MEDIA: The New Yorker’s Terrorist Fist Jab


HUFFINGTON POST: [Yesterday], the New Yorker released its cover for the July 21, 2008 issue — and the reaction was swift and furious. The cover by Barry Blitt, called “The Politics of Fear,” shows Michelle and Barack Obama depicted as the worst of the prejudiced, smearing characterizations that have dogged them over the course of the campaign: Michelle Obama as a revolutionary in military fatigues, packing AK-47 and ammo; her husband dressed like the Muslim he is stubbornly accused of being. Both of them stand in the Oval Office, with a portrait of Osama bin Laden behind them over a fireplace, in which an American flag burns. Not very subtle. Some are not alarmedClarence Page, longtime Chicago Tribune columnist (and African-American) said the cover was “quite within the normal bounds of journalism” — but not everyone sees it that way. It’s been described as “offensive” and “trash” and “disgusting” and “just as bad as Fox News.” MORE

NEW YORKER: “Obviously I wouldn’t have run a cover just to get attention — I ran the cover because I thought it had something to say. What I think it does is hold up a mirror to the prejudice and dark imaginings about Barack Obama’s — both Obamas’ — past, and their politics. I can’t speak for anyone else’s interpretations, all I can say is that it combines a number of images that have been propagated, not by everyone on the right but by some, about Obama’s supposed ‘lack of patriotism’ or his being ‘soft on terrorism’ or the idiotic notion that somehow Michelle Obama is the second coming of the Weathermen or most violent Black Panthers. That somehow all this is going to come to the Oval Office. The idea that we would publish a cover saying these things literally, I think, is just not in the vocabulary of what we do and who we are… We’ve run many many satirical political covers. Ask the Bush administration how many.” — DAVID REMNICK, EDITOR [via HUFFPO]

PHAWKER: Pretty sure one day we will look back at this and laugh the way the New Yorker intended. Just not today. Of course there is always the slim chance the media will use this as a teachable moment and we can get past this nonesense once and for all, but we are not holding our breath.

FRESH AIR: Though presidential candidate Barack Obama’s campaign has been extensively covered by the media, little has been said about his roots in Chicago politics. Ryan Lizza, Washington correspondent for The New Yorker, explores Obama’s tenure as a local politician for Chicago’s South Side in the magazine’s latest issue. Before joining The New Yorker, Lizza served as senior editor of The New Republic, where he covered White House politics from 1998 to 2007. Lizza has also covered politics for The New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, Washington Monthly and GQ. LISTEN (Highly Recommended)

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