July 15th, 2008
10:25 AM ET

The New Yorker blew an opportunity to expose the real haters

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/14/art.tiltedobama.jpg width=292 height=320]

Roland S. Martin
CNN Political Analyst
AC360° Contributor

I'm supposed to be on a plane to Accra, Ghana right now, but my flight out of Houston was cancelled, so we're going to have to leave out of JFK tomorrow.

As a result, I've had a chance to read a ton of emails regarding a protest of the New Yorker Magazine because of their cover depicting Michelle Obama with an Afro and a gun slung over her shoulder, and Sen. Barack Obama dressed as a Muslim.

I was sent a copy of the New Yorker's cover of Michelle and Barack Obama in an email, as well as a headline discussing the issue of fear. Then the editor of the New Yorker said the following to CNN: "The idea is to attack lies and misconceptions and distortions about the Obamas and their background and their politics. We've heard all of this nonsense about how they're supposedly insufficiently patriotic or soft on terrorism," said David Remnick, the magazine's longtime editor.

Except for one thing: Remnick is lying.

I wanted to see a hard copy of the magazine, and Barclay Palmer of the AC360° staff obliged.

There is no headline on the cover of art. The flap on the cover says the following: "How Obama became a pol. Ryan Lizza on the candidate's first campaigns – and how Chicago's byzantine politics shaped him"

And the headline on the inside says: "Making It: How Chicago shaped Obama" by Ryan Lizza.

That's it. No article deals with the issue of fear, and the headline doesn't match it at all.

The New Yorker is saying one thing and is doing another.

And frankly, they missed an opportunity.

The real culprits are the people the New Yorker should have been ripping to shreds: the rhetorical bullies, mostly on right wing conservative and television, that have been the chief merchants in selling this mess to the American people.

With their twisted logic, adherence to removing any context, and just flat out lying, they have been the driving force behind the smearing of Obama.

I've heard these rhetorical thugs call Michelle Obama "militant," and offer nothing to back it up, hoping folks will envision Angela Davis and the Black Panthers when they think of Michelle.

You've had right wing windbags continue to speculate about Obama being Muslim, even though the evidence is against that.

From day one these nuts have tried to scare the hell out of America, whether it was trying to make Obama accept every word from the Rev. Jeremiah Wright; assert that neither Obama is a true American; all in an effort to make them both ungrateful to what America "gave" them.

Save your passion and anger for those fools, not a magazine that was trying to push the envelope to show the fear in which they choose to instill in the minds of the uneducated and easily impressionable. Unfortunately, the New Yorker failed.

Shame on them, but also shame on the fear mongerers, and they should be called out by name, no matter what network they work for, no matter what time of day their radio shows come on, and no matter which magazine, newspaper or syndicate they write for.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Roland S. Martin • T1
soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. bgts

    Boycott the media that keeps repeating the same negative so-called journalism hog wash news over and over.
    They are trying to make a point, the point is backfiring.
    Reminick is prejudice and a bigot

    July 15, 2008 at 10:09 pm |
  2. lampe

    Roland, yes there is racism in this world. And the comments made on Anderson 360 last night proves that you and the other AA gentleman are also part of the problem. Remarks were made that if Obama doesn't win in Nov., that young AA's will be mad and willstart roiting in the streets,somewhat like what happened back in the 60's. Now you as a AA might not feel that these are fear-mongering words of hate and racism, but I as a White person take this to mean we better all vote for Obama, or there will be hell to pay. Sorry, but you can't have it both ways, if you can talk trash and hate, about McCain and The Clintons, then your golden boy better be able to man -up and take the same kind of hate and trash from non-Obama supporters

    July 15, 2008 at 9:01 pm |
  3. Mike in NYC

    Fay, CA wrote:

    "There are some people who comment here on a regular basis who sound pretty sympathetic towards the KKK’s line of thinking in spite of them not “mattering” anymore."

    Overtly racist posts are exceedingly rare on these boards. I guess you feel that anyone who doesn't buy into the "BO as Messiah" message, or who doesn’t assign whites the lion’s share of guilt for the state of black America, is a KKK fellow traveler.

