Politics & Media
Jul 16, 2008, 07:54AM

Fear And Fretting On The Campaign Trail

The storm of argumentation and petty quibbling over the infamous Obama cover of The New Yorker has been drawn out pretty much to its limits in the past week. However, this article from The Wall Street Journal argues that the controversy created a golden opportunity for Obama, an opportunity of which he did not take advantage.

One might think, given this week's controversy over The New Yorker's obviously satirical cover illustration depicting Sen. Barack Obama and his wife Michelle as "fist-bumping terrorists," that beleaguered media companies would be congratulating editor David Remnick for at least temporarily making print publications relevant again. However, in this year's lugubrious presidential campaign, humor and satire are in short supply, and those who dare cross the line of covering the presumptive Democratic nominee's candidacy less than reverentially are instantaneously castigated.

As it happens, I have serious reservations about Mr. Obama's economic and foreign-policy proposals (although the national service he performed in dispatching the Clinton machine can't be underestimated), but the liberal New Yorker remains one of the very few magazines I still read in its print version. Mr. Remnick is one of this country's finest editors, as well as an excellent reporter and author, and it's a rare week that I don't spend at least an hour or more reading its rather eclectic roster of articles. By now, Mr. Remnick is undoubtedly weary of explaining his motives for commissioning the cover illustration by Barry Blitt -- I thought the partially obscured portrait of Osama bin Laden was a particularly witty touch -- to media scolds who believe the stand-alone cover was vulgar and in poor taste.

  • At first glance, The New Yorker seemed to have used poor judgement. But, I now think they got it right. Wash/WallSt./Bigmedia, the Axis of Drivel, is so caught up in its own isolated inbred blather, that it needs someone to send an electric current to short the whole damn thing. If you want real change and can't deal with this, than you are just another cog.

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  • I'm not exactly sure what RareBurgher is getting at here. Like the phrase "Axis of Drivel," but is he/she suggesting The New Yorker is anti-Obama, or that the rest of media is? Seems to me almost the entire media establishment (excepting the Wall Street Journal, which is clearly for McCain) wants the change Obama promises. I agree about the "inbred blather," but Rare, can you explain this more, please?

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