Monday, July 21, 2008

Satirical retribution?

Although the New Yorker cover featuring Obama in a Muslim costume was portrayed as satire by the magazine, some did take a more literal view. Like team Obama, for instance. And team McCain. And some of the bitter clingers. And those who tend to view things through race-colored glasses. Still, most in the intelligentsia went to bat to protect satire.

But is there a price to pay for living on the satirical edge? According to Mike Allen at Politico, maybe so:
The campaign received 200 requests for press seats on the plane.

Among those for whom there was no room was Ryan Lizza, Washington correspondent of The New Yorker. The campaign, which was furious about the magazine’s satirical cover this week, cited space constraints in turning him away
None other than Rachel Sklar at HuffPo was not very amused, suggesting:
Wow. So it's gonna be like that, is it? Retribution for unfavorable coverage is a chilling thing to contemplate — literally, as in, it carries with it the very real risk of chilling bold, outspoken coverage.
Speaking of robust debate, this topic has certainly produced it, dividing those who usually agree. McCain supporters such as Stormwarning (check out his latest post if you don't believe it) has been very outspoken about those who 'agreed' with the cartoon and other unnecessary methods of slamming Obama, suggesting he's plenty ripe enough for criticism above the Hussein level. Satire is a concept that needs nurturing, because it has a place in an open, free, and polite society.

So if Ryan Lizza is really important enough to qualify for being blackballed by team Obama then it's certainly a chilling message--"play by our rules or begone". In other words, a clever way to herd the press into the stalls Obama wants them via faux outrage over anything negative. Then again I can't help but wonder if some of these happenings aren't being organized by the 'keep Hillary alive' brigade. She still hasn't given up her delegates and some of her supporters are, shall we say, passionate.

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