This’ll show ’em!

I’m gobsmacked. The ‘liberal’ folks at New Yorker magazine thought it would be clever to show us just how ridiculous the vile smears of the Rove-Faux News-talkback radio right are by reifying the composite image of jihardist, unpatriotic, fist-bumping Obama.

I guess we’ll have to wait and see how this pans out. It’s supposed to “satirize the use of scare tactics and misinformation in the presidential election to derail Obama’s campaign.” Obama’s campaign calls it “tasteless and offensive.”(McCain jumped in with a similar line.)

Pundits, left and right, are split about whether this is good or bad for Obama, whether he should embrace or condemn. The key question must be how the folk in ‘Middle America’ get it. Will they say, “Oh yeah, these Republican smears are sooo stupid”? Or will the image just make them feel a little uneasy…?

For the HuffPost’s response, including responses from the New Yorker editor and cartoonist, start at Yikes! Controversial New Yorker Cover Shows Muslim, Flag-Burning, Osama-Loving, Fist-Bumping Obama.

The linked New Yorker article itself is a fine piece of writing that is undoubtedly one of the most searching answers yet to the question, “Who is Obama?” Hope they do as good a job on McCain.

[Upate: Frank Schaeffer, author of Crazy for God: How I Grew Up As One Of The Elect, Helped Found The Religious Right, And Lived To Take All–Or Almost All–Of It Back, writes about how provincial Americans will receive the cover. Just as I feared.]


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6 Responses to “This’ll show ’em!”

  1. adamsmith1922 Says:


    I seem we agree on the Ryan Lizza article.

    Regarding the cover, I think the New Yorker was looking to be provocative.

    In that they succeeded, I mean even Paul Holmes was talking about it with the NY correspondent of TVNZ at 6:45 am this morning.

    On Holmes they said Michelle Obama had golliwog hair, whereas I saw it as a reference to Angela Davis.

    I do not think they were trying to smear Obama, after all the New Yorker’s market is liberal, educated Americans. I doubt that many in Middle America even read the New Yorker, it is far too liberal; after all it employs Seymour Hersh.

    The ‘uproar’ is more to do with the fact that it was the New Yorker daring to do other than pander to Obamamania. After all, the magazine has long been seen as the ‘house journal’ of affluent New Yorkers. Further, it has long run provocative articles on political issues.

  2. jafapete Says:

    Adam, Yes, I thought Angela Davis too. What would Holmes know anyway?

    It’s interesting, isn’t it, that the very liberal NYer could publish such a close scrutiny of Obama? But I’d suppose you’d point to National Review’s carping about McCain’s “straying” as evidence that the conservatives are also capable of critical scrutiny of their candidates.

  3. adamsmith1922 Says:

    You and I must be of a similar generation, I mean Angela Davis!

    I do not think it surprising that the New Yorker published this, it fits with their tradition.

    BTW I rarely read The National Review. I will follow your comment up.

    I do read the NY Times, the Washington Post and the Huff Post amongst others.

    Having lived, or in close proximity, with the US, worked with many Americans and for Americans, I consider that many in NZ do not really understand the American political scene.

    I would suggest that NZ definitions of left and right do not map easily to American politics.
    Adam, Here’s a good example of a National Review columnist on McCain. Also, having spent time in the US, I’m not too sure some Americans understand the political scene there.

  4. adamsmith1922 Says:

    Many Americans I know would agree with the latter part of your comment.

    I would say also that the same point applies here, given the focus on Veitch.

    There are valid points re Veitch, but in the main they are not the ones the media are focusing on.

    BTW I do enjoy these exchanges

  5. Ari Says:

    Adamsmith: Uh, yes, our understanding of left and right in politics maps nicely to the American parties. You just have to accept that Democrats are the Centrist party, and the Republicans are the extremist right-wing party. Which is pretty accurate in political science terms. Just because the Republicans have been very successful in normalising their views doesn’t mean that the boundaries of politics in America have actually shifted. “Left-wing” and “Right-wing” still mean the same things.

    And yeah, the New Yorker totally misfired on this. The rumours were already so extreme that there’s really no way to make good satire from them.

    Ari, How would you map Jesse Ventura and Al Franken onto NZ politics? As they say, only in America. I’m tempted to revisit some of my own experiences in Washington to explain just how extreme things got with Reagan.

  6. adamsmith1922 Says:


    I appreciate your comment, but am not sure I agree, but unfortunately do not have time yet to debate, but will return

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