New Yorker Cover Shows Obama as Terrorist: Satire, or Something Else?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by hulugu, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #1
    So, is the New Yorker cover, showing Obama dressed as a Muslim a mistake or an act of brave satire?

    From Slate.com:

     
  2. yojitani macrumors 68000

    yojitani

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    #2
    Of course it's satire and the object is less Obama than it is the absurd characterizations of him in the press. His side's objection to the cover is just sad.. sadder still is the question of whether or not it's satire.
     
  3. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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  4. Kashchei macrumors 65816

    Kashchei

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    #4
    I prefer the Huffington Post's proposed 'National Review' cover featuring Mr. & Mrs. McCain.
     

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  5. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #5
    OK- this I'll give Obama a break on.

    For satire to work, people have to understand right away that it's satire. What doesn't work on this cover is that there's only a drawing. There should also be a caption or something that makes the satire clear, otherwise it's very easy to misunderstand the intent. We're talking the American public here- and let's face it, they aren't very sophisticated.
     
  6. Cleverboy macrumors 65816

    Cleverboy

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    #6
    It's very bad satire. As one commenter said, the mark of satire, is to take something and portray it as such a preposterous caricature, as to open the original thing up to ridicule. The problem with this attempt at satire, is that it is merely a mirror for what many Americans have been led to believe. Moreover, the Obama campaign has been forced to create an anti-smear website answering these charges.

    Is it a satire? Of course it is. Is it a good satire? No. That is the ONLY question worth asking. It's ineptness as a satire borders on being irresponsible in the current political climate. The same image could be reused by those that intend to emphasize the traits the image puts on display. Does the title even show up on the cover? If it does, you could change the "Politics of Fear" titling, to "Our new Commander-in-Chief?" and suddenly you have a much different take on the same exact image. By contrast, the image of McCain mentioned above, is pretty bullet-proof as satire, especially considering its focus involves issues much less volatile and debated. It would cross the line, however if it used "Viagra" as a central theme, and featured McCain's ex-wife crying in the background. It really doesn't take much to ruin otherwise good satire.

    On the issue of it being hard to make fun of Obama, I disagree. I've seen tons of cartoons already and some have been funny, some haven't, and few even came close to being "offensive".

    ~ CB
     
  7. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #7
    Clearly satire, but it represents a threat to the Obama campaign because it partially shifts focus away from the story they want to tell which seems to be about foreign policy this week. The media love stories about the media.
     
  8. Motley macrumors 6502

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    #8
    It's obviously satire. That some people aren't sure it's satire, that's just sad.
     
  9. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #9
    I'll go along with the explanation from the New Yorker folks. An effort at satire; just dumber'n hammered dirt. Intellectual ineptitude in action.

    'Rat
     
  10. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #10
    Sad, isn't it? I bet you half of the US public didn't get it.
     
  11. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #11
    It also says something about the jumpy state of the general progressive movement when they see something like this as a threat, but no smoke without fire, I guess. Meh, a non-story masquerading as one, because anyone who feels this depiction is accurate would never have voted for him anyway.
     
  12. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #12
    Unfortunately it plays to the very real prejudices of many Americans and as such will actually frighten them. It is dangerously naive to portray this as humour.
     
  13. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #13
    ^^^^^^^^. Skunk said it perfectly. But you are also correct. And Ms Blue, Obama isn't progressive. He abandoned that right after the primary. Now he just wants to get elected like every other politician. That's even more sad.
     
  14. pilotError macrumors 68020

    pilotError

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    #14
    I wouldn't worry too much. I'm sure they're all busy reading the National Inquirer and looking for Paris Hiltons little dogs.
     
  15. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #15
    I think it is a preposterous caricature and beautifully lampoons the ridiculousness of right wing/republican attacks on obama. The readership of the New Yorker who this is aimed at (who lets face it aren't likely to be conservatives and highly unlikely to be the people that actually believe these charges) will be able to identify it immediately. In my opinion it does not add legitimacy to these smears, quite the opposite. When I got my copy it gave me a chuckle and I got to laugh with my wife about fox news and their terrorist fist jab comments.

    However I can definitely understand that people of questionable intelligence misinterpreting it or places like fox news misrepresenting it might be considered a problem for the obama loyal (or even those thoroughly sick of the current administration). I think it's a bit overblown and I don't think the correct way to deal with the problem is for the New Yorker to pander to the lowest common denominator. Personally I enjoy the publication and don't wish them to pull punches for the expedience of political campaigns.
     
  16. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #16
    Shame on him. How dare he try to be elected by capturing the popular vote. Oughta be a crime. ;)
     
  17. buffalo macrumors 65816

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    #17
    It is sad since he has based his campaign on hope, change, being the Washington outsider, not the standard politician,... and then starts acting like a regular politician. Like you, can't say I blame him, but I do think it might come to hurt him a little later on.
     
  18. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    #18
    I have to admit I was shocked to read about it. While I totally understand what they are poking fun at, I have a feeling that image will be stuck in the minds of many who will just remember it and would embody what prejudices they already had. :rolleyes:

    I'm sorry, but the more I hear people talk, the less I am surprised we kept the Bushniks in office for so long. :mad:
     
  19. Marble macrumors 6502a

    Marble

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    #19
    The New Yorker's readers will know it's satire. The "general American public" who might be frightened by an image like this don't read the mag.
     
  20. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #20
    It's already started. The way he's been acting lately has made a lot of us who supported him early on feel like fools. It's not that a lot of people I know are now suddenly going to vote for McCain, they just may vote Green or not at all. If he continues on this path, it's definitely going to hurt him in some way.
     
  21. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #21
    Exactly.

    And by widely circulating this story, well out of the normal bounds for New Yorker readers, the deep satire becomes deep fear.

    Stupid play, IMO.

    Love the counter-cover though. Nice touch with the Constitution in the fire.
     
  22. maestro55 macrumors 68030

    maestro55

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    #22
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_0 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5A347 Safari/525.20)

    You are right about that. There are some of us who started to get into Obama after it became apparent that a true liberal like Kucinich would not survive the primary. I now am upset, certainly after the whole FISA thing.
     
  23. kavika411 macrumors 6502a

    kavika411

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    #23
    To answer the OP's question, I believe it was satire, since it came from The New Yorker. Had it come from a FoxNews publication, it would not be satire, it would would a smear campaign, because - as the many of the posts here state - satire is now dependent upon the audience's interpretation.
     
  24. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #24
    He really never was. Listen to his podcasts, look at his voting records, read his clarifications on controversial issues. Ranked 40th most liberal Senator. FISA certainly was a slap in the face, but he was hyped as something more and let it happen. I made a comment awhile ago that people would be disappointed when they realized he wasn't what people thought, and it's even worse than I thought.

    Anyway, yeah, if you have to explain the joke it isn't funny. All it does is play in to the stereo types. But as Jon Stewart pointed out on the Daily Show, that same media who are going nuts over this were the ones pushing the rumors this cartoon is based on as news in the first place:

    http://www.crooksandliars.com/2008/...dia-for-perpetuating-outrageous-obama-smears/
     

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