Monday, July 14, 2008

Satire 101 for the New Yorker

Just a tip, New Yorker. If you're going to run a satirical cover stereotyping the nation's first black candidate for President and his wife as every nasty right wing slander that's been thrown at them, replete with Osama bin Laden picture on the wall, with an article entitled 'The Politics of Fear', you might want to put the tagline 'The Politics of Fear' somewhere in giant letters on the cover. So people can overtly tell it's satire about how he's been attacked, not another one worrying if he's some muslim sleeper agent or crazy black separatist (articles which have actually appeared in major newspapers.) Some people were going to be offended no matter what. I think some of the reaction is majorly overblown. But it's best in these situations to make your intent as explicit as possible so no one can easily mistake it.

Another tip, for satire to be effective you need to be showing exactly who the satire is specifically being pointed at. No such thing is being done here. There is no joke on the people who spread such lies, just a drawing depicting everything they say. In a way you've just created the most easily spreadable version of those right wing memes.

Third, you had to explain it. It's defacto bad satire then.

Try harder next time. Just trying to help.

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