Wednesday, July 16, 2008

There Is No Such Thing As Bad Publicity

Boy, have we been hearing from the folks who are up in arms about the cover of the New Yorker. The New Yorker, of course, is happy as a clam at a pig roast. Show me the money!!!!

I guess the biggest problem for people who hate the cover is that the cartoon seems to satirize Michelle and Barack as terrorists, instead of taking aim at the people who are perpetuating that notion -- blaming the victims, as it were.

Someone on a discussion panel made a worthwhile point. If, for instance, a person like Karl Rove had been depicted in the cartoon with a thought balloon over his head and the infamous "terrorist" Obamas inside it, perhaps the New Yorker's satiric intention would have been clear.

Incorporating the alleged origins of the rumors would have pointed the satire in the right direction.

Like The New Yorker gives a rip about explaining themselves.

They might as well include a banner across the top of the cover that says, "Hey, it's a joke!"

Clearly the drawing has succeeded in doing everything a political cartoon is supposed to do -- engage and enrage.

In the end, is the cartoon offensive? Yes. Is it provocative? Yes. Is it satire? Yes. Does it seem mean spirited? Yes. Is this a free country? Yes.

My first reaction was "Oh, geez, they've lost their minds." Then I noticed the fist bump between Black Panther Michelle and Osama Obama and I laughed. I don't know why that little gesture took me from a nose wrinkle of disgust to laughter, but it did. Perhaps it seemed to encapsulate the absurdity of anyone thinking they are the least bit subversive in any way.

Of course turnabout is fair play. What is the New Yorker going to do to satirize McCain? Show him as a guide at the Smithsonian Air Museum leading tours of the five planes he supposedly trashed, because he was such a bad pilot. "I dumped this little beauty into the ocean off of Pensacola." "I backed this one into a bomb on a carrier and killed over 100 sailors. Ooopsie daisy!" "This one I don't remember, oh, wait I was hungover." "Oh, here's the one I lost over North Vietnam. Better take a map next time."

How about we see him seated in the Oval Office, with his low class rank at the Naval Academy prominently displayed behind him. As he tries to make an important military decision, he suddenly realizes he missed class that day.

Or perhaps they could showhim in a POW camp playing cards, smoking cigars, and drinking brandy with his captors while his fellow prisoners are staring at him in various states of starvation.

Or standing at the podium giving a speech saying he's his own man, while being manipulated by Bush from behind a curtain, like a ventriloquist's dummy.

Meanwhile, what is lost in this shizzlestorm is that the controversial cartoon bears no relation to the excellent article about the Obamas inside the magazine.


frankandmary said...

I remember when folks were whining about little annoying Rachel Ray's scarf in the DD ad. I thought, shoot, Rach(who grates on me, but anywho) is probably having champagne with her PR guy over all this attention.
I do feel somewhat differently about Obama.
I think it was great PR for the NY, but not so much for Mr Obama. I'll bet Jimboblee Hatfield is showing that there picture around & saying:  See, this here is why I don't want them runnin' my blasted country...  ~Mary

screaminremo303 said...

It is ridiculous to believe Obama is a Muslim terrorist. He is a Democrat and a Socialist and to suggest otherwise is an insult to the millions of hard-working Islamic nutbags worldwide who wish to kill us with bombs.

Obama wants to accomplish the same result via taxes and capitulation.

bosoxblue6993w said...

note to the Obama staff:  IRONY is NOT a pile of unpressed laundry.

ber144 said...

My, the era of political correctness has really killed satire, hasn't it?  I think Obama has missed a great opportunity with this.  He should say something like "I could never get away with wearing those types of sandals in the Oval Office, and Michelle's hair refuses to cooperate anyway."

Almost as ridiculous as the concept of Obama being a Muslim is the idea that Democrats are socialists.  And capitulation?  Will our hands be up in surrender or because it will be easier to get our wallets that way?  Scream BOO! a little louder.  We can't hear you over here away from the desert air.

I just want to go to sleep and wake up on January 21st already.

psychfun said...

I love your suggestions. Yes, McCain is in my happiness video I show my students saying he was happy many times laughing at the guards etc.

While I agree bad PR still ends up being great PR like A-Rod & his affair & Christie Brinkley (interesting how they ended it quickly after Larry King though!) it also can linger and turn sour at a later point. I think what is the concern is if this does not outrage what will be next. How far is free speech...that is interesting to think about. Yes, people have to right to show to the world they are a complete moron by stating racial slurs etc but are their consequences? Also, how does the other countries in our world see this?