    July 15, 2008 at 7:42 pm |
  4. sky

    There is nothing illustrious or satire about it. And many people will never agree it bigotry because they themselves are bigots . Anderson questions means he does not understand . Too much to explain Anderson

    If CNN had to ask the question "Satire of Smear?" You know they don't and cannot see what is wrong. THEY DO NOT GET IT.
    It does not highlight anything good . it is all wrong and we still can see that the Media does not get it. Yes they meant to hurt Obama.

    We need to jump on these bigots instantly, we cannot allow them to get away with this gutter lies and misleading mess.
    Get people on talk show and blast them. This was done purposeful. who are we fooling. Use the technology we have. The are evil people out there. The picture cover does not match the article. it was meant to hurt him terrible nasty low down Remnick.

    Let them Pay. DONT BUY THE MAGAZINE.// OBAMA STOP EXPLAINING YOUR RELIGION. Muslims and Christians are not fooled. these comment are fuel by the republican and the deep prejudice and bigots You cannot change our minds.


    July 15, 2008 at 7:29 pm |
  5. sky

    stop picking and choosing// post the comment, be fair

    the cartoon is bigotry. and that's the truth, like it or not, bigots

    July 15, 2008 at 7:27 pm |
  6. Fay, CA

    Anyone who thinks the KKK matters anymore is seriously deluded. More “anti-racist” mythology.

    There are some people who comment here on a regular basis who sound pretty sympathetic towards the KKK's line of thinking in spite of them not "mattering" anymore.

    July 15, 2008 at 7:14 pm |
  7. Viewpoint

    I was excited about the election. Now, however,
    I'm beginning to think it might be too soon for an African American to run for president. All I seem to hear (or see) is cries of 'racist' 'unfair' 'unequal treatment' 'blacks unite' 'white man's attitude' ....etc, etc.
    This just might devide the races more than anything in recent history.... really sad to think about.

    July 15, 2008 at 6:56 pm |
  8. Mari

    Do you really believe that someone with a Harvard degree could do worse than George Bush? If so, we are really in trouble. Bush can barely construct a complete sentence and the right-wingers have the gall to call Obama an elitist. Why? Perhaps it is because he is confident, well-spoken and intelligent. It's one thing to say you don't know much about a candidate; it's quite another to manufacture information as has been done against Obama. Ask yourself the question "is my doubt fed by FoxNews and other Conservative media?" If the answer is yes, then you've been had.

    I stopped watching FoxNews after they dragged out the Rev. Wright tapes. If that man was all that bad they would have used many other clips and not the same one over and over again. My blood pressure is now down and I will not knowingly patronize any advertisers on FoxNews, ever!!!!

    July 15, 2008 at 6:54 pm |
  9. Aris

    Not that I think he is a moslem or terorist,,,but by his polotical strategy...

    July 15, 2008 at 6:48 pm |
  10. Mari

    Isn't it amazing that the people who criticizied Rev. Wright have done more smearing and hate mongering than anyone. Yet they stand in judgement of Rev. Wright. The Muslim Americans should front FOX News and the other right wing media and ask them what is wrong with being a Muslim. I hope they have the good conscience to NOT vote for McCain who is silently benefitting from this smear campaign against Muslims and Obama.

    July 15, 2008 at 6:39 pm |
  11. Aris

    I can see the future by looking at this picture

    July 15, 2008 at 6:37 pm |
  12. Mike in NYC

    Martin really should watch the name calling. Remnick is lying? How?

    Then again, if “Reverend” Jackson can talk about castrating someone, then Mr. Christian Communicator can indulge in casual slander.

    Janet, Toronto wrote:

    "The New Yorker, should do a real carton [sic] on the KKK and Racist Americans!"

    Anyone who thinks the KKK matters anymore is seriously deluded. More “anti-racist” mythology.

    Tyrone wrote:

    "... white on white crime or child molesting in the white community both very high in numbers."

    Blacks are 12.8% of the population, yet commit over 50% of all murders. They are also disproportionately represented among rapists and sexual predators, despite media myths to the contrary. I’ll also mention that they commit 90% of interracial crimes involving whites and blacks. Word.

    July 15, 2008 at 6:35 pm |
  13. Cynthia

    Roland, all I can say is – tell the truth and shame the devil.

