David Kirkpatrick

July 16, 2008

The New Yorker, Obama and “the cover”

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:50 pm

It looks like Obama’s taken the opportunity offered by the New Yorker cover illustration controversy to speak out on and defend Muslim-Americans.

From the link — the question is from Larry King on CNN:

How do you fight that?

OBAMA: Well, you know, by getting on “Larry King” and telling everybody I’m a Christian and I wasn’t raised in a Muslim home. And pledge allegiance to the flag. And, you know, all the things that have been reported in these e-mails are completely untrue and have been debunked again and again and again. So, all you can do is just tell the truth and trust in the American people that over time, they’re going to know what the truth is.

One last point I want to — I do want to make about these e-mails, though. And I think this has an impact on this “New Yorker” cover.

You know, this is actually an insult against Muslim-Americans, something that we don’t spend a lot of time talking about. And sometimes I’ve been derelict in pointing that out.

You know, there are wonderful Muslim-Americans all across the country who are doing wonderful things. And for this to be used as sort of an insult, or to raise suspicions about me, I think is unfortunate. And it’s not what America’s all about.

I’ve blogged on some of the smears Obama has faced here, here and here.

Whatever effect the New Yorker cover is having on the election, it seems it may be biting the venerable magazine where it really hurts — the bottom line:

Rumors have swirled inside Condé Nast that advertisers also were upset with the latest rhubarb, which depicts Barack Obama in Muslim garb and wife Michelle as a machine gun-toting radical.


While this type of controversy is the last thing a publisher needs in these troubled times, certainly if it gives advertisers pause, the timing is especially bad for The New Yorker.

The magazine is now among the most troubled magazines at Condé Nast, and it remains to be seen if the current controversy upsets the title’s tenuous hold on profitability.

Through the July 7 issue, The New Yorker is down a staggering 21.2 percent in ad pages to 699.69, compared with the same period a year ago, when it racked up 887, according to Media Industry Newsletter, which tracks the industry.

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