15 July 2008

The New Yorker Cover

Color me ambivalent.
I understand it's satire aimed at all of those anti-Obama smears, and I agree with others that the cartoon is alarming--but isn't that a good thing?

Surely the public reaction indicates that The New Yorker's caricature of the Obamas--Barack as a Muslim and Michelle as a revolutionary--has done its job. The media and electorate are discussing it--and the ideas motivating it--openly.

Once again, we have an opportunity to both explore and debunk allegations associating the Obamas with everything from treason to being Muslim and cavorting with terrorists.

I doubt that the cover gives anyone "ammunition" to use against Obama, as one commentor at The Petition Site claims. Who in their right mind will see this cartoon as confirmation that smears, such as those cited by Snopes.com, are true? The people who were fighting tooth and nail against Obama in the first place, that's who: the racists, the white nationalists, the do-or-die social conservatives, and other fringe groups.

In a side note: the cover arrives on the heels of a investigative article that tracks the generation and transmission of the "Obama is a Muslim" smear that criss-crossed the country via email. Apparently, those allegations originated with a failed Chicago politician who has had a burr in his butt about Obama for several years now.

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