That’s Right Nate

Thoughts from a right thinker.

New Yorker Satire Falls Flat

with 7 comments

I’ve never been a big fan of satire.  I find that it is the lowest form of humor.  However, I was really disappointed to see how many people overreacted to the New Yorker’s hysterical satire on their newest cover.  The cover which portrays Barack Obama dressed like a Muslim giving a terrorist fist bump to his wife who is dressed as a black panther.  There is a fireplace with a picture of Osama bin Laden and a US flag in the fireplace.

What people have failed to realize is that this is a satire of Obama showing how we perceive him and was in no way racist.  The New Yorker shouldn’t have been surprised that people couldn’t figure it out.  There is a long history of satire involving African Americans being misinterpreted as hatred.   Minstrel shows were a type of satire that were really popular in the 19th century.  They featured white actors in black face lampooning black culture.

In this century Amos and Andy came into America’s living room over the radio for 30 years.  The two main characters were actually played by white actors satirizing the lives of Southern blacks living in the Norths.  Like the minstrel shows, Amos and Andy was mistaken for racism as well.

Its not just black people who don’t seem to get satire.  A satirical book in Russia called The Protocols of the Elders of Zion have had Jews up in arms for centuries. Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail and African-Americans will stop taking themselves so seriously.   Lighten up, its satire.  I don’t get uptight about WASP jokes.


Written by thatsrightnate

July 14, 2008 at 5:33 pm

7 Responses

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  1. Satire is not bound by color, but by the limits of one’s imagination.

    And satire is not the bottom of the barrel. Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” shows how effective satire can be without being directly derogatory. Currently, Ann Coulter produces a great weekly satirical column, although at times it can seem directly derogatory because of its briefness (lets face it, a dozen pages allows the use of a more abstract brush than a dozen short paragraphs).

    The New Yorker cover is brilliant in that it creates millions of free ad dollars for the mag, as well as allowing its editorial department to attack the Right as bigots, and showing the left how to continually deflect blame for their bias.


    July 14, 2008 at 5:49 pm

  2. Wow, I hadn’t realized Ann Coulter was satire. I’d actually been agreeing with her. Now I’m feeling really stupid.


    July 14, 2008 at 5:50 pm

  3. Stoopid Nate. Did you think Bill Maher would date her if she was really a right winger?


    July 14, 2008 at 6:18 pm

  4. They say she’s a Deadhead. They also say she might have been a man. If she’s a transexual she’s probably not really a conservative. Some other people say she’s a vampire. I’ve always seen vampires as leaning to the right. I guess it all depends on who you believe.


    July 14, 2008 at 8:19 pm

  5. The only reason that this Mr. & Mrs. Obama satire DOES have impact — and may very likely spread — is because like all good satire, or good humor for that matter, there’s more than a germ of truth in it. Otherwise, the satire would utterly roll off the Obamoids’ backs, having no impact.


    July 15, 2008 at 12:09 am

  6. Well said Malloy. How can it be satire when its true?


    July 15, 2008 at 8:03 am

  7. I don’t really know about the New Yorker or what its audience is. I would guess if it is aimed at the same market as the ‘low level’ papers it will be taken in a different way to those who read the broadsheets. Your starting position really will define whether this is clever, funny or a cheap attempt to further brand Obama (and his wife) as unamerican.


    July 16, 2008 at 3:13 pm

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