The silly season

July 14, 2008 at 10:30 pm | Posted in Barack Obama, U.S. Politics | 2 Comments

When the weather gets warm (at least, that’s the rumour) and journalists & bloggers are stuck in a drought. Try as I might, I can’t find the rage required to get worked-up over this:

Seriously, if you can’t mock the mad right’s lunatic & racist portrayals of Obama in the archetypal liberal arts & current affairs magazine, when and where can you do it? I really hope some of the people hyperventilating over this never find their way to this blog – the things I’ve written in jest would be enough for them to commission a blood-baying mob to visit Sheffield (though after reading this, I wonder whether I’d even notice).

Here’s Ezra Klein with a nice dose of reason:

But I can’t seem to summon any outrage about it. Maybe if the the New Yorker had adeptly photoshopped an image such that it actually looked like Obama was in a turban, I’d think it more risible. But this is a cartoon. The very medium mocks and dismisses the content of the picture. Anyone who didn’t get the joke would be left looking at a caricatured illustration, not a believable image of Obama gripping bin-Laden’s portrait. What’s actually happening, I think, is that the New Yorker is a physical institution that can be criticized, while the e-mail forwards and talk radio whispers actually fueling these rumors — in their believable, not their cartoon, forms — won’t stand still long enough to be subject to public opprobrium.



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  1. […] to the New Yorker: this is how you do […]

  2. […] 24, 2008 by Neil Not to satirists: if the joke wasn’t funny the first time, chances are it won’t be funny the second […]

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