you weren’t wrong, it missed by a mile

new yorker cover If that whole Obama/New Yorker cover thing made you unhappy… but you weren’t quite sure why… and you didn’t want to look like a humorless Obama nut… but it didn’t seem funny… but you couldn’t explain why it wasn’t funny… good news. Lee Siegel, writing for The New York Times has it all figured out. It’s a great piece.

4 thoughts on “you weren’t wrong, it missed by a mile”

  1. “The New Yorker represented the right-wing caricature of the Obamas while making the fatal error of not also caricaturing the right wing.”

    I totally disagree with this.
    I think that is exactly what the cartoon does. It lampoons the absurd ideas that some on the right have about the Obamas with an over the top composite of those ridiculous notions.

    That was my immediate reaction when I saw it, and I didn’t require the hand-holding guidance of a right-wing crank with a thought balloon as a part of it to perceive that, unlike Mr. Siegel. To me, the caricaturing of the right wing is obviously implicit in the image.

    The idea that the New Yorker would have put this on it’s cover as some sort of mainstreaming of these misguided and fantastical sentiments instead of the mockery of them that it clearly is is just laughable to me. How can anyone really think that cover is going to change someone’s mind against Obama, or somehow validate some righty’s delusions?

    The hysteria in it’s detractors, such as comparing it to an image of a black man raping a white woman while eating a watermelon or Imus’ racist comments, is to me, far more disturbing. The conversation should be about those very absurd ideas of the Obama’s religion and radicalism, blasting them as the garbage they are, and I think this cover does that with what I consider humor.

  2. I only read Ian’s piece after i posted, and I do agree with him that calls for a boycott were kind of baby. Dems are going to have to nut up for this contest. But ultimately I like the analysis that this didn’t fail because it was bad satire, it failed because it wasn’t satire at all.

  3. You are so right Beth. This article nails the problem with that cover! I realize now that when I had been looking at it, I was filling in the deranged right winger with this cartoon in a balloon over his head, without even realizing it.

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