The Instigator
Sweatingjojo
Pro (for)
Winning
36 Points
The Contender
JTSmith
Con (against)
Losing
27 Points

The cover of the July 21st issue of the New Yorker is just satire.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/15/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,143 times Debate No: 4697
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (17)

 

Sweatingjojo

Pro

I'm sure many of us have seen the cover of the current issue for The New Yorker magazine.
I will set it to my profile picture in case one does not already know.

There has been quite a stir over the picture, some people saying that it is offensive, others saying that its simply satire.

That is how I feel, that it is simply a satirical cartoon, and it helps expose the mindlessness of those that would believe Senator Obama is a muslim/unpatriotic.

I'm looking for an opponent who believes that the New Yorker cover was offensive/ in poor taste/inappropriate.

I'm not interested in a grammar semantics debate, so if that's how you roll, please don't roll that way over here.
JTSmith

Con

I dont argue that the new yorker intended it to be anymore than a satire of those who critisize obama.
I do, however, believe that this cartoon was very much in poor taste and a VERY stupid move for a liberal magazine so enamored with sen. obama.

Intellegent people, or people familiar with the foolish alligations that Obama is a muslim and/or unpatriotic may get a laugh out of it. People like you Sweatingjojo, have to ability to see the humor in an add like this. I certainly understand that it isnt more than a satire.
Clearly, however, many people aren't seeing it that way.

Think of the common uninformed man. Say he is walking down mainstreet. He has no idea of the conrtoversies surrounding Sen Obama. He sees the New Yorker sitting on a newstand. He sees this cover. What does he think???? He may say, "silly political exaggeration!" ...but then again... that image may find its way into his permanent memory and when november 7 rolls around...is he gunna vote for Obama or McCain??? Not the "muslim and his terrorist wife".

The truth is that, this image is having an adverse effect on people. People are taking it in ways that they shouldn't. Because of this, it is harmful to Obama's campaign. Anybody who doesnt read the inside article, is getting the wrong impression.

While i was watching a news report on the article earlier this morning, a readers comment was read on the air and i think he put it the best.

"The New Yorker will get publicity and a profit, something they need. Those who understand the satire will get a quick giggle. Then McCain will be sworn in as the 44th president of the United States."

It was a joke...but one in a hidden context that many wont understand and on those grounds...this satire was very foolish and in poor taste.
It was a very very dumb thing to do.
Debate Round No. 1
Sweatingjojo

Pro

So far in this debate, we've agreed on the topic of contention, which is whether or not it was a bad idea for the New Yorker to publish the cartoon on their fron cover which depicts Senator Obama and Mrs.Obama in the oval office, as everything people who have attacked Mr.Obama's integrity used in the picture.

Basically, I say that, maybe it wasn't extremely smart, but I think that it wasn't a bad idea to put the picture on the cover. My opponent believes that it was a "very very dumb thing to..." put the cartoon on the cover.

My opponent cites a hypothetical situation of an "uninformed common man" seeing the New Yorker cover, and how this would adversely affect Senator Obama's ability to be elected.

My opponent also cites a person's opinion that was read during a television news show.

To refute the first argument, I would like to point out that numerous polls by Pew, Newsweek, CNN all show that there is about a 12-13% chunk of the population that believes that Obama is a muslim. That means that 87-88% of the population believes he is not a Muslim. Certainly one would have to say that the "average person" conforms to a vast majority, and the vast majority believes his not a muslim, so it can be assumed that the average person thinks he not a muslim. As far as the "uninformed common man" goes... in similar polls taken by Pew and Newsweek, about 24% of respondents believe he was raised as a Muslim. This means 76% believes he was not raised a Muslim. Once again, i've proven that the vast majority of the people in this country are informed.

Because the vast majority of the people in this country are informed about issues regarding Barack Obama's past, I think its safe to assume that the vast majority of the people who see this cartoon will not think differently of Senator Obama. The people that already have their irrational reasons to be against Mr.Obama have them, this magazine cover won't convert any new people because of the magazine's already established audience. The audience of the New Yorker magazine is overall one of upper class Caucasian liberals, (elitists, as some may say). For better or for worse, those are the people that read the New Yorker, and those are the people the New Yorker tailors its content towards.
The "uninformed common man" isn't likely to take a cartoon on a cover of an occasionally perceived 'elitist' magazine as truth.

