Let me preface this post by stating that my television only goes up to channel 23, or else I probably would not wake up each morning to Joe Scarbrough. Having said that, he is a good ‘ol southern boy like myself and I do find myself identifying with him from time to time.
So on “Morning Joe” today NBC’s political director Chuck Todd described The New Yorker cover, which depicts a cartoon of Barack Obama in full Muslim garb giving a pound to a Black Panther-esque Michelle Obama while standing in the oval office, as “going tabloid.” Specifically Todd chalked up the poor editorial decision to the state of the print media industry, implying one of the most respected and recognized magazines in the entire world, who I can only imagine has a relatively strong subscription base, needed to “boost sales.” Lets hope that isn’t the case.
There has to be a line when it comes to print publications trying not to go quietly into that good night and The New Yorker in my opinion crossed it. I can buy their argument that the satirical cartoon portrays how the potential first couple is viewed in certain twisted, misguided, right-minded corners of the country. At least I can buy it up to a point. But somewhere along the way there was an editorial meeting and the decision to go with the cartoon on the cover as opposed to inside was made. The New Yorker, instead of creating constructive dialogue on the issue, only created a new spam email that will be circulated by the same people the cartoon alludes to.
Anyone who reads The New Yorker knows where the magazine stands on the political spectrum and those readers also know what political satire is. But the problem lies with those who don’t read the magazine regularly, or who don’t read regularly at all. Instead of being a tool to enlighten and educate, which the best political cartons do, the cartoon is most likely going to be used only to perpetuate the political ignorance it depicts.