By Jeff Fecke | July 13, 2008
Look, I think the New Yorker meant this to be funny, a satirical look at the way the right and/or Larry Johnson have painted the Obamas. But the fact is that this image, absent context, is abysmal. And while I think most New Yorker readers will get the joke, most people seeing the image will not.
That doesn’t mean, as Andrew Sullivan suggests, that I believe Americans are too dumb to figure out satire. They aren’t, save for the ratfuckers at No Quarter. (More on them in a minute.) But the image sits on the cover of the New Yorker with not a word for context, not a single symbol indicating that it is anything but in earnest. Only its over-the-top characterization and its reputation as a moderate-left magazine are there to tell us that it isn’t meant as serious commentary.
And of course, that’s the problem. Had this image appeared in The Onion, everyone would have got the joke immediately. Had it appeared as artwork for the story, it would be easy to see that it was meant to lampoon. Indeed, had it even borne a title, it might have been clearly identified as such.
But it did none of those, and instead, as Jake Tapper notes, “It’s a recruitment poster for the right-wing.”
As if on cue, the faux-Democrats and racists at No Quarter are cheering the image. Commenter Seattle Moss says, “We all have been talking at length about everything in that picture. Now the picture can speak a thousand words for us.” Commenter WildChild adds, “That picture says it all. LOL and there’s no pulling it back now.” And a commenter truly concerned about misogyny, Michelle “Ho” Obama, says, “An African-American woman who is a radical aligned with a Muslim: this seems accurate. This also explains the palpable rage of Michelle Obama and the violence of the cult that follows her and her husband.”
And that’s just No Quarter, home of the Clinton “Democrats.” I don’t have the will to see what Little Green Footballs or Free Republic is saying.
So yeah, I don’t think that the troglodytes are going to see this as satire. I think they’re going to see it as confirming what they’ve always known — that Barack Obama’s a secret Muslim, that Michelle Obama’s a secret Black Panther, that Osama bin Laden will be conducting state visits, all with the American flag burning in the fireplace. And worst of all, a scary black man is going to be in charge of us white folk. It’s going to be a long four months.
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