Fox News and their fellow screeching nitwits on the right deserve much mockery for characterizing Obama as a terrorist sympathizer and a Muslim who lacks patriotism. Whether or not the New Yorker cover did this successfully or not I’ll leave others to decide, but there is a striking lack of awareness of the context into which they launched it.
Fifteen percent of people in this country believe that Obama is a Muslim. You have to be really stupid to believe something like this, but as Roger Simon notes, it probably doesn’t encourage people to vote for him in America today.
Most people who see this cover are just going to see the image of Obama in a turban. It reinforces a critical piece of misinformation that right wing propagandists have advanced in order to poison the political climate in this country and make it that much more difficult for a person of color to be elected president. These people are really stupid in order to believe something like this, but they’re not going to get any smarter by viewing this image.
When you train a dog, you don’t tell them "not" to do something. When you say "don’t jump," all they hear is "jump." That’s the level of thinking these cretins are operating on, and while the New Yorker isn’t responsible for their stupidity, there is a presidential election going on right now and reinforcing that toxic meme is probably going to be the thing that this rather ambiguous cover does more successfully than anything else.
If you’d like to contact the New Yorker and let them know what you think about all of this, we’re breaking out our famous Letter to the Editor tool. You can write them here.