Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Poor Taste

The latest cover of The New Yorker drew some ire from the Obama campaign -- and rightly so. No matter what you think of Obama, portraying him as a Mullah and his wife as a terrorist with Bin Laden looking on is not only offensive, it is plain irresponsible. Editor David Remnick defends the choice of cover by calling it "satire [...] meant to bring things out into the open, to hold up a mirror to prejudice, the hateful, and the absurd." Satire? To a limited few, maybe. But as Washington Post's Philip Kennicott comments, "If the satire isn't carefully calibrated to a target audience, then it will almost assuredly be remembered for its offensiveness rather than its supposedly palliative effect on the body politic." Given this country's rampant fear of Islam and terrorism, the New Yorker cover is nothing else than character assassination -- prompting dangerous amalgams, and fueling "the prejudice, the hateful, and the absurd" the magazine pretends to critique. Shame on you, New Yorker.
illustration via New Yorker