This was my letter to the editor of The New Yorker a few moments ago:
In regards to your cartoonist Barry Blitt's caricature of Senator Obama and his wife Michelle:
While I understand that political satire, especially cartoons, has been a tradition for hundreds of years, this caricature crosses the line from satire into bad taste. At a time when the entire world lives in fear of another terrorist attack, and at a time when the Senator is attempting to unite our country in order to work together and solve our problems, to prey upon these fears and lies about the Senator and his wife is distasteful at best, and inflammatory at worst.
How interesting to realize that The New Yorker is in bed with FoxNews! I never would have suspected.
South Bend, Indiana
Honestly, this is just disgusting. The editor has said that it is nothing but satire, but to picture Obama in Muslim attire, and even worse, picture Michelle holding a machine gun while standing in the Oval Office, burning the flag in the fireplace, a portrait of bin Laden overlooking it all...? Are you kidding me?! Satire, my ass. This is nothing more than yellow journalism, and while I rarely read The New Yorker, I've always thought they were a well-written and thoughtful magazine. This is sensationalistic and exploitative, and it is tabloid journalism in very poor disguise. The magazine will get plenty of press about this, and I hope they choke on their ill-gotten gains as a publicity whore.
An almost immediate update:
I got an automatic response to my Letter to the Editor, so I would guess that they are being inundated with emails about this.
About this week’s issue: Our cover, “The Politics of Fear,” combines a number of fantastical images about the Obamas and shows them for the obvious distortions they are. The burning flag, the nationalist-radical and Islamic outfits, the fist-bump, the portrait on the wall—all of them echo one attack or another. Satire is part of what we do, and it is meant to bring things out into the open, to hold up a mirror to prejudice, the hateful, and the absurd. And that's the spirit of this cover.
Sorry, I don't buy it. There's a big difference between tasteful satire and inflammatory satire, and this is the latter. Lame excuse NOT accepted.