - Newt replied, "Unless he's not as good with words as we all think he is..."

    Me thinks the Lady - and the New Yorker - doth protest too much.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:41 pm |
  14. Ev

    Freedom of speech, freedom of the press ...you take this for granted in a democracy.
    The only thing NewYorker did wrong was to underestimate the demand for this issue....every bookstore, every newstand is sold out.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:41 pm |
  15. Kellie

    I think we should live in a country where there is freedom of speech. However, I do believe The New Yorker has crossed the line, this satire did NOT work. Obviously, controversy has come out of it; proving the satire was NOT understood and a joke should not require this MUCH explanation. It is important as a publication to display accurate information and to be very sensitive to politics and the impact your information can have IF you decide to have a political satire.
    Just in case, anyone is doubting, Obama is NOT muslim, if he were, he won't have had all these issues with the various pastors he has been affiliated with and the church he used to attend. He can't be both Muslim and Christian at the same time, get the information straight and stop being ignorant!!!.. Again, Obama is NOT muslim; New Yorker, your magazine cover did NOT help educate people.

    In this country, where we pride ourselves to be open and accepting, what in the world does it matter if ANYONE is Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Athetist or of any religion affiliation and is running for political office? As long as the person's issues are vital to the country and he or she can relate to the American people and is qualified to be the president. This is the United States of America, please stop being so close minded.

    This is coming from a PROUD Christian who is open minded and loves this country passionately!!!!!

    July 14, 2008 at 10:41 pm |
  16. karen adams

    The new yorker cover was an example of an editor (david remnick) who is a very racist new york jew. Perhaps next time they should run a cover depicting Iran nuking Israel and a whole bunch of jews dead with their yamukahs lying beside them. I wonder how david would feel about this. It was an exceptionally inappropriate cover. Both Obama and McCain are the least prejudice candidates that have run for high public office in a very long time. If I were Jewish, I would be treading on thin ice at this time in history, because showing prejudice is just going to make your cause in the middle east not very sympathetic to the rest of the world.

    P.S. Bill Clinton is so pissed off about everything because his calculating move of opening an office in Harlem years ago to get his wife elected did not pan out. Bill, you generated a lot of "BAD KARMA" with that monica lewinsky deal. "BAD KARMA" is something you do not want to have in life, dude. Good luck with that.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:41 pm |
  17. sam

    i understand that the New Yorker may been trying to play on the false beliefs that the Obama's are radical and un-american, but did they ever think that the common man also sees their publication? I wonder if anyone in the process of publishing this cover thought that this could cause an uproar, or did they even care? I believe that some people that put this illustration out there believed it was somewhat funny and had some idea that it was hurtful, but simply did'nt care because it's a right to do so. I hope that this whole fiasco can open up the minds of voters and not fuel any ideas that the Obama's are not good for this country.

    Sumter, South Carolina

    July 14, 2008 at 10:41 pm |
  18. Lynnette

    On the The New Yorker piece, you and your some of your guests insulted the intelligence of your listeners. You are assuming that we don't know the difference between satire and a smear. That we don't have a clue as to who Obama is. It's time you focused on the Chicago political machine he came from, rather than fluffy diversions from the truth.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:40 pm |
  19. Joyce Conklin

    The New Yorker disgraced itself. Disgusting!

    July 14, 2008 at 10:40 pm |
  20. Julie Powell

    The New Yorker cover was stupid and did nothing but further fuel the ignorant misconceptions surrounding Obama. But what is even more ignorant is CNN's and the rest of the media's focus on the 12 percent of the population perpetuating this ignorance. There will always be ignorant people. The good news is, 88 percent of the population gets it. Let's focus on them and let their views drive the discussion. I'm sure they have much better topics to talk about.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:39 pm |
  21. V Smith

    Certainly caricatures don't always mean that the person portrayed is being put down– it isn't unusual to see a positive article following the caricature. In the case with the New Yorker, however, it is taken to such an extreme that it does appear to vilify the subjects- Obama and his wife; it looks like a perfect cover for a right-wing extremist publication. How many newsstands will this cover decorate? How many of the "uninitiated" will continue in their misconceptions fueled by this terrible error in judgment?
    Comparing this to Steven Colbert's satire is a mistake; people tuning in know what he's about; this, on the other hand, will be glanced at by many passers-by and perhaps even discussed on radio by some ignoramus of a talk-show host in a small redneck town who isn't even familiar with the New Yorker (yes, these people do exist). The damage would have been mitigated had their been a conspicuous headline ridiculing the concept.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:38 pm |
  22. John M

    They say ignorance is bliss. Anyone we doesn't see racism, sexism, religious bigotry etc. active in most all layers of this country, (both in its normal and reverse forms) is certainly living in bliss.

