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New Yorker cover gets amplified, as expected, on FOX and Friends

Reported by Chrish - July 14, 2008 -

Don Hazen wrote about the New Yorker Magazine cover on stands now

"Unfortunately the impact of this image will extend far beyond the reading audience of the New Yorker; cable news and the right-wing media noise machine will amplify the derogatory image to millions more."

Sure enough, FOX and Friends featured the cover near the top of their first hour this morning 7/14/08.

Clayton Morris, sitting in for Steve Doocy, detailed the cover as it was on screen: Obama's in a turban and full Muslim regalia, Michelle, dressed as a revolutionary is giving him a fist-bump, while in the fireplace an American flag is burning. Gretchen Carlson reminded him that it is Osama bin Laden depicted in the portrait over the fireplace.

Brian Kilmeade asserted that it is satire, and the article is not calling the Obamas Muslims. The point is, he continued, that although there are people on the Internet (and cable news, I might add) promoting the myths about the Obamas, it's not working these days. Everyone is crossing the line a little more, said Gretchen Carlson, to sell magazines and boost subscriptions.

Carlson repeated her point from Friday, ("We know how important imagery is, and keep in mind that we're still trying to get the right message out in our country about the threat of Iran.") in essence, saying there's so much in a picture...let's say they do an article about Bush and they choose a photo of him, looking goofy or sad; a lot can come from the perception of how you look at a simple photo, much less a caricature like this.

Kilmeade pointed out that John McCain's campaign agreed that it's over the line; Morris added that satire is supposed to make you laugh, and this doesn't. They showed another New Yorker cover by the same artist that depicted Obama and Hillary Clinton, in pajamas in bed, both reaching for the ringing red phone on the night table, and Morris and Carlson agreed that one was funny. Kilmeade disagreed and said if you found the current one offensive so should you find the earlier one, showing them in bed together. Carlson disagreed, "everyone knows that's not happening!" Kilmeade asked doesn't everyone know that Mrs. Obama is not a militant? that Barack Obama is not a Muslim?

Carlson again blamed the Internet, and Morris noted that Obama had to start a website to debunk the rumors about him.

Note that they deflected the rumor-mongering to the Internet, making "it" the place where rumors percolate and keeping their own hands clean. They are doing to the Internet what they've successfully done to the mainstream media (the so-called liberal media), making it untrustworthy. Where newspapers and television news are "liberal" the Internet is repeatedly depicted as untrustworthy and inhabited by smear merchants and rumor mongers. Not to say that they don't exist, but the whole source is being painted with that broad brush, and fine journalism and information becomes suspect because it comes from the Internet.

Throughout the piece the lower third proclaimed "Obama camp slams Muslim portrayal," although all they've had to say so far is "The New Yorker may think, as one of their staff explained to us, that their cover is a satirical lampoon of the caricature Sen. Obama's right-wing critics have tried to create," Obama spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement. "But most readers will see it as tasteless and offensive. And we agree."

A lot has already been written about that cover; what do you think?