We've all seen political cartoons. Those of us with even a half-functioning brainsteam can see that they are satirical works of art that are meant to paint a caricature of a person. Of course, it helps to know what a caricature is. These are meant to exagerate the features and actions of a person or the perceived image of someone.
Enter The New Yorker.
Who knows if they'll get this in Dubuque, but they sure aren't going to like it in Chicago: This week's New Yorker cover features an image of Michelle and Barack Obama that combines every smeary right-wing stereotype imaginable: An image of Obama in a turban and robes fist-bumping his be-afro'd wife, dressed in the military fatigues of a revolutionary and packing a machine gun and some serious ammo. Oh yes, this quaint little scene takes place in the Oval Office, under a picture of Osama bin Laden above a roaring fireplace, in which burns an American flag. All that's missing is a token sprig of arugula.
The illustration, by Barry Blitt,is called "The Politics of Fear" and, according to the NYer press release, "satirizes the use of scare tactics and misinformation in the Presidential election to derail Barack Obama's campaign." Uh-huh. What's that they say about repeating a rumor?
More from The Huffington Post.
Now, enter in the conservative bloggers. To maintain continuity with previous examples, we'll see what Michelle Malkin and her new boss @ HOT AIR ( Ed Morrissey ) are saying:
Michelle - in all her purse-lipped faux outrage - cries:
So, you found this satirical New Yorker cover art “tasteless and offensive.”
Welcome to public life.
Guess what? In Washington, political cartoonists and caricaturists spare no one.
Her post goes on to state that Obama shouldn't be 'whining', and that Bush and his associates have had to endure much worse. This may be true, but according to Malkin, Obama is not allowed to respond. Her statements that he is 'whining' is pure spin. But, that's how the conservative script is written and the cast is expected to follow it to the letter. There is no ad-libbing.
It's all set up in precise terms in order to completely avoid discussing issue, to push aside the message, attack the 'victim', or to create issue where there is none.
Obama, in there eyes, cannot be allowed to speak - whether to defend himself, his cause, anything. If he is mute on the issue, he is allowing himself to be run-over, which would show a sign of weakness. If he speaks, he is 'whining'.
Ed Morrissey takes a different approach:
The New Yorker is attacking conservatives, but Obama’s the one taking offense (and for good reason). Obama warned that the Republicans would obsess over his ethnicity, but so far only the mainstream Left has made it an issue.
Interesting, but just as predictable as Malkin. It appears - according to Morrissey's logic - that Ralph Nadar, Jesse Jackson, and The New Yorker constitue the "mainstream Left".
Here we see another tactic the conservatives like to employ. Make it appear that there is a "mainstream" presence that is doing the attacking. We see this constantly being parroted by conservative bloggers, reporters, and news organizations. "The Mainstream Media" or MSM as it is often called. The cute monicker works well, as people process 'gimmicks' with ease.
Those three examples do not a 'mainstream' make.
One can see how the cartoon clearly illustrates how many in the conservative realm see the Obamas. The 24 hour news outlets will make so much hay from this it will become tiresome before the prime-time opinion programs start up.
It becomes clearer and clearer how conservatives will use this New Yorker cover.
1 - If Obama responds, he's a 'whiner'
2 - If he doesn't, he is allowing himself and his wife to be 'walked all over' and his lack of a statement shows poor judgement, which means he won't be a good President.
3 - This shows that the 'mainstream Left' is who is really attacking Obama
Interesting spin, but nothing more.