Counterculture

Barry Blitt-The Politics of Fear

Barry Blitt-The Politics of Fear

Published: 2016-01-14 | Original Article
Attribution Victor Navasky -BuzzFeed

“The Politics of Fear,” <em>The New Yorker</em> (2008)
“The Politics of Fear,” The New Yorker (2008)
In Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign, The New Yorker featured a cover cartoon by Barry Blitt showing Barack and Michelle Obama dressed in terrorist garb (rifles on camouflage-covered shoulder and all) doing a fist-bump. Not only did thousands of agitated readers protest, cancel subscriptions, and otherwise complain, but the then-candidate for president took time out from an otherwise busy schedule to denounce the cartoon as offensive. In fact, as New Yorker editor David Remnick pointed out, “It’s not a satire about Obama, it’s a satire about the distortions and prejudices about him.”

Presumably the New Yorker readership is sophisticated enough to get the joke, but still: this is going to upset a lot of people, probably for the same reason it's going to delight a lot of other people, namely those on the right: Because it's got all the scare tactics and misinformation that has so far been used to derail Barack Obama's campaign — all in one handy illustration. Anyone who's tried to paint Obama as a Muslim, anyone who's tried to portray Michelle as angry or a secret revolutionary out to get Whitey, anyone who has questioned their patriotism— well, here's your image.
Attribution Victor Navasky -BuzzFeed