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The New Yorker Magazine Cover/Obama "Satire"

July 14, 2008

New Yorker Magazine Cover/Obama Satire

You've probably seen this cover already, but here's my take. While the entire satire is completely over the line, Michelle Obama's portrayal rehashes the attacks from the media and adds a few more stereotypes of black women into the mix.  I've always heard that hair is political, and the afro drawn onto Michelle seems to indicate the 60's militancy of the Black Panther movement. Then the ammo she's sporting portrays her as a hard-core strong black women/emasculating female, especially since Barack isn't carrying a weapon. According to a Los Angeles Times article (, the New Yorker press release reads:
“On the cover of the July 21, 2008, issue of The New Yorker, in ‘The Politics of Fear,’ artist Barry Blitt satirizes the use of scare tactics and misinformation in the presidential election to derail Barack Obama’s campaign.”
Of course, as The LA Times notes, this statement from the New Yorker does not appear anywhere near the cover.  My question: Is it ever okay to degrade someone, especially women, in this type of "satire" on the cover of a magazine and promote it through press releases?
Tags: Media