The New Yorker, a magazine whose editor David Remnick has been in Obama's camp since day one, is coming out with this satirical cover this week.
It shows a triumphantly afro'ed Michelle and turbaned Barack Obama in the Oval Office, giving each other "terrorist" fist dabs. The US flag is seen burning in the grate, and Osama bin Laden is smiling beatifically in the corner.
In one of the major understatements of this early century, it's not going down very well with his supporters.
The wink-wink nudge-nudge of satire often targets the powerful, to their detriment. When some take offence anyway, they get chided for lacking "a sense of humour".
The Left are in utter disarray over the piece, turning themselves inside-and-out in their attempts to understand the friendly fire.
From Daily Kos, we get everything from telephone numbers and emails to cancel subscriptions in protest, to behests to get out there and tear up the magazines in bookstores, rendering them unsaleable (that's a misdemeanour, by the way).
One voice of "reason" responds:
It would be a terrible, awful thing
if outraged citizens were to go to every bookstore and newstand in America and deface every copy of the New Yorker, rendering them unsalable.
I don't know how I would be able to sleep at night knowing that Obama bumper stickers were plastered on their covers, or their front covers were torn off and discarded, or the store's copies of the magazine were removed from the racks and hidden where other customers would not see them or find them.
I sure hope that no one acts this way. It would be a terrible, awful thing to happen.
For 8 years, the American public have been treated to unbelievable amounts of "satire" regarding the person of a sitting US President. There is not one Ted Rall or Daryl Cagle cartoon of President Bush that doesn't fall under the mantle of 'insulting'. Every CD burnt by outraged former fans of the Dixie Chicks was an assault against free speech, said the Left, and Michael Moore won awards by the dozens for his treacherous celluloid stabs at Bush and America.
When wayward satire hits Senator Obama, what do these defenders of free speech do?
Cancel subscriptions, urge defacement, and vent spleen on instant enemies to the cause. In short, they act like the very people they mocked only a few months ago. They were not for defending free speech at all, in their attacks -- they just wanted it to target the right guy. The hypocrisy is as glaring as it is predictable.
I don't know if you're enjoying this hubbub as much as I am, but I sure as heck am. This is the earliest Christmas present I've ever received and it's only July.
UPDATE: More reactions -- from a Time magazine forum member:
How can I put this?
Not only is this overreach to what will happen if McCain (a social moderate) is elected -- if it were a Republican saying something similar, such logic would be called 'fear mongering' -- but there is an incessant belief expressed in these rebuttals about certain people not getting the satire.
The people most often named are white hicks, as exist in W. Virginia. Oh, they rarely say "hicks" but the implication is there, and worst of all, is that they are as dumb as a signpost: an obvious consequence of being poor, rural and conservative.
I humbly put it to you that if Obama loses, it'll be due to this Democratic attitude of constantly looking down their noses at their own countrymen, like they do almost every election since 1952.
The sad part is that they do this towards a demographic which would be Democratic not just by conviction, but by tradition -- and THEY STILL DON'T GET WHY THEY ALIENATE THEM WITH THEIR INSULTING REMARKS.
It's mindboggling. I hope they do it forever.
Althouse Wonders "Why be Surly About It?"
Taylor Marsh Awaits The McCain in Wheelchair New Yorker Cover
Kevin Drum Calls Cartoonist "Gutless"