A Humorist’s Lament (Covering The New Yorker Cover Brouhaha In Verse) – Updated

By now, everyone’s surely seen Barry Blitt’s New Yorker cover, depicting Barack Obama as a flag-burning, bin Laden-loving, fist-bumping Muslim.  Intended to satirize “The Politics of Fear,” the image is being widely criticized as reinforcing the very stereotypes it seeks to mock.

Cartoonist Tom Tomorrow has a very interesting take on the topic here and here, as does cartoonist Ruben Bolling here, and Don Davis here, here, here, and here.  The New York Times queries some late night talk show hosts here and Mark Karlin of Buzzflash speaks out here.

Here’s my view in verse:

A Humorist’s Lament
Madeleine Begun Kane

A humorist like me sure knows
How tough it is to write, compose,
And sketch satiric toons and prose
And poems.  It’s not without its woes.

For instance, Barry Blitt’s lampoon,
New Yorker’s well-intentioned toon,
Is meant to show as crass buffoon
The lie and bias-spreading goon.

The humor quand’ry, if you please:
This toon could fit with equal ease
In any right-wing, racist sleaze
And readily its readers please.

That’s why it draws this fit of pique
For spreading what it would critique,
Confirming to the knowledge-weak:
Barack Obama — Terr’ist Sheik!

Update: Some more funny people have chimed in on this topic: skippy; David Horsey; Jon Swift; and Talk About Comics.[tags]Barack Obama, New Yorker Cover, Barry Blitt, Tom Tomorrow, Ruben Bolling, Racial Stereotypes, Media Humor, Election Coverage Satire[/tags]

4 Responses to “A Humorist’s Lament (Covering The New Yorker Cover Brouhaha In Verse) – Updated”

  1. Neil Benson says:

    Your verse as usual is excellent. I’m in a bit of a quandary about this. On one hand I love satire, but there are unique circumstances involving Obama and the lies spread about him being a Muslim. Having Osama bin Laden in the mirror went too far.

    If you have the chance, I’d be interested in your thoughts about my two allegedly satiric posts. The first is, “Nancy Pelosi Our Next President” in the second is “George Bush’s Nightmare.”

  2. Mark says:

    Great poem Mad! And thank you for a great round-up of links too. See you in the Carnival tomorrow!

  3. The Skwib says:

    Carnival of Satire (#103)…

    Satire is destroying the world. There. I’ve admitted it, and now you know the secret desire of everyone here at The Skwib is to bring about a humorous apocalypse. A humockalypse, if you will. And we’re a week late to chime in on the New…

  4. Thelma Schmidhauser says:

    I canceled my subscription after that cover came out. There were too many people confused by the talking heads (and some Democrats) to put this on the cover of a mostly reputable mag. Good satire needs some basis in fact, not slander.