Proving once again that there's no place for humor in modern politics, the New Yorker is taking a lot of flak for it's most recent cover. The cartoon, entitled "The Politics of Fear", depicts Obama in Muslim clothing fist bumping his wife who's carrying a rifle under a picture of Osama bin Laden while the American flag burns in the fire place. My first thought on seeing the cover was: That's pretty funny.
However, not everyone was amused. Almost immediately, the campaign called the cover "totally inappropriate." And that was the McCain campaign. An Obama spokesman called the cover "tasteless and offensive."
Let's stop here for a moment and just calm down.
First of all, the cover is kind of funny. Is this really what people are worried an Obama presidency will look like? Really? By showing is so bluntly it kind of puts the lie to all the black radical, secret Muslim stuff that just keeps on floating around.
Second, the cover of the New Yorker is hardly a deciding influence in the political realm. Often the covers feature what I take to be a very dry humor or have some sort of very New York-centric humor. The point is that this is not that big a deal, even if it were bad.
And for those of you out there worried about the picture being taken out of context and being portrayed as fact or something, think about it for a second. Obviously the thing is a cartoon, not reality. Let's also not forget that there are actual pictures available online of Obama wearing a turban. If I were looking for Obama images to take out of context, I'd start there.
So let's turn down the swift boating radar for a moment and just enjoy the joke. If we can't do that, the last laugh will be on us.