Monday, July 14, 2008
The New Yorker Obama Cover
It was meant to satire the ridiculous image a lot of folks have of Barak Obama. The rumors that he's actually a Muslim, that he's not patriotic, that he's soft on terrorism, that he hates America.
The cover is a tease for a story that deals with mistakes the Obama camp has made, one of which is the failure to adequately dismiss these images.
When people on the right and the left complained about the tastelessness of the imagery, the New Yorker responded that their readers were sophisticated enough to get the joke. That may be, but the millions of other Americans who will be viewing it are probably not going to be quite as amused.
Ironically, the spotlight has been placed on the various scare mongering rumors, not by Obama's opponents, but by his supporters. The rumors don't come from any party headquarters. They usually start as some email crank, then get picked up by somebody on the left that finds it outrageous and plastered all over the news while they denounce it.
The Obama camp has done a lousy job of dealing with it. Whether it's been an organized strategy or just bad luck, the Obama campaign has been consumed with denying, denouncing and refuting rather than being focused on their message. They've been "Gingriched", a term I coined to describe the tactic that has run many a politician (including Gingrich) out of office.