Satirical Intent of ‘New Yorker’ Obama Cover Not Clear Enough, Says Cartoonist

By: E&P Staff

The July 21 New Yorker magazine cover showing Barack Obama as a Muslim and his wife toting a gun has been slammed by both the Obama and John McCain campaigns.

It also drew comments from Universal Press Syndicate cartoonist Ruben Bolling, who did a “Tom the Dancing Bug” comic in April with a somewhat similar concept.

“Because my comic is obviously longer and the premise is more developed, I could make it clear (or relatively clear) that I’m mocking people’s misplaced fears about Obama, not Obama himself,” Bolling wrote today on the blog. “But it’s actually less clear what the satirical intent of The New Yorker cartoon is. It just shows an America-hating, terrorist President Obama.

“Of course, I’m certain [Barry] Blitt intended to make fun of people’s paranoid perceptions of Obama, not how leftist/radical/Muslim Obama is. But that’s because I’ve seen his cartoons before, and because I know what could or couldn’t be the stance of The New Yorker….

“A cartoon shouldn’t rely on the context of its creator and publisher in order to successfully make its point. Some more indicators should have been utilized in the cartoon in order to make the target of its satire clearer.”

Bolling’s April cartoon and complete comments can be seen here.

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