Monday, July 14, 2008

Bad Satire

By Libby

I'm talking about the The New Yorker magazine's cover art this month of course. I won't bother to post the art, you can find it anywhere among the many posts reacting to the release. For myself, I find the ongoing smear campaign that inspired the cover offensive. The cover itself, not so much. Neither did I find it funny. I thought it awkward at best.

I'm sort of in the Kevin Drum camp, although I wouldn't call it gutless so much as inartful. It didn't really makes its point. It illustrated the false smearing narrative perfectly but without any context that would identify the source. I'd agree with Kevin and his commenters that it would have been effective had the image be placed in a bubble emanating from a recognizable right wing figure. Even running a title, which I understand they don't customarily do, "The Politics of Fear" would have given it the bite it needs.

As it is, it was just a clumsy bit of poorly rendered satire. I doubt this will be a defining moment of the 08 campaign. Political caricatures are part and parcel of the game and I don't recall anyone ever saying, gee my guy would have won that election if not for that lousy political cartoon.

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Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

It was obvious to me as a lifetime subscriber, that they were making fun of the bozos who send me things like this in e-mails every day. The magazine is about literary and social criticism - just the sort of thing to go over the pointed heads of politicians.

It's sad that they didn't realize that it would be turned against them.

4:23:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin McKague said...

Yeah, its an ugly piece of satire, but...
Jack Cafferty is probably the fifth person I've heard today alone who have said that the cartoon merely points out the ridiculous claims some of the lying Obama haters have been spread on-line for the past few months.

We've always known these lies parodied in the cartoon were false. Since news of this cartoon has broken, millions of main-stream cable watchers are hearing for the first time that the claims forwarded them in countless e-mails are ridiculous lies.

4:27:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Are the talking heads making a point of saying they're false? That would help. Otherwise, I think it was just a weak parody. It's not earthshaking, but I don't think it conveyed the message well.

4:33:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin McKague said...

I agree, the cartoon itself does a poor job. But the resulting discussion within the mainstream media about these lies about Barack Obama is finally informing countless people, who until now, probably believed them.

4:39:00 PM  
Blogger Swampcracker said...

I'll take the cynical view: The screaming Ignorati never get the point of satire, and the New Yorker cover will hang next to the pinups of the pinheads who believe this crap.

5:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with eco. The ignopublic is not as perceptive as Fogg and will glance at the cover, never read the inside, and take the cover for what it shows. That Obama is a terrorist.

At the very least, the New Yorker showed poor judgement if indeed their aim was satire. I find it hard to believe that it was. Are they so stupid that they didn't recognize that the potential negative impact could be stronger than the positive?

Overall, I think it is absolutely outrageous and I would never buy that mag again if they paid me.

What we need in these critically dangerous and important times is solid, non biased reporting and truth. Not bullshit cartoons that most people will take at face value and not understand at all.

New Yorker, you suck.

6:25:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Well the ignorati will never be swayed from their hate, but to be fair to the New Yorker, it's not like this is first time they've put a political cover on the mag. They have done unflattering ones of Bush too.

This one was just not a good one. It didn't make it's point. But if they are talking about it being a lie on the teevee, then that will be a good outcome. It could convince some of uniformed who aren't necessarily members of the ignorati, so much as victims of them.

7:05:00 PM  

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