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Barry Blitt’s New Yorker Cover Tests World’s Satire Detection Skills

politics of fear.bmpIt’s entitled “The Politics of Fear” and features a turbaned, robe-clad Barack Obama in an Oval Office fist bump with his wife, Michelle, who has swapped her usual sheath dress and pumps for camo fatigues and combat boots, accessorized not with gumball pearls but an AK-47 and a swath of bullets. In the fireplace beside them burns an American flag. This is the Barry Blitt illustration that adorns the cover of the July 21 issue of The New Yorker, and while it’s only now winging its way to most subscribers’ mailboxes, the cover is already generating a flurry of controversy, as our sister blog, FishbowlNY predicted yesterday in a post that began with the question: “Ironic or just nuts?” Meanwhile, today’s Daily Heller helpfully provides both Merriam-Webster’s definition of “satire” and a selection of past New Yorker covers designed to “make readers question social, political, and cultural assumptions.” FishbowlNY has just posted Blitt’s past New Yorker covers for you to print, cut out, collect, and trade. And over at the Huffington Post, New Yorker editor David Remnick tells Rachel Sklar, “The fact is, it’s not a satire about Obama—it’s a satire about the distortions and misconceptions and prejudices about Obama.”

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