Take Kevin Drum, for instance, Atrios, and whoever is writing today for The Playground. Each of these blogs understands that The New Yorker cover is a satire. They see, too, as Andrew Sullivan and Aziz Poonawalla do, that the joke is on the mass media more than anyone else.
As Laura Flanders told CNN, "This isn't a jab at [the Obamas]... . This is a jab at the media. ... It should be cause for our conversation to focus on the kind of fear mongering that the media and people on the right have engaged in."
Say that again... "the kind of fear mongering that the media and people on the right have engaged in."
The only unfunny thing we see in all of the ab-reactions to the cartoon cover, from the Left as well as the Right, is that for too many of them this is the only time they have so much as mentioned The New Yorker in the past seven years, much less given it air time or ink. Yet, the New Yorker has been peerless in being out in front of nearly every news medium -- print or electronic, and certainly far ahead of the chattering heads on Cable TeeVee -- in exposing with devastating regularity the many criminal and criminally negligent acts of the Bush administration; from Seymour M. Hersh's coverage of the Iraq War and the Bush administration's incompetent response to Hurricane Katrina to the miserable state to which our political culture has sunk over the past decade and James Surowiecki's keen insights into everything from the collapse of Enron to the then-"coming" oil crisis.
How can it be that the self-same chattering TeeVee heads are now cluck-clucking like high priests over a mildly satirical magazine cover that simply holds a mirror up to their very own right-wing fantasies of what constitutes 'news'? Do they not recognize the image of their own journalistic judgments staring back at them?
As Laura Flanders says, that should be the topic of the day -- for Kevin Drum, Atrios, the Obama campaign, and even the MSM. "What has the news media done," they should be asking, "that it can inspire such satire?"
Dept. of Amplification
New Yorker editor David Remick in an interview with the Huffngton Post, explains that normally he wouldn't be explaining a cover of The New Yorker. But today he does:
The fact is, it's not a satire about Obama - it's a satire about the distortions and misconceptions and prejudices about Obama.As cited in the issue's table of contents, the title of the cover drawing by Barry Blitt is "The Politics of Fear."
Daily Heller puts up some recent New Yorker covers and then asks, "Now, class, What is satire?