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The New Yorker / Running for Cover?

 A Telling Thoughts comment

It appears as though “The New Yorker” is now running for cover over their outrageous and highly defamatory Obama magazine front cover. Possibly grounds for a costly New Yorker payout after Senator Obama gets the election out of the way.

Below is the New Yorker cartoonist’s response to an emailed complaint over the cover.  It was posted early today by an Obama supporter MK, on one of the Obama site threads.

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New Yorker Cover Artist’s Response to My E-mail  |  Report to Admin

Here is Barry Blitt’s response to my e-mail expressing my hurt and distress at his New Yorker Cover…

I am distressed to receive your email. All I can tell you is it was my intention to depict the
hideous innuendo and scare tactics circulated in the media as the ridiculous lies that they are.

My drawing was intended to appear preposterous and ridiculous. That it is being taken at
face value is very upsetting, and directly opposite to its intention. I am sorry for the hurt
it has caused. I cannot actually believe this cartoon, which was meant to mock the bigots
and xenophobes who spread lies, will actually give them license.

I hoped the image would get people talking about the falsehoods being spread about the Obamas.
I still hope that will be the case.

I am sorry once again.

Barry Blitt

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What about the Obama family’s feelings? You are welcome to comment

Discussion

Comments are disallowed for this post.

  1. John,

    I agree with you! It was horrid. I think I have an educated sense of humour, but I had trouble laughing at this. A better cartoonist could have used the same image in a much more satirical manner & offended only the bigots.

    Helen

    Posted by Australian Helen | July 14, 2008, 8:53 pm
  2. I’m glad the cartoonist made a sincere apology. I laugh like a nut at good satire, but this image was so ugly, it hurt. I can only imagine how Obama feels. I don’t want to think of what Malia and Sasha would think. They won’t be able to keep them from seeing it; as a kid, your eyes just gravitate to cartoons on zine covers. Michelle is not happy, I know that.

    Posted by V | July 14, 2008, 10:58 pm
  3. I pride myself on having a good sense of humor and understanding of satire, but this cover is ugly. I fear that a high percentage of those who view the cover will not “get” the cartoonist’s intention.

    What were the editors of the New Yorker thinking to allow such vitriol on their cover? They should be on their knees begging forgiveness.

    Posted by Karen O'Kain | July 14, 2008, 11:15 pm
  4. I accept that the cartoon was meant purely as satire. And many of us will recognize it immediately as precisely what it is. But, it is a powerful image in the wrong hands and will surely be used against Obama to further alienate those who are susceptible to this type of fear-mongering. The artist is right, the cartoon does show the absurdity of the claims, to those of us who already know how absurd they are. However shocking it is though, we have to face the reality there are those who still think Obama is a Muslim (and that that is a bad thing) and this is a very powerful image that will surely hurt him in some circles.

    Peace,
    Brian

    Posted by Brian Smith | July 14, 2008, 11:21 pm
  5. To me the artist and the magazine have not gone far enough in apologizing and making up for what they have put out there.

    Posted by MovieWatcher | July 15, 2008, 12:15 am
  6. I honestly have a hard time believing that this was unintentional. Most of us know that it has taken our country this long to consider a black or female President due to very unfortunate reasons- Fear, racism and prejudice. The New Yorker is not new to this. Their knowledge and experience through their years in circulation doesn’t validate the excuses that they and their cartoonist are making. I agree with “Brian” that such “a powerful image in the wrong hands will surely be used against Obama to further alienate those who are susceptible to this type of fear-mongering.” The New Yorker is well aware of an image’s power amongst the masses. That is their business as well as the cartoonist’s.

    Posted by Marla H. Solis | July 15, 2008, 12:34 am
  7. I don’t believe this was a mistake. We’ve been through this before when Clinton’s campaign released the photo of Obama dressed in African garb. The only reason for doing this has to be to get attention. I find that pathetic, smearing, for profit, a candidate who has only worked for the good of this country is despicable.