    Intolerance in all forms creates barriers to understanding and resolutions to old issues that might, if given the opportunity to air out, get resolve. Why let others polarize your views and incite you to become defensive, which makes you vulnerable or appear racist or reverse racist.?

    The US seems so politically righteous and intolerant on all sides. Campaigning seems to involve using sound bites to atack and jab your opponent. Why not put out a solid platform and stop digging at the other team?

    Didn't our politicians learn anything in kindergarten?

    July 14, 2008 at 10:38 pm |
  23. ed

    We should stay with what believe to be true and not let what others choose to publish bother us, after all, we to have respect freedom of expression, that's great part of being an American. I am voting for Obama regardless of what others say, d o ,or publish. I truly believe he and his wife are good for and love America. Believe or not I am a Republican, however have had my fill of how things are going under our present leadership,change is a must. Their are no guarantees in Politics or in life, sometimes one must go with ones gut feeling, let's face it they all lie, I guess I need to decide who will keep most of their promises.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:38 pm |
  24. teresa-columbus, oh

    I do find the cover very offensive whether I was democratic or republican. I do not recall ever seeing such a depiction of any of our presidential hopefuls in the past shown in this kind of manner. I have read so many comments on this blog and do agree that this may fall within the free speech category. I still find shame for what it represents. Many must know that a picture in fact is worth a 1000 words as mentioned in an earlier blog. Did the New Yorker realize that it was playing into the fears of the people affected by 911? I am sure that this magazine is sold around the world-what is the New Yorker trying to say to international nations about our candidates? If Obama was to become our president, how will this affect foreign affairs? Poor taste-not proper satire

    July 14, 2008 at 10:37 pm |
  25. James

    Anderson.. what is it about American's and politics?
    They continue to hit, slam and eat alive people (like Obama) trying to do the best for your country. Your country needs a popularity boost.
    As a Canadian.. I watch American politics daily, to see how it will affect the rest of the world.
    This tacky tastless New Yorker cover is exactly why the world's view of the U.S. is so very low.


    July 14, 2008 at 10:37 pm |
  26. Rose from Joliet

    We haven't progressed as far as we thought in the struggle for racial equality. Frankly, I'm surprised at the lack of sophistication regarding this so-called liberal satire. This crapola should get exactly the reception it would receive if it showed up on one of the rightwing wack job publications. The New Yorker has no monopoly on liberalism. A key element of satire is humor; if it has to be explained, it ain't funny.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:37 pm |
  27. Yalu Ajamu

    The photo in the New Yorker and the article contained therein is a protected right under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and goes to the core ot this constitutional freedom and is on cutting edge of free speech and press. The disturbing aspect of the matter thus far is Sen Obama 's response when presented with the issue, he indicated he had "no comment " unlike his Republican opponent Sen McCain who displayed courage and strength in calling the photo inappropiate and wrong, which should tlikewise tell you something about the character, leadership, courage and experience of the two presidential candidates when faced with controversial matters. I hope Sen Obama if elected President will not stand on the fence and be noncommital when confronted with tough, controversial issues and assaults that may be waged against the United States whether domestic or international.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:37 pm |
  28. MC, Brooklyn, NY

    I have a question i want to throw out into this crowd and see if i can get an answer. Obama is 46 yrs old. He said himself that he was and still is a Christian for 20+ yrs. Well, what i want to know is, What did Obama identify himself as before he became a Christian. I did my research and i found that barrack's father, Hussein Obama, was a muslim and usually one takes on the religion of their father. So please, anyone have an answer?????

    July 14, 2008 at 10:36 pm |
  29. Joyce A

    With friends like the New Yorker, who needs enemies? Today's New Yorker cover , from the known liberal publication, stands as the latest in line with all the rest of Obama's friends, like Rev Wright, Jessie Jackson, etc. Geeze.... the supporters are shooting him in both feet! Is the New Yorker editorial staff not aware of the fact that many fearful folk out there BELIEVE what they see? Most everyday people never read the New Yorker, but will see this cover (as its in all the media now) and it will confirm their unfounded fears!
    Shame on all who are allies... saying and doing things that could bring their hero down!
    Can we all just THINK before we speak or publish?

    July 14, 2008 at 10:30 pm |
  30. L

    Shame on the new yorker, as if we don't already have enough ignorant people in this world, to put out a tasteless front cover like that sends out the wrong message. What were they thinking? or were they?

