Flemington, NJ, July 15, 2008 – The July 21st issue cover ofThe New Yorker magazine (pictured above has sparked harsh criticism from the Obama campaign. Barry Blitt, the artist who created the cover, which he titled “The Politics of Fear”, explains his reasoning for the illustration: “I think the idea that the Obama’s are branded as unpatriotic [let alone as terrorists] in certain sectors is preposterous. It seemed to me that depicting the concept would show it as the fear-mongering ridiculousness that it is.”
The purportedly satirical illustration shows a gun-toting militant Michelle Obama giving the famed “terrorist” fist bump to Barack Obama, whose garb is likened to the portrait of Islamic extremist Osama Bin Laden. Critics of the illustration question whether or not Americans as a whole possess the cultural understanding to recognize satire rather than use the cover as an affirmation of misguided beliefs and misconceptions.
HCD Research, through its website MediaCurves.com, conducted a study of perceptions of the New Yorker Magazine cover amongst a sample of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents.
Among the findings were:
- 54% of Republicans and 51% of Independents believed that the cover of the magazines was NOT offensive, whereas only 31% of Democrats believed the cover was not offensive.
- When explained the author's explanation behind the illustration, more than half of the respondents in the Democrat, Republican, and Independent affiliation believed that the reasoning was sincere (56% Democrat, 51% Republican, 55% Independent).
- 47% of Democrats believe that the illustration will hurt Obama's campaign, whereas 50% of Republicans and 54% of Independents believe there will be no overall effect on the campaign.
The Media Curves web site provides the media and general public with a venue to view Americans’ perceptions of popular and controversial media events and advertisements.
Editors/Reporters: For more information on the study, or to speak with Glenn Kessler, president and CEO, HCD Research. Please contact Vince McGourty, HCD Research, at (908) 483-9121 or (firstname.lastname@example.org).
HCD Research is a communications research company headquartered in Flemington, NJ. The company's services include traditional and web-based communications research. For additional information on HCD Research, access the company’s web site at www.hcdi.net or call HCD Research at 908-788-9393.