My main point, if I was not able to get it across before is that, the people who like Obama are still going to like him, and the people who dislike Obama for the reasons lampooned on the article cover are still going to dislike him.

Also, the idea that this will lead to McCain's election is hard to believe, considering that poll numbers universally at this point give Obama a 5+ point lead, and also just the fact that the "republican brand name" is in poor condition due to the beating it took with W at the helm.

Now that I'm done refuting, I'd like to offer my own personal defense of the cover. I believe that the cover of the New Yorker magazine that we are talking about may even have a positive effect on Senator Obama and his ability to get elected. As its been proven many times before, satire is one of the best attacks that anything can use to defeat anything else. The true ridiculousness of something doesn't come out until its magnified to the point of making people laugh, where it can then be seen for how crazy the thing is. In my opinion, that's what the New Yorker cover cartoon does. It shows just how wildly nonsensical the fears that are promoted by certain right wing figures really are. Although its point will be mostly received by its target audience, I do not believe there will be backlash, with the opposite point being received by other groups.
JTSmith

Con

Opponent began by listing a series of polls regarding the publics opinion about Sen. Obama's religion. Lets look at them from another angle.
13% of the population thinks Obama is muslim. That is approx. 39 million people!!! 24% thinks he was raised muslim. Thats approx. 72 million people!!!
That means that in this country, 72 million people are not going to look at that cover as a satire. Furthermore, the cover itself is going to add to this number!!!
I ask my opponent this...
If the 72,000,000+ people see the cover of the New Yorker as a truth as opposed to a satire, then how can he justify his point, which is that the New Yorker is JUST satire.
It is not in fact JUST satire, because to a very large group of people, it is a truth.

In regards to my opponent assertion that the magazine will not sway anyones opinion, that is simply speculation!!! There is no ground, and no evidence to say that it will or will not. Also, the common man WILL see it! He already has. Its in the news. Its in magazines. Its in newspapers. Its in the new yorker. Its on the internet. Its everwhere. The publicity surrounding this cartoon has been a carrier to the bigscreen! Everyone knows about it. Everyone has seen it.

My opponent continues on, by stating his main point. His point however is grounded in that of a black an white world. The problem is that public opinion of Obama is not black and white. People like Obama, people hate Obama, AND people are unsure about Obama. How about the swing voters??? Obama needs to be appealing to those who are unsure about their feelings. The New Yorker throwing around misleading cartoons is not going to help sway swing voters.

Moving on, my point in posting the readers comment, was not to say that McCain would win, but to say that the cartoon has the capacity to hurt Sen. Obama's campaign. Nothing more. Undoubtedly Obama does have an edge over McCain.

Lastly, as far as your personal defense of the cartoon goes. That is simply your opinion and nothing else. To you the cartoon may have highlighted the ridiculousness of some people...but to others, it has only highlighted a sensitive spot for Obama.
Debate Round No. 2
Sweatingjojo

Pro

Getting right into the debate...

My opponent refutes my previous argument by stating that the percentages of people that responded to the polls equates to about 72 million people. While this may be true, it needs to be realized that there is another 228! million people who don't believe the lies about Barack Obama's upbringings. The fact that there are just so many more people who understand Mr.Obama's past makes the people that don't irrelevant because they are so deeply in the minority.

To refute:
"If the 72,000,000+ people see the cover of the New Yorker as a truth as opposed to a satire, then how can he justify his point, which is that the New Yorker is JUST satire."