    July 14, 2008 at 10:30 pm |
  31. Larry

    Where is the outcry from the Muslim community?

    July 14, 2008 at 10:30 pm |
  32. Rose Mayer

    I think the cover shows the lack of respect "americans" hve 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 10:30 pm |
  33. Lovett

    I agree with John in San Diego and the many others who say... Bad timing, terrible editorial choice, and a true lack of understanding of the American people and the deep roots of racism, and fear in this country. Another major unnecessary distraction. Unfortunately... Sad!

    July 14, 2008 at 10:29 pm |
  34. Lyn Johnston

    The New Yorker cover supports, not denies the lies about Obama.

    Anderson, couldn't you find an objective, credible Democrat to make that point?
    Carville is neither. Bill Bennet, the Republican, was the reasonable voice with the accurate analysis about how the cover failed and sends
    a despicable message.

    Every time you have Carville on, I turn you off. I am a Democrat who
    finds Carville a source of embarrassment. Please find a Democratic spokesman as credible as David Gergen. Get rid of Carville!

    July 14, 2008 at 10:29 pm |
  35. jhb

    It's a sad state that we are in when we as Americans have made being a Muslem something that is negative. As history has proven we as Americans continue to denegrate people because of race, religion, sexual orientation and heritage. There are countless Muslems in this country that because of religious beliefs are condemed to a life of negative connotations, for but a few extremists.
    If a politician is Muslem, Buddists, Catholic, Christian or Jew what does it matter. If Obama was running for Pope I could see where it might make a difference. The question should be what is the politician going to do to better our society that we live in and the current problems that we face.
    As for the cover of the New Yorker, freedom of press. I choose to form my opinions on fact not cartoon.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:28 pm |
  36. Asli

    I agree with Andrew L. This focus is absurd, and the satire is easily explained and quite obvious to anyone who would read what's behind the cover.

    I think that we're overlooking a pretty crucial point here. Even most cursory knowledge of the New Yorker's past provocative covers or, moreover, its absolute love affair with Obama (Hendrik Hertzberg may as well be the treasurer of the Obama editorial fan club), makes this kind of media explosion seem absurd, if not surprising. It's doubtful that the satire would be lost on The New Yorker's readership. The so-called controversy relies entirely on the idea that many Americans are intellectually lazy enough to not only look at the cover and let our flaccid minds draw absurd conclusions, but that we would be swayed without so much as flipping to the table of contents. It's not in the style of the New Yorker to try to pander to the lowest common denominator, but rather to be fairly provocative. This is great satire. It's not over the top. The fact that these ideas exist is an unfortunate reflection on a portion of society, and like good satire, the New Yorker is pointing out how ridiculous these "debates" about Obama's pretty clearly defined identity really are.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:28 pm |
  37. D&J

    The cover is a bust and totally off base

    July 14, 2008 at 10:27 pm |
  38. Vickie Graves

    I feel that the magazine cover was racist and whoever came up with the idea is arrogant. Obama and Michelle are just people who are trying to make a difference within the United States. America is in need of a change. God is not pleased with the progress that has went forth for the past 8 years.
    We have to look at the facts and trust that God will lead and guide him in the right direction and path. We have to stop looking at color and put forth an effort for change. We can't keep living in a world of confusion and lies. We need someone to stand up for the country and fight for the people.
    The New Yorker cover is disgusting and enough to make people see what some people are really about.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:27 pm |
  39. Rochelle

    Perhaps the regukar readers of this magazine might get the "satire"...but those who really feel Obama is a Muslim who will encourage terrorism and the downfall of our country will see this cover as JUSTIFICATION OF THEIR FEELINGS. These are the people who only see Obama as "black", who see his wife as militant...the people who do not know, nor WANT to know, anything about this man and the difference he can make in our country. G-d help us if he doesn't win this election!
    This cover is neither funny nor clever....it 's a disgrace.,

    July 14, 2008 at 10:26 pm |
  40. A Sybliss

    This article; in my opinion, only reveals how deep bigotry runs in this country. Political correctness has everyone calling this satire, when in fact it reveals the level of prejustices; i.e. racism,sexism etc. My take is: it's an attempt to stir striff, to divide the masses. In closing, this is a prime example of the "olde school politics" that Obama is attemping to "change'. Bigotry still runs rampant in our societies, especial among older Americans. Tired of all the cover-ups and denial of how deep prejudices runs in our country...racism, sexism, homophobia etc. Even prejudices against the elderly and physcially challenged.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:26 pm |
  41. Raina P

