Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Obama Magazine Cover Controversy

This is the New Yorker magazine cover that is causing so much controversy in the USA – it shows a newly elected Obama showing up to work in the oval office (US President’s office) in Islamic dress and trading congratulatory fists with his terrorist dressed wife. Obama and his election campaign group find it distinctly unfunny.

July 15, 2008 - Posted by | Character, Community, Cross Cultural, Fiction, Humor, Joke, Living Conditions, Social Issues |


  1. As the Columbia Journalism Review pointed out on their web site, and I just discovered myself, the actual article on Obama — which covers a little-discussed and hugely important period in his life — is far more interesting than the cartoon on the cover.

    Comment by leems | July 15, 2008 | Reply

  2. Thats so BAD !

    That said…they captured the EXACT pose and face Michelle Obama had when they did that congratulatory fist thingie !

    Comment by Delicately Realitsic | July 15, 2008 | Reply

  3. It was bound to happen .. Obama will lose the race… because eventually the average American will be fooled to believe that Barak ‘Hussain’ Obama is Muslim . And also his skin tone wont help him either…

    The Cartoon is outrageous.. i wonder if Barak Obama sue the magazine or not ..

    Comment by GreY | July 15, 2008 | Reply

  4. My own initial reaction was that it was funny, leems.

    I just can’t imagine anyone taking it seriously. I take the New Yorker, and if anything, I have always thought they were more objective and liberal. It’s a cartoon, it’s supposed to be funny. But sometimes, I guess, things like this can take on a life of their own.

    They are mocking so many things, Delicate. For one thing, they are mocking the American fear of Islam, and the connection many make between Islam and terrorism. I almost wonder if it was a kind of innoculation, sort of “lets exaggerate it and throw it out on the table and show people how ridiculous their prejudices are.” I mean, it is SO over the top!

    Like your reaction – and mine – “It’s so BAD!” but then, in my case, dissolving in giggles. Like it is so UN-Obama, with his elegant expensive suits and his totally perfect First-Lady-Wife. It’s so ridiculous.

    Grey, I think Obama is so strong that no matter what mud is slung at him, he is going to do fine. The seems to have the full support of the Democratic party, and so many voters are angry at George Bush that it is going to hurt any Republican’s chances. Maybe I am naive. I think it is too in-your-face-silly to do any serious damage.

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 15, 2008 | Reply

  5. Yeah, you might think it is so obvious that no one could be affected by it, but I am from the south and have seen otherwise. 🙂 I mean there is still a lot of support for Bush there, and many still think Saddam was connected to 9/11. It’s just crazy how impressionable some people are! That’s why the cover angers me, not that I don’t get its supposed purpose, rather I worry what it will do to cement in peoples’ minds a stereotype that most are just too lazy to investigate for themselves!

    Comment by carly | July 15, 2008 | Reply

  6. I am wondering when the X-rated videos will be out, and what titles will they use.

    Comment by Purgatory | July 15, 2008 | Reply

  7. Thats unfunny… I agree

    Comment by Ansam | July 15, 2008 | Reply

  8. Yeh, Carly, I can see the potential you’re talking about. I’m hoping that those who would be negatively influenced are those who would never have considered voting for Obama in the first place.

    Purg – hold your breath!

    Ansam – I think they made a bad strategic mistake, trying to satirize Obama. No one seems to find it very funny. I am eager to read the article itself, which leems, above, says is a very good article.

    You can read it for yourself here: How Chicago Shaped Obama

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 15, 2008 | Reply

  9. I kinda believe this controversy helped Obama more than hurt him. Sometime back i heard that 13% of Americans believe that Obama is a Moslem. Well, with all the media coverage this caricature got and with everyone pointing out how ridiculous it is to think so, maybe a certain percentage of those 13% have by now come to realize that he is not….and i do believe that was the intent of the cartoon in the first place…to educate those 13% and those Carly was referring to in her comment.

    Comment by Darya | July 15, 2008 | Reply

  10. People will see in it what they want to see in it. To some, it will be so silly that they cannot imagine anyone finding any truth there, some will be offended over the Islam-terrorist connection expressed, and to some this represents their fears of who Obama really is. I tend to agree with Carly, being from Texas myself, that for many people this solidifies their opinion that he is exactly the caricature The New Yorker is displaying here. Most of those people will never read the article, and if the news wouldn’t have made it headlines, it wouldn’t have mattered to those same people to start with.

    I don’t really believe it is laziness that causes them to stereotype him this way; there is always plenty of mud to sling around in the election process. And just like the Dems use the fear of another 4 years of Bush in McCain, the Rep’s use fear selling logic against Obama. Most people I know back home are just trying to keep up with their demanding schedules, bills and kids, and dont have time to waste waiting for some real news to emerge from their news channels between the “Brittany Spears watch” and the “Angelina twins”!

    Comment by mimfoy | July 16, 2008 | Reply

  11. I don’t think it was intended to harm him, Darya, and I am curious to see if it will have any long term effect.

    Mimfoy – You’ve put some thought into this. With me not being from the South or from Bush country (Texas) I have to stop and try to see things through your eyes. It’s going to be an interesting election, and I hope they will keep the mud slinging out of all this.

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 16, 2008 | Reply

  12. I understand the sarcastic tone to it. But i think its a delicate situation, and it was a very volatile move on their part to publish a cartoon like that on the COVER not even inside the magazine.

    I just believe some things shouldnt be joked about in such an upfront manner just like making racist comments even if it is in jest…. ppl cant get away with doing that in the US anymore.

    And lets not forget, with a cover like that, it will catch the attention of every tom dick and harry, some ppl are bound to miss the point of it and believe that it may be true and not a mockery.

    I still think its very distasteful.

    Comment by Delicately Realitsic | July 17, 2008 | Reply

  13. It certainly has gotten people talking, hasn’t it, DR? Many people found it distasteful, many more found it outrageous. I am betting that was the New Yorker’s intention.

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 17, 2008 | Reply

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