The Politics of Dodging the Issue

This morning Scott wrote about an article in the current New Yorker magazine about Barack Obama’s early days in Chicago politics. The New Yorker issue has become controversial less for its contents than for its cover, which depicts Obama and his wife Michelle. Barack is a Muslim, Michelle has an Afro and totes an AK47, a portrait of someone who looks like Nasrallah hangs on the wall, and an American flag burns in the fireplace:

The incorrigibly left-wing New Yorker didn’t mean the cover to be unflattering, of course. They titled the picture “The Politics of Fear,” as their press release explained:

On the cover of the July 21, 2008, issue of The New Yorker, in ‘The Politics of Fear,’ artist Barry Blitt satirizes the use of scare tactics and misinformation in the Presidential election to derail Barack Obama’s campaign.

The cover is supposed to satirize the charges that we right-wingers have leveled against Obama:

The Obama campaign quickly condemned the rendering. Spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement: “The New Yorker may think, as one of their staff explained to us, that their cover is a satirical lampoon of the caricature Senator Obama’s right-wing critics have tried to create. But most readers will see it as tasteless and offensive.” …

“I talked to the editor of The New Yorker, David Remnick, who tells me this is a satire, that they are making fun of all the rumors,” [media critic Howard] Kurtz added.

Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune defended it as “quite within the normal realms of journalism,” adding that “it’s just lampooning all the crazy ignorance out there.

Obama isn’t a Muslim, and his wife doesn’t carry an AK-47. But Obama’s long-time associations with anti-Americans like Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn and Jeremiah Wright are not “rumors” or “misinformation.” Nor is it “crazy ignorance” to note that Obama’s candidacy was endorsed by Hamas (although Hamas later withdrew its endorsement when Obama tacked toward the center) or that his wife says America is “just downright mean.” Obama doesn’t want to deal with these very real issues, and prefers to respond to the straw man that he’s a Muslim. The New Yorker tried to help him in that effort, apparently, but I doubt that it did him any good. That image of a flag burning in the fireplace hits uncomfortably close to the mark.

PAUL adds: This is another illustration of how the liberal media’s blind hatred of, and desire to slander, conservatives can divert it from its quest to assist liberal candidates. It’s just about the only thing that can divert it from that quest.

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