Keeping half an eye on the US elections, I found this story quite interesting. The New Yorker magazine, well known for its satirical cartoons, has depicted Obama as a Muslim standing in (presumably, from the shape) the oval office with his terrorist wife, the American flag burning in the hearth and a portrait of Bin Laden on the wall. Obama and his entourage have not taken kindly to the cartoon, which they see as ‘offensive’.
The New Yorker issued a press release saying;
“artist Barry Blitt satirises the use of scare tactics and misinformation in the presidential election to derail Barack Obama’s campaign”
This is all very well for the more sophisticated readers of The New Yorker but surely this will do nothing other than feed the fears of America’s less sophisticated voters who probably miss the satire completely and just take everything fed to them at face value. I can see why Obama might not like it although I think the ‘offensive’ tag is a little off. Still, he can hardly come out and say “I don’t like it because a lot of my less intelligent countrymen might not get the joke”. According to the article, a survey has suggested that 12% of Americans think Obama is a Muslim, so his worries are not exactly without foundation!
Although the writer of the article uses the word “strangely”, given my earlier post about Obama’s speech to the ‘American-Israeli public affairs committee’ I don’t see anything strange about a further 1% of Americans believing that Obama is Jewish. Looks like the Obama campaign has more PR work ahead of them.
Hopefully, The New Yorker will give McCain the same treatment in the near future although he now knows exactly how he needs to react, whatever Barry Blitt decides to do.
I suppose I should add that, whilst I think in this case it is perhaps a little mischievous, I defend The New Yorker’s right to print whatever cartoon they wish to print. Nothing at all wrong with political cartoons.
Would I be correct in assuming The New Yorker would be on the side of McCain, if anybody?