    Posted by Kiku | July 15, 2008, 12:49 am
  8. Hi John,

    I looked at the cartoon and shook my head in disbelief. Regardless of the cartoonist intent, this kind of stuff only fuels the wildfires that are already engulfing the minds of some undecided voters. It is hard for me to believe that this “satire” was meant to send woe messages to anti-Obama supporters and the mainstream media. Instead, it despicted exactly what I think the cartoonist meant–sarcasm, fear, and distrust–not to the pundits, but to the Obama family. Senator Obama and Michelle are tough and will over this hurdle as they have many others. Thanks for sharing.

    Posted by Connie | July 15, 2008, 12:57 am
  9. Hi John,

    I looked at the cartoon and shook my head in disbelief. Regardless of the cartoonist intent, this kind of stuff only fuels the wildfires that are already engulfing the minds of some undecided voters. It is hard for me to believe that this “satire” was meant to send woe messages to anti-Obama supporters and the mainstream media. Instead, it despicted exactly what I think the cartoonist meant–sarcasm, fear, and distrust–not to discredit the pundits, but the Obama family. Senator Obama and Michelle are tough and will over this hurdle as they have many others. Thanks for sharing.

    Posted by Connie | July 15, 2008, 1:00 am
  10. This cartoon just plays into the hands of all of those firmly intent on smearing the Obama’s. Perception is reality and I have no doubt that this picture will be used to put doubt into the voter’s minds regarding the Obama’s.

    Posted by Diane | July 15, 2008, 1:04 am
  11. I find Barry Blitt’s apology totally disingenous. That it was sent to you makes me believe it is just an attempt to shut the rest of us up without making the effort.

    The only true intention of the New Yorker is to sell magazines no matter what. Mr. Blitt’s cartoon achieves that goal.

    I hope everybody will boycott The New Yorker because that is the only way to spread the message that this kind of hurtful tactic will backfire and their sponsers might think twice before taking out ad space with them again.

    Posted by Lisa | July 15, 2008, 1:47 am
  12. Well with the stroke of a pen so to speak everything the Obama Nation has tried to do for the last 2 years has been erased. All the time, money, ads, everything I hope it was not all wasted. I hope this will backfire on the New Yorker. My thoughts and prayers go out to Barack, Michelle, Malia and Sasha. We love you guys.

    Posted by dreamweaver | July 15, 2008, 2:04 am
  13. We are living under a fascist government, and Senator Obama is our last hope to restore honor and integrity to our country. This so-called satire is an assault on all Americans struggling with low wages, no health care, and an endangered environment, working hard and praying for change.

    Posted by Sadie | July 15, 2008, 2:38 am
  14. I accept Mr. Blitt’s apology and I understand his reasoning, but I would like to remiind people that America has not yet healed from it’s racial wounds. I am Black and Muslim and I still refuse to say the word “nigg _ _” when I read “Tom Sawyer” to my students. I am still hurt when I see Al Jolsen in black-face, or see old news films of Blacks being beaten for marching for equal rights, or signs saying “Whie’s Only”. Call me thinned skinned, but words and pictures can hurt when they make fun of a persons ethnicity or religion. It also makes me feel sad that to be a Muslim is considered a bad thing and made sort of in the depiction. All Muslims are not terrorists, and even those who are consider themselves patriots to their country. Just as I would were I to take up arms here to defend America against foreign occupier.

    With that said, I would like to add, that I think the “New Yorker” depiction would have been more palatable if there were some statement to clarify the position the artist wanted to convey, rather then to leave it up to our interpretations.

    Thank you.

    Posted by Nurah Allah | July 15, 2008, 8:05 am
  15. The editorial page of the Montpelier, VT TIMES ARGUS today (July 17) has an ‘toon response to the New Yorker cover showing Cindy and John in the oval office. Page A4

    It’s not on the website yet–most recent editorial cartoon is from July 13– but check in later (see website above).

    I think what’s so painful about the New Yorker cover is that the artist’s depiction of the Obamas’ body language is so lifelike, amidst all the trashy, slanderous props.

    I’ve really had it with people who make a name for themselves publishing malicious lies.

    I’d love to see us work together to make this kind of mean-spirited, slanderous “art” NON-profitable, uncool and despised for the divisive garbage that it is.

    C Hayes
    Weymouth, MA

    Posted by Carlotta M. Hayes | July 18, 2008, 1:39 pm