Monday, July 14, 2008

Chicago Tribune / LA TImes Shrink - Tribune Co Fires Staffers

On the very day the New Yorker jumps the shark, the Tribune Company announces firings, including the editor of the Chicago Tribune and the publisher of the LA Times. The reason: readers flow to online sources and advertisers go with them.

New Yorker, Jesse Jackson, Ralph Nader Use Racism Against Obama

In this installment in my video series I discuss the New Yorker cartoon of Barack and Michelle Obama and how it compares to Jesse Jackson's "nuts" gaffe of last week (which I contend was not a gaffe and was a deliberate action), and Ralph Nader's most unfortunate statement that Senator Obama was "acting white."

I feature New Yorker Editor David Remick's explaination of the creation and use of the cartoon, and provide commentary.

I then explain that all three actions were examples of "jumping the shark" -- using race to get attention for their message, but doing nothing to improve the American condition in the process.

New Yorker's Cartoon Of Barack And Michelle Obama An Outrage

If you've not seen this cartoon for the New Yorker,then here it is in all of its glory. It shows Barack and Michelle Obama in all of the stereotypical garb and poses that bigots and racists -- same thing -- have complained about. It has Michelle as a terrorist doing the "fist pump" and Barack in radical muslim garb.


What's the point of this?

A number of outraged Obama supporters have flooded the listservs on this matter, and one person John Hay of took up an email conversation with the cartoonist Barry Blitt:

t appears as though “The New Yorker” is now running for cover over their outrageous and highly defamatory Obama magazine front cover. Possibly grounds for a costly New Yorker payout after Senator Obama gets the election out of the way.

Below is the New Yorker cartoonist’s response to an emailed complaint over the cover. It was posted early today by an Obama supporter MK, on one of the Obama site threads.


New Yorker Cover Artist’s Response to My E-mail | Report to Admin

By MK Today at 2:52 am EDT

Here is Barry Blitt’s response to my e-mail expressing my hurt and distress at his New Yorker Cover…

I am distressed to receive your email. All I can tell you is it was my intention to depict the
hideous innuendo and scare tactics circulated in the media as the ridiculous lies that they are.

My drawing was intended to appear preposterous and ridiculous. That it is being taken at
face value is very upsetting, and directly opposite to its intention. I am sorry for the hurt
it has caused. I cannot actually believe this cartoon, which was meant to mock the bigots
and xenophobes who spread lies, will actually give them license.

I hoped the image would get people talking about the falsehoods being spread about the Obamas.
I still hope that will be the case.

I am sorry once again.

Barry Blitt

But this is like Jesse Jackson all over again. You do something you know is going to upset people, but then turn around and appologize for it. This is happening all too often.

What about the New Yorker's editors? They're the ones who decided to run the damn thing.

Blogger Influence Studies Miss The Point - Print Media Is Dying

I happened over to Flopping Aces, a political blog, and noticed their reference and post on a study that questioned the infuence of bloggers in politics. The study was done in the "olden" days of blogging, circa 2006, and so is already questionable because there were 2 million blogs then, versus over 100 million today.

But the main point missed by Flopping Aces is that with ad dollars moving toward the Internet, and reporters being laid off left and right, blogs remain the one place to go to get news. Yes, biased -- for example, we tend to be pro-Barack Obama -- but that is why people surf blogs. The bottom line is that the way we're getting our news is changing fast and in this sea of alteration is difficult to question the power of blogs.

We're at a point where almost every major news channel on television looks like blogs for news, then uses their content or story idea to some degree. That fact is not in the study's discussed.