Monday, July 14, 2008


More on New Yorker cover featuring Barack and Michelle Obama

by Larry Geller

This is from today’s Democracy Now!:

New Yorker Cover Depicts Obama as Muslim Terrorist

In other campaign news, The New Yorker magazine is coming under criticism for publishing a cover illustration depicting Barack and Michelle Obama as Muslim terrorists. The magazine cover shows Obama wearing Muslim garb standing in the White House with a photo of Osama bin Laden on the wall and an American flag burning in the fireplace. Michelle Obama is shown as a gun-toting black nationalist with an afro. An Obama campaign spokesperson described the illustration as tasteless and offensive. The New Yorker magazine said the illustration is meant to satirize the use of scare tactics and misinformation in the presidential election to derail Obama’s campaign.

For those on Oahu who are having trouble viewing the program on Olelo, it seems that the RIMPAC exercises may be interfering with the C-band dish used to pick up the program. You can see the daily video also on the newly redesigned Democracy Now website just by clicking.

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I read some of the comments on Daily Kos and people were up in arms, saying folks should cancel their subs, don't let them print this. I thought, wow, this is the left? What an intolerant group of prigs! What ever happened to First Amendment rights? And I mean, so what? It's a magazine cover that will be on the stands for a week, then gone.

People get all lathered up about the little things, as meanwhile the world crumbles. But hey, yet another good distraction from the issues.

I'm as liberal as they come and I'm a New Yorker subscriber to boot. I can't believe that people are getting bent over this; do they really think _The New Yorker_, of all magazines, somehow buys into the whole "secret Muslim" nonsense? Because The New Yorker wants to build up its readership of ultraconservative racist wingnuts? Is that the idea?
Is that supposed to somehow be more believable than that the magazine is sneering derisively at the absurdity of the Manchurian candidate concept?

Joan, I don't think such a reaction characterizes "the Left" at all. It sounds like the reaction of desperate Democrats, that's all.

The Left, by contrast, has engaged consistently in a spirited debate about the meaning of the Obama campaign. On the one hand, there are folks like Barbara Erenreich and Norman Solomon in "Progressives for Obama," who are towing the line that a strong progressive movement will put the wind in Obama's sails and anyway we need to ensure that we defeat McCain. On the other end of the spectrum we have Glen Ford, of Black Agenda Report, who never misses an opportunity to subject Obama to intense scrutiny for his position as an imperialist and a tool of capitalist interests.

Left Turn just published a terrific issue with a couple of very smart articles about how we on the Left can relate to the broad convergence of hopeful people rallying around Obama - even though we maintain serious critiques of his policies and his potentials. Check out for examples of this nuanced look.

I do not consider the Democratic Party representative of "the Left." It represents one wing of the Business Party. It throws crumbs and inticements to the Left.

For the record, I read the New Yorker hungrily every time it shows up in my mailbox - in fact my family fights over it. I'm glad they printed that cover. It holds up a mirror to the small-minded and deeply racist right wing, and I hope it diffuses in advance some of the flood of ugly rhetoric we'll be witnessing between now and November, and after, if Obama wins.

I would have thought this, from crooksandliars, would have been much funnier....

"How would the right react with a NYer graphic of McCain screaming at his first wife while she signs the divorce papers—one arm is behind his back—he’s handing Cindy a box of chocolate candies as she kicks over a bag full of cash that’s marked Beer money while a Keating jet is parked outside the window. Well those are mostly true...."

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