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Tuesday, July 15, 2008


The responses have varied, and it seems, predictably, on color lines. (No, I don't count Harold Ford, Jr., whose meek acquiescence to Mike Murphy and Mike Barnicle - "It's satire!" - this morning on MSNBC ruined my breakfast.)

Andrew Malcolm at the L.A. Times has a logical disconnect, feeling that the magazine can't be blamed for how conservative operatives might seek to use the image the magazine created and published:
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.

(I love how he cites Clarence Page's indifference about the cover, as if one Black dude's opinion is all that's required for validation.)

Jack Shafer at Slate just wants to yell at us, apparently:
How did we arrive at the point where a simple wisecrack like Blitt's causes such a hullabaloo? Has the public's taste for barbed drawings waned since the Paul Conrad, Herblock, Pat Oliphant, and Bill Mauldin heydays, or have the voices of the would-be bowdlerizers gotten stronger? Shall we don blinders and erect barriers so nobody is offended or misled?

Only weak thinkers fear strong images. The publication that convenes itself as a polite dinner party, serving only strained polenta and pureed peas, need not invite me to sup.

He calls us elitists for being offended by something designed to jar the senses, yet offers up a list of cartoonists that the average Joe's never heard of to make his point. That's rich.

When observing the magazine's half-hearted apologies and explanations, Cheryl at Jack & Jill saw the same thing I did:
Just another shrug of “wha?” And a failure to take responsibility for the impact of their imagery. And again, the failure to apologize to those offended. By the racism. If the New Yorker was smart, they’d have sent an African-American editor on staff out to explain the cover and thus cover some ass. Hmm…guess they must not have any!

Isn't it obvious?

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