by Michael O. Allen on July 14, 2008

That is the only word that comes to my mind regarding the New Yorker magazine cover drawing of Sen. Barack Obama dapping his wife as an American flag burns in the fireplace in a White House with Osama bin Laden’s picture up on the mantelpiece.

I don’t know how the New Yorker could have, whatever they were thinking, done this.

You cannot call this satire because, in my thinking, there has to be some element of truth for satire to work. What is the truth in that cover illustration? It is a distortion, an attack, unexpected one at that from an unexpected source.

Just because Fox News, power-hungry Republicans and right wing crazies think this is not reason to do their dirty work for them. What the New Yorker did is do the dirty work for the nuts and Obama enemies. It renders in living color their fondest dreams of Obama.
Some people have said that the magazine’s audience is very sophisticated and can process this image and see it for the satire that it is. First of all, sophisticated or not, this audience is not better than the larger population at sifting through distortions. But, the greater damage is that a broader audience than the magazine’s readership will see this image.

Please, just watch how many times Fox News throws up that image.

What Republicans and their coalliton of 527’s make hay with this image.

This image creates another problem for the Sen. Obama’s campaign: every second that they spend trying dispel the noxious fumes from this is precious taken away from making a case for the senator’s candidacy.

What good is the mainstream media? First, the media establishment refuses to be honest brokers in this election. Now, they are generating the filth and introducing more pollution into the political environment.

The insidiousness of this image is that it makes it harder to convince the good people of Findlay, Ohio, for instance, who have goodwill toward Obama but are having a hard time getting past all the garbage that’s been thrown at them. Here it is, more kindling. From the New Yorker no less.

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