The New Yorker’s very dry wit

I guess this is kind of funny? Sort of?

I think the problem here – and why the cover is neither offensive nor hilarious but just sort of baffling – is that whichever editor approved this cover doesn’t quite get satire.

See, if this cover were a work of satire, then the artist would have taken something ridiculous and then exaggerated or slightly distorted it to show just how ridiculous it is. But the allegation that Obama is a secret Muslim who likes to do the terrorist fist jab with his Black Panther wife is already pretty damn ridiculous – and something that the far right happens to be pushing pretty hard. And all the artist did is provide a visual aid to portray exactly that allegation.

Which is something, but not quite, y’know, satire.

In fairness to The New Yorker, satire about this sort of stuff is really, really hard. As has been pointed out again and again, the Republican Party always does a very efficient job of unintentionally satirizing itself. And that can make third-party satire a challenge.

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2 Responses

  1. The New Yorker targets a sophisticatd readership. No one who subscribes to The New Yorkder — or even buys it on the newsstands — will mistake the satire in this drawing. I can understand Senator Obama’s sensitivity to it, but I disagree with his campaign’s assessment. I think it is funny, effective satire.

  2. […] Ned Resnikoff offers another perspective: In fairness to The New Yorker, satire about this sort of stuff is really, […]

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