The Real Issue is Not the New Yorker

(cross posted at dailykos)

The real issue is not the New Yorker and what its editors and artists consider satire. I wish it were. But look at the News Headlines for the last weeks. Which Candidate has been in the news? Which Candidate has made a “flub” more often? Which candidate has had a member of his “team” or a famous supporter make a flub. Which candidate has been labeled as having an erosion in his support?

Do you see where I am going?

The issue is NOT the New Yorker cover. The cover is only part of the issue.

Like everything else, it is about overkill.

Obama is in the news every day. There is a new crisis about Obama every day. This has been going on for months. Not days, not weeks. The News media has an Obama lede every night. When McCain has a lede, the news spends 20 seconds on him whereas Obama gets minutes.

Some think that any news is good news in a political race…but I beg to differ. There is such a thing as too much news. And too much irrelevant news. The 10 second American attention span is going to start turning off as soon as Obama’s name is mentioned.

Is McCain being cheated? Of course not. He is being Protected by the underexposure of his really serious and important gaffes while anything about Obama, especially the trivial, gets top billing in the news.

We are all being snookered.

The problem is that we are allowing the “Republicans” to set the message!

The News media water carriers and their Republican surrogates lede their programs with an Obama story/smear almost every day. Nothing about McCain. Just like with previous candidates, the Democrats are being put on the defensive, answering ridiculous attacks and trying to sidestep bad publicity….so much so that the impression is that the candidate is incompetent. McCain needs to be the issue. He needs to have his stupidity out there for everyone to see and hear. And it needs to be “hammered” hard all the time.

Get Obama’s message out there, not some idiot talking about “cutting his nuts off”. That statement is irrelevant. McCain’s stupid jokes get a mention for one day, anything about Obama is good for a week.

We need to start targeting what is important. We need to start posting up McCain’s perfidy and pandering everywhere. Make McCain’s incompetence the issue. Make McCain’s lack knowledge the front page. Cartoons are out there, start publicizing McCain’s shortcoming and the shortcomings of his followers. Force the news to do their job. Every time something about Obama comes up, it makes the news for week. Start switching the conversation to McCain. Make him look stupid. It won’t be hard. Change the game plan. Don’t let the “right” define our candidate….but let’s start making the “right” see their own candidate out there for everyone to laugh at….McCain, like the “emperor” he wants to emulate, has no clothes….let’s expose him instead of wasting time decrying something about Obama for the next week.

And don’t tell me this New Yorker cover isn’t good for at least a week’s worth of non-news. Where is McCain’s dozen mistakes? Those should have been good for more than the 15 seconds they got last week.

Focus on the Change we want and need….

Not on the Change the Republicans want to say we want.

Please Do NOT Let the Republicans Define this Election!

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  1. I’m still stunned from that cover.  It hit a real nerve with a lot of people and I don’t see any way it’s not going to generate a whole lot of conversation, albeit much of it useless.

    To me the question is sort of irregardless of the New Yorker cover — how to break the hold the traditional media has on it’s “non-coverage” of McCain — the blogosphere can’t reach the kinds of numbers the traditional media can.

    I am hoping the debates will be watched by a whole lot of people.  I’m also curious as to how the moderators of the debates will treat the candidates and if what the traditional media is doing will carry over into that.

    I think you’ve hit upon a real problem.  I wish I had some good answers for you.

    • Temmoku on July 14, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    It is so easy to think that the cover of a magazine with the circulation of the New Yorker has the same influence that people or US or Newsweek or Time has….the Reality is is that the media is focusing on an irrelevancy compared to what is really important. McCain gets away with all kinds of things that should be important, but if someone does a cartoon or says something unflattering about Obama, it is BIG news…and I guarantee we’ll be hearing about it all week. meanwhile, Obama’s speeches and important messages go unreported.

  2. but I’m still trying to figure out if the New Yorker cover is simply a bad thing.

    It represents an underground view that is certainly out there. IF that gets pulled out in the open and addressed for the lie that it is, perhaps that’s not all bad.

    I’m not completely wedded to this opinion though – just thinking about it out loud. And perhaps my biggest concern is that our MSM will not be able to openly discuss it as a lie, which goes to your point I think Temmoku.

    • pico on July 14, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    but I agree with everything you say about how it distracts us from discussing McCain, despite his many many flubs.

    I think part of it’s unavoidable: people are excited about the Obama candidacy, in both good and bad ways.  People like talking about Obama, whereas McCain is boring even to Republicans.  So while I agree that it’s important to push McCain’s flaws into the light, it’s harder to get people interested in discussing him at all.  He’s the dusty relic that inspires no one.

  3. What kind of satire is it to repeat calumnies?  Answer: it isn’t.  So the New Yorker’s transposition of the slanders against Obama from verbal to pictorial form isn’t satire.  It’s just repetition of calumny.  Did their editorial board realize this?  Evidently not.

    Is this an important issue? Maybe until Wednesday when the next celebrity divorce is announced.  Maybe until Thursday when the next kerfuffle in a teapot erupts.  I don’t think it’s important except to show how the media’s feeding frenzy is working.  Are you surprised that it’s about Obama and not McCain?  Are you surprised that it’s eclipsed everything else?  Are you surprised that once again we have distraction?

    We’re not even up to the convention.  There are lots of people in the media who think that taking repeated potshots at Obama is good journalism, that it shows that they’re not the liberal, elite media, as if we believed they were.  That they aren’t in Obama’s pocket.  Whatever. They are and remain shills for corporate America.  These same fine people in the 4th estate are, of course, giving McCain a pass and virtually never go after him.  Fine.  Tell me something new.  Tell me something surprising.

    The story looks a lot like corporate business as usual: smart people doing stupid things for obscure reasons, the corporate masters benefiting, left Blogistan outraged, McCain skating, Obama being slandered.  Why am I not surprised??

    • Temmoku on July 15, 2008 at 1:01 am

    and I agree with most of them…. I can admit that I was startled and a little offended by the artist’s cover on the New yorker, but his other covers were eye opening too. he tends to do that. This time his subject was Obama. And while I wish it had appeared at a different time, like never, it is out there and it does express what some people think and , yes, that view is wrong. That said…I still want to reiterate that the issue is NOT the magazine or the cover. The issue is that this provides the media with a non-issue to play over and over, so they can avoid any real substantive coverage of the campaign. The focus on fluff about Obama is so much more preferable than focusing on the truth about McCain or any mistake he makes about Czechoslovakia which will NOT make the news to the same extent as the cartoon about Obama. The only winner I see for the cartoon is that, perhaps, 10 more people will buy the magazine than usual. The fact is, people don’t read like they used to and circulation of a magazine that is designed to be read is way down. Meanwhile, FOX News and CNN and MSNBC will be arguing over a cartoon as if we need to call for a fatwa or something…it is just not all that important. This economy sucks and the War is a disaster….and offshore drilling is NOT going to lower gas prices.

  4. does the New Yorker intend to publish a caricature of McCain on its cover?

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