Op-Ed Digest: New Yorker Cover Depicting Obama Crass Or Clever?

This story was written by Staff reports, UWIRE

Days after The New Yorker published a cartoon (seen on the left) depicting Sen. Barack Obama as a Muslim and wife Michelle as a radical terrorist, college columnists and editorial boards so far have seemed rather bemused at the public condemnation and outcry. In an unofficial UWIRE tally, only one out of six opinion sections have decried the depiction. The breakdown is below:

Magazine right to stand by cartoon!

New Yorker cover shows Obamas in animated, afrocentric lightSource | The Hilltop, Howard UniversityAlthough most of the things on the cover are a far cry from being true, there are a few things to take note of. Michelle Obama with a vivacious afro and the pound. I for one would love to see the future first lady working a natural hair style, I think it suits her. Im hoping shell see the cover and notice how well it frames her animated caricature. Read more.

Response to Obama cartoon shows our growing censoriousnessSource | Arizona Daily WildcatWhy such overblown fury over a pretty harmless cartoon with a fairly obvious point? The arguments, all of them, are bogus: that this will hand ammunition to Obamas enemies (as if it were a magazines responsibility to only run material that supports a politician), that most Americans wont get it (the ones who dont live in New York City, presumably), that the cartoon isnt funny (no ones picketing Comedy Central). The actual reason people are offended by the cartoon is that it seems offensive. Americans are growing increasingly allergic to any form of speech that strikes them as remotely questionable. Something has happened that has transformed a freedom-loving people into a censorious mob. A radio talk show hosts gaffe, a politicians mumbled aside, a stand-up comics racy material all of them, in recent months, have been singled out for condemnation. A theme repeats itself through every single pseudo-scandal: We are offended not by actions but by words. Read more.

Satirical depictions integral to politicsSource | Central Florida FutureWhen the American threshold level of knowledge is raised, so too will the acceptance of political satire in the form of illustration. Until then, publications are forced to cater to the sensitivity of the American people for fear of deviating from conventionality. The portrayal is a statement to society regarding the asinine nature of the rumors that circulate around the Obama campaign, which is ironically what influences the humor and allure of the politicized caricature. Read more.

Chill out! Obama cover is satireSource | The Crimson WhiteThe whole uproar is an overreaction, quick to assume that Americans will not understand that the cartoon is meant to lampoon the ridiculous and erroneous assumptions that many of Obamas political rivals are spreading, some of which are vicious lies and most of which wed prefer were not forwarded to us in chain e-mails. As for Sen. Obamas reaction, we find it ridiculous and a coy political move. Surely the senator has the good humor to recognize a cartoon that, in fact, lampoons his rivals instead of himself. It would take a woefully misguided person to mistake the cover for anything remotely resembling truth, and thats the sort of person who probably wouldnt be voting Democrat anyway. Read more.

New Yorker must stand by controversial coverSource | The Daily MississippianWhile there is no question in our minds that The New Yorker had every right to run the illustration, one has to wonder exactly what the magazine hoped to gain from its publication. Did the magazines editor really believe that people would understand the images satirical and dry punchline without a clarifying caption? Theres no question that The New Yorkers loyal readership would clearly understand the magazines intention, but in a business that competes for greater numbers f easily distracted minds, the sensational nature of the cartoon cant be overlooked. The fact that the magazine is seen as a bastion of world-class journalism seems to be a smoking gun that the image created exactly the response it was meant to create. Read more.

Cartoon shouldnt have been published!

BYU paper wont reprint tasteless Obama coverSource | The Daily UniverseStatements by the New Yorker, including an interview with the editor in chief David Remnick, said the cartoon was designed as a satire using irony, sarcasm or ridicule to poke fun at a practice or belief in hopes of reform. Remnick said the picture pools all the vicious and racist attacks and rumors and misconceptions about the Obamas But wheres the line between constructive satire and sheer sarcasm? Is that image on the cover of a prominent magazine with national circulation really going to make the public chuckle and shake their heads at the conservative exaggerations exemplified in the cartoon? More likely, it will confuse people. Read more.