The New Yorker is Defending Political Humor?! Wow Are We In Trouble…

newyorker_7-14.JPG We just have to chime in on this New Yorker cover controversy. Rachel Sklar at Huffington Post really started this with her outrage about this week’s cover depicting Michelle and Barack Obama as Muslim terrorists – burning the flag under a portrait of Osama Bin Laden in the Oval Office.

She writes:

Who knows if they’ll get this in Dubuque, but they sure aren’t going to like it in Chicago.

As of this posting there are over 3100 comments of folks ‘not liking it’ – ranging from accusing the New Yorker of being a fascist right-wing rag to outright shaming the magazine for its choice to calls for a boycott. And if those aren’t enough, there are another 2000 at Politico for your more bipartisan enjoyment.

LAT blogger, Andrew Malcolm writes:

Of course, the McCain people must say that, despite some staff no doubt chuckling behind closed doors over their opponent’s new challenge. That’s the problem with satire. A lot of people won’t get the joke. Or won’t want to. And will use it for non-humorous purposes, which isn’t the New Yorker’s fault.

That’s not actually the problem with satire. That’s the problem with information. A lot of people won’t get that.

A satirist’s job – responsibility – sole purpose is to point out the absurd. The audience’s reaction isn’t the goal. Making left-wingers comfortable isn’t the goal. Quelling internet hysteria…yeah right.

Barry Blitt’s cartoon is brilliant. We’ve been getting emails about Obama being a secret Muslim for over a year. And if Grama isn’t forwarding that to us – she’s sending out an email blast about his radical Christian preacher that hates America and white people. Just the fact that ‘terrorist fist jab’ is now in our lexicon because a television ‘journalist’ asked if a presidential candidate greeting his wife on stage was a sign of subversion – is proof that Obama’s opposition have lost their collective minds. And that’s what the cover does – connects those dots and draws a picture of how ridiculous Grama’s forwards (and E.D. Hill) are.

Of course, now Obama supporters are worried – terrified that a cartoon is dangerous and going to hurt the political process.

Proof that absurdity is a perennial bipartisan issue.