I justify my point with the idea that the New Yorker cartoon is just that, a cartoon, which helps push the idea that the whole 'Obama's a secret muslim' thing is just a bunch of crap. When looking at the cartoon, one sees the extremely big afro that Mrs.Obama is sporting, along with the AK-47 slung on her back. Those two things alone should be enough indication that this cartoon is simply satirical, because something like that would never ever happen in real life, and I think if one confronted an "Obama's a secret muslim" person, pulling out the New Yorker and saying, "So you think its gonna look like this if he wins?" would be a stronger argument than any bickering could ever do. Because its so goofy looking, it becomes obvious that it would never happen, and so it is satire against those who think that Mr.Obama was raised as a Muslim or other nonsense.

"In regards to my opponent assertion that the magazine will not sway anyones opinion, that is simply speculation!!!"
Its no more speculation than saying that it will, my friend. Neither of us have conclusive evidence for either side, so all thats left is to speculate.

Next Point: The New Yorker throwing around misleading cartoons is not going to help sway swing voters.

I disagree with the idea that the cartoon is misleading. As stated before, the cartoon is so goofy and, well cartoony, that it is extremely difficult to take it seriously, and so I think that it will be hard to have ones opinion on a presidential candidate misled by a cartoon of a woman with a huge afro and a Kalashnikov on her back, fist bumping said candidate in Muslim garb, while an american flag burns and Osama bin Laden's portrait looks on. Its just too much to take seriously.

In conclusion, I feel that because the New Yorker cartoon is simply a satirical piece because of its inherent cartoonish nature, and also because it pokes fun at those people who believe that Senator Obama is or was Muslim/ plans on destroying the United States.

Thank you for making an interesting debate and thank you also for accommodating to my occasional need to use up just about all 3 days of the allotted time.
JTSmith

Con

My opponent begins by stating that there is another 228 million people who DO see the add as satire. Though he is right in recognizing that the majority of people are likely to recognize the cartoons joking nature, it doesnt change the fact that a solid quarter of this country's population DO NOT see it as just satire. In a situation like this, majority doesnt not rule. If 228 million people called Snoopy Garfield, Garfields name would still be Garfield, despite the majority's preference. One could even say that as long as just one man takes the cartoon seriously, the cartoon is NOT JUST satire. Seeing as 72,000,000 people do not see the cartoon as JUST satire...I would say that is certainly plenty of opposing opinions to give the cartoon another name.

In response to my opponents statement that the cartoon itself is simply too ridiculous to ever be taking seriously, that is but his own opinion. Though I agree that the cartoon is a bit ridiculous, there are many people who do not feel this way. Based on the hundreds and perhaps thousands of comments posted about the cartoon, there are definately people who DO take it seriously, despite its alledged "ridiculous" nature. It may be ridiculous, but not everyone thinks so.

I would also ask my opponent to review the previous argument in which i stated that there was no evidence to say that the magazine WILL or WILL NOT sway anyones opinion, and I made no claim following that statement that made as whether it would have any effect.

My opponent continued:

"I disagree with the idea that the cartoon is misleading. As stated before, the cartoon is so goofy and, well cartoony, that it is extremely difficult to take it seriously, and so I think that it will be hard to have ones opinion on a presidential candidate misled by a cartoon of a woman with a huge afro and a Kalashnikov on her back, fist bumping said candidate in Muslim garb, while an american flag burns and Osama bin Laden's portrait looks on. Its just too much to take seriously."

The add may not be misleading to most, but it is to some. No one has to take my word for it. They can watch news reports, and read comments on related articles. The fact is, some people ARE taking it the wrong way and as long as people are... the cartoon will never be just satire.

Whether or not intentions were well or in good humor; whether or not the cartoon was ment as satire, too many people are not taking it that way. If they all had recognized the satirical nature of the cartoon then my opponent and I would not be debating its legitimacy as being simply a satire. It may be a satire to some people, but its not to everyone and as long as it is something other than a satire to some, it will never be JUST a satire.

Thanks for a good debate!
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by appletreez 8 years ago
appletreez
I think the pictures are funny.(It's to me)Still their opinions are great.
Posted by bthr004 8 years ago
bthr004
An even smaller number of americans actually show up to vote!

Remember, If he would like to shed the allegations of him bieng a radical muslim, he should stop acting like one and taking such offense to a cartoon,...(like radical muslims do!) :)
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