Monday, July 14, 2008

On Interpretation

So, the big brouhaha today is the latest New Yorker magazine cover, which depicts candidate Obama in traditional Muslim clothing fist bumping Michelle Obama who has a massive afro and an assault weapon slung on her back. They stand in the oval office with a U.S. flag burning in the fireplace and a portrait of Osama Bin Laden above the mantel.

According to Nico Pitney at the Huffington Post, Barry Blitt the creator of the satiric cartoon aimed to convey the extreme views out there of the Obamas:
I think the idea that the Obamas are branded as unpatriotic [let alone as terrorists] in certain sectors is preposterous. It seemed to me that depicting the concept would show it as the fear-mongering ridiculousness that it is.

The problem is interpretation. The Obama campaign issued a release condemning the cover as tasteless and offensive. The McCain camp followed with their own condemnation.

It created such a stir that it even got time on the News Hour with Jim Lehrer.

So, is it a message highlighting the absurd rumor-mongering of the right or is it a tasteless and offensive portrayal of the Obamas?

Perhaps, a title would have helped?

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