    This is ridiculous. Tell me, if the same "satirist" drew a picture of Cindy McCain, in 6" heels and a 2" miniskirt, with a crackpipe trying to buy drugs on the corner of 14th and K, would anyone be laughing or even having a discussion? What if there was an illustration of Laura Bush, behind the wheel of a car leaving the scene of an accident? I don't even think the New Yorker would consider it for a second . . . and the community would be outraged. "Satire for discussion" is a beautiful cloak for racism and bigotry in 2008. I'm disgusted, and my two sons watching this are as well.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:26 pm |
  42. Paulette Brousseau

    Thank you, New Yorker, for finally having the courage to tell the truth. I love the cover and think all the points you suggest are the truth. I dont consider it satire. I just appreciate that the mainstream media is showing Obama for what he really is. I'm sick of every criticism of him being called a rumor. He is a danger to America and the facts must be told. we need to put "politcally correct" on hold until after the election. We need more covers and stories exposing Obama for what he really is

    July 14, 2008 at 10:26 pm |
  43. Robert

    This is the most Un-American act I have ever seen. This publications does not take into account the many lives that were lost at the hand of Bin-Laden and to depict him with the american flag burning should be an outrage by all americans.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:26 pm |
  44. Patricia

    This is yet another example of racial sterotypes and American ignorance. What would be the uproar if the New Yorker depicted John Mcain with a missile strapped to his back and Cindy standing just behind him popping pills? Do you think America would be outraged by the display? Or would they try to excuse the filth as “all in fun satire”? Outraged by the display equal Caucasians respected.
    “All in fun satire” – “get over it” – Freedom of Speech equals African Americans continuely disrespected.
    Now…..exactly ….How far have we come as a nation since Jim Crow?

    July 14, 2008 at 10:26 pm |
  45. BigGreenMnM

    I wonder,if this cartoon had been drawn on a bar napkin at a local tavern,and the artist was Imus,would he have lost his job or been called a racist??

    July 14, 2008 at 10:26 pm |
  46. Mo'

    That is clearly racist. Would you show a picture of John McCains that selling out America during his time as a POW, by stating that America unlawfully invaded Vietnam and killed women and children. This prove the point that Black American have to always perform above and beyond their White counterparts. There is no way you can justify this. This show how racist America is.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  47. Dave

    So now your mad. We finally see the true Obama. Ms. Obama doesn't like the good ol USA, Mr. Obama is proud of his islamic herritage. Excuse me but this is America. We are proud of our country. We may not always be right but we are the most proud people on earth. You want to elect a man that has no, I repeat zero experience in world politics. He has not shown he can lead not only his state but the UNITED STATES of AMERICA. His I have a dream/change speach has you hoodwinked. I am not by any means a racist person. A black or woman president is fine with me. It just has to be the right person. We as Americans need to realize that this man, Barrack Obama is not the person to lead us out of our currant demise. We cannot afford our currant ways and this man wants to give out FREE medical insurance to ALL Americans. WAKE up America, who do you think is going to pay for a goverenment insurance policy. WE WILL ! You think taxes are high now, wait until this man, Barrack is President. I'm not a wealthy man by any means, but why should my hard earned dollars go to support and insure people that do not want to help themselves? I don't believe there is a perfect solution. There is no perfect cannidate, except Ronald Reagan. We must choose the person that has EXPERIENCE and has proved the they can lead this great nation with its great people to a better time like we had in the past.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  48. Donna Hagerty

    I am outraged at the New Yorker! Free Speech does not merit such a tasteless and insulting front cover! I usually agree with James Carvell and David Gergan, but not this time! I think Bill Bennett is on target with this one! WHAT WERE THEY THINKING????

    July 14, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  49. Maureen Finkelstein

    This cover of Michelle and Barack is NOT satire, but offensive.
    I have been shocked all day each time I saw the cover of the New Yorker on tv.

    I think the New Yorker magazine needs apologize for the slander.

    The magazine is trying to portray Obama as Muslim and Michelle as Militant.
    Am disgusted and will NOT ever purchase the New Yorker magazine

    July 14, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  50. Cole I

    I find the cover smart and witty, and I don't understand why everyone is going after the New Yorker. People should be outraged yes but at the those with malicious intents whose goals are to misinform the public about Obama. Thank you New Yorker for getting people talking.

    ...Maybe, however, it was too smart.

    July 14, 2008 at 10:24 pm |
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