    July 15, 2008 at 5:47 pm |
  14. Susan, OH

    The cover of New Yorker reminds me of a bad joke behind your back, and when you walk in the room everyone starts to snicker. If this was to be satire why don't the artist and editor go and hand our copies at the American Arab League. I don't think they will find this funny, plus it lampoons African Americans. Now we see why Obama had to move his message to the center of the country, because of these left wing nuts.

    Keep fighting Obama 08!!!!!!

    July 15, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  15. Vik Ahuja

    Terrorism has always been scary and post 9/11, it has assumed sinister proportions. To depict Michelle Obama, a woman and mother of two, as a gun toting terrorist is absolutly tasteless and totally uncalled for. To show American flag being burnt inside the White House is equally offensive and unpatriotic. New York Times should apologize to Americans in general and Michelle Obama in particular for stoking the fire of fear politics under the garb of sattire and freedom of speach.

    July 15, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  16. Jay, Denver CO

    They should have been honest and just said: "We figured out a way to sell lots of magazines!! That's why we did it!!"

    ...then I would say to that kind of honesty: "Good for you!!"

    July 15, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  17. Mike P

    Right on Roland, you and Jack Cafferty tell it like it is. Anderson used to be like that, now he's a Wolfe B. Shame, I've stopped watching both. No one has back bone on the news networks to call people on their bull. I miss Tim Russert !

    July 15, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  18. Kurt

    You are so wrong! Obama brought all this upon himself for refusing to wear the flag pin. His wife got out there on a public platform and said "for the first time in my life, I am proud to be an American"
    No right wing conspiracy was behind this cartoon. Satyre takes a bit of the truth and mocks it.

    July 15, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  19. Kevin Facey

    While I was reading some of the comments of many of the people, many of the posters not liking the cover, the one poster that named Cathy who lives in Saint Louis, tells me that she does not have the power to discern fact from fiction. First, Sen. Obama clearly stated that he was a Christian. Second, there are some folks out there that have Arabic names that are Christian. Another thing, do you think that every person of Muslim faith, supports Osama Bin Laden?

    Anyway, when I hear the media say that Michelle Obama is this " Angry Black Woman", I totally disagree. I think that she, Mrs. Obama, is an attractive, intelligent, and well educated woman, who has her own identity outside of her husband.

    And going back to Cindy in St. Louis, if you are letting your fears and rumors of what you think that Obama is dictate to you whom to vote for, then the issue is not Obama, but it is you. You should vote for the person that speaks to the very issue(s) that concern you. However, from the post, I think that you have made up your mind.

    July 15, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  20. Franco = Vienna, Austria

    Roland, thank you for your comments and well written criticism of the NEW YORKER cover. I am a former New Yorker and at one time had a subscription to this publication. The Editor D. Remnick is in my opinion lying when he tries to explain the cover and what it meant to say. Could there be more behind this entire fiasco? New York, the kind of subscribers to this publication, their feelings about Senator and Mrs. Obama, their fear he might be more even-handed with his support of ALL countries in the Middle East. Could this be part of this even if it is only a very small part? This kind of foreign Policy would not suit certain so-called "allies" in that part of the world and their supporters in the city of New York. I hope I am wrong about this feeling I have and would like to be proven wrong BUT I know that there is more to this than "satire". Prove me wrong Mr. Remnick, be totally transparent and release the names of those on the staff of THE NEW YORKER who approved of this pictoral 'satire" and also the names of the financial supporters WHO went along with this blatent insulting view of a fine man and his wife. Will anyone be held accountable ? At this point I doubt it. I saw the program where Bill Bennett spoke more in defense of Barack Obama than did james Carville. Now that says volumes about ethics, fairness, and taste not to mention tolerance and acceptance. Mr. Remnick should be fired as well as anyone who approved of this cover before it was published. Will he be – of course not. If you can go back and view Remnick's explanation and you will see guilt and tension written all over his face.

    July 15, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  21. Bev C NY

    Gary Chandler up in Canada; FYI – McVeigh did not blow up the Murrah Building for "veterans rights". Get your facts straight. Just worry about your own country, oh, I forgot – Canada and Canadians are perfect! Eh? Sorry to break the news to you but America is NOT the "most backwards democracy" in the world. Anti-feminine? Have you heard of Saudi Arabia? Iran? Does anyone else out there agree with this joker?

    Bev (a Proud American Female)
    Town of Tonawanda, NY

    July 15, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
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