Sunday, July 13, 2008

What to Make of It?

The question is: which is worse?

The cover of the upcoming New Yorker (pictured above) or the accompanying article on Obama, Making It, How Chicago shaped Obama, by Ryan Lizza? Both are getting slammed in the pre-release press.

As Jack Tapper of Political Punch describes the cover:

An illustration by Barry Blitt depicts Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and his wife Michelle in the Oval Office, revealing their 'true' selves: Michelle is in full revolutionary garb, an enormous afro making her look like a millennial Angela Davis, holding an automatic weapon and wearing military pants.

In the cartoon Michelle is giving dap, or fist-bumping, with her husband who is wearing a turban and is dressed in garb perhaps more appropriate for a madrassa in Lahore than the Oval Office.

A painting of Osama bin Laden hangs above the fireplace, where the American flag is being burned.
Rachel Skylar of The Huffington Post describes the article, Yikes! Controversial New Yorker Cover Shows Muslim, Flag-Burning, Osama-Loving, Fist-Bumping Obama:
The companion article by Ryan Lizza, who has written extensively about the campaign, traces Obama's early career and rise through Chicago politics. It's very long (18 pages!) and probably won't thrill a lot of Democratic party faithful, either, since it advances the image of Obama as a skilled and calculating politician who rose by becoming a master of the game.
When I first saw the cover, I have to admit that I was a bit taken aback, even realizing the intent of the depiction. I'm a fan of the New Yorker and do subscribe to it, so I'm familiar with their style. However, the truth is that the cover is ironic (no kidding) and the piece (which is really long, but interesting) portrays Obama as a politician first and foremost (duh?), but neither strike me as outrageous.

Of course, the real problem is that the right will no doubt use both as a way to make slurs against Obama and his campaign. But then again, they will do that with or without the help of the New Yorker.

No comments: