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A tip of the hat — make that a terrorist fist bump — to Jon Stewart, for summing up in three sentences what I wanted to say all last week but couldn’t exactly articulate, from the moment I read the virtual gasps of indignation on Twitter, until I finally saw the actual cover of the New Yorker magazine that had made such a stink. Once you actually see it — I hope — you get it: yes, it’s tasteless. Yes, it makes you uncomfortable.
IT’S SATIRE, PEOPLE. As Jon Stewart says in the video:
” Senator Obama should put out the statement that he is in no way offended or upset by this cartoon portraying him as a Muslim extremist, of which he is not one. Because you know who gets upset about cartoons? Muslim extremists.”
Check it out, because that gem alone might be worth the other four minutes. But wait. There’s more.
He points out that the media’s tsk-tsking on behalf of the Obamas (anytime we have Anderson Cooper and Bill O’Reilly agreeing, we should at least raise an eyebrow) is a little too angelic; but then, “raising questions about Obamas’ character without saying whether they are actually true is SO THEIR JOB.”
There’s no saving the media on this one: the New Yorker cover being so piously renounced simply sketched in one image all the intimations about the Obamas’ character that many news organizations have been alluding to — or pretty much saying outright — in the first place.
Now, I’m usually a bit of a media apologist; and what’s more, I hate bandwagons.
But in this case, the media should apologize — just hit their collective foreheads, go “Doh! What were we thinking? We look like IDIOTS! Stinky or poopy is right!”
p.s. – another terrorist fist bump to Robert French (@robertfrench), whose excellent blog and post pointed me to the Jon Stewart clip in the first place.