Much Ado About Nothing or did the New Yorker go too far this Time?
I am an avid follower of all things political. My wife refers to me as a "talk radio junkie;" a moniker I will not deny. I do not have the time to read as much as I would like, so I turn on the radio in the morning and let it play most of the day. Today was no exception, and as I tuned in to one of my favorite shows I was made aware of the most recent cover of the New Yorker Magazine.
I am not a subscriber to the New Yorker, nor did I peruse its pages often. I am aware of the premise behind the magazine- which is primarily political satire- and while I do enjoy good satire, the most recent cover on the magazine truly took me by surprise.
As I listened to the political pundits carry on about the "satirical" portrayal of Barak Obama and his wife Michelle I found myself questioning the method behind the madness. Was this just a low class attempt to sell magazines, or was the New Yorker tapping into something much deeper than it ever intended?
Whether the lever you pull in the voting booth has an elephant or a donkey above it, it is difficult to ignore the national media's willingness to overlook the many gaffs that have come from Mr. Obama. Look no further than his comments in Oregon when Mr. Obama said of his long campaign, "I've been in fifty-seven states, I think, one left to go."
I wouldn't be surprised if you haven't heard about it. If this had been John McCain, or George W. Bush, however, I dare say the press would still be talking about it.
Anyone remember Dan Quail? The media ran that story into the ground. And don't for one minute think that they were merely attempting to perform a public service to help us poor Midwesterners remember how to spell potato. I spent four years in college in Indiana around that time, and I can tell you Dan Quail is highly regarded by the good people of the Hoosier state.
Campaign Stop in Oregon
So what about the New Yorker's most recent cover? Does it offend you? In a statement Monday, July 14th, the magazine said the cover "combines a number of fantastical images about the Obamas and shows them for the obvious distortions they are."
I have heard the speculation about Mr. Obama's Muslim up-bringing. If being raised a Muslim makes you Muslim for life, then I guess my being raised in a Wesleyan church would make me a Wesleyan for life. How then do I explain to my loving parents I now attend a Baptist church? Even the casual onlooker would conclude the lifestyle the Obamas lead does not give the appearance of people who are devout Muslims.
In an attempt to further clarify the rationale behind the cover art, the New Yorker went on to say, "The burning flag, the nationalist-radical and Islamic outfits, the fist-bump, the portrait on the wall? All of them echo one attack or another. Satire is part of what we do, and it is meant to bring things out into the open, to hold up a mirror to prejudice, the hateful, and the absurd. And that's the spirit of this cover."
Is this what the editors at the New Yorker think non-supporters see when they look at the Obamas? I know many people here in Georgia who do not support Mr. Obama. Their reasons vary, but they have nothing to do with his race or religion- and everything to do with his ideology. Are these non-supporters racists? Apparently, many in the main-stream media, the New Yorker notwithstanding, would like us to so believe.
So what can we expect on next month's cover of the New Yorker? Will we see an enraged, bed-ridden geriatric John McCain clutching a bottle of Budweiser as he watches a History Channel special on the Vietnam War? Will his much younger, attractive "trophy-wife" be standing by his bedside with a longing in her eyes and a bottle of Viagra at the ready?
As the presidential election draws closer I think it is safe to assume things are only going to intensify. Just wait until vice-presidential selections are announced!
I will be an astute observer as we make our way to November, but in the meantime, will someone please pass me the potatoe chips? I'm getting the munchies.