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The Battle of the Magazine Covers

July 26, 2008

When The New Yorker magazine published a cartoonish depiction of Barack Obama and his disengaged wife on the cover of its July 21, 2008, issue, it let loose a storm of angry criticism. Was it satire, as editor David Remnick insisted, or monumental bad taste and poor judgment, as critics howled?

Undoubtedly, Advance Publications, publishers of The New Yorker, felt the massive wave of anger the cover provoked, not to mention the avalanche of canceled subscriptions that followed.

By a curious coincidence, the August 2008 issue of Vanity Fair, a monthly publication in the vast Advance Publications empire, appeared with an equally uncomplimentary cartoonish depiction of John McCain and his omnipresent wife.

Whether it achieved the hoped-for political balance and calmed the roiled waters full of unhappy subscribers we leave for readers to decide.

Click cover to enlarge

For whatever reason, the McCain cover elicited much less attention from critics, perhaps, as some suggested, because it was closer to reality. Readers can judge the relative merits of each cover.

On July 28, 2008 10:16 AM, weewill said:

Thanks for the idea, Benedict. At your suggestion, I did read Cindy McCain’s biography and found it very enlightening. She certainly has had a full life and accomplished many things.

Reading her official biography prompted me to do the same for Michelle Obama . Their reported activities and accomplishments are fascinating to compare — certainly totally different backgrounds and life styles but both impressive. They provide a bit of insight into how each might fulfill the awesome duties of First Lady.

Comparing bio’s hasn’t changed my support for the Barack/Michelle team but it’s given me better insight and appreciation of both women. I remain a little concerned about both Cindy and John McCain’s energy levels and question whether they can reach and maintain the demanding pace required to do the job.

Georgianna Grant

On July 28, 2008 9:24 AM, Benedict said:

lol no surprise who this blog will support. I think both candidates have a lot to offer. So do both potential first ladies.

Georgianna, in the interest of playing devils advocate, take a look at Cindy McCain’s bio:

She is a pretty interesting person actually and clearly a 54 year old, wife of 28 years and successful in her own right is not someone I would call a “trophy wife” or an “obedient barbie”

On July 26, 2008 8:15 PM, weewill said:

Cindy McCain seems to be a quiet, mousey little wife always present, standing by her man, waiting for her instructions. She stands straight and silent like an obedient Barbie doll. The only time she shows any interest in what’s happening is when she engages in the required clapping on cue. Does she ever talk? I’ve never heard her say a word. Women are no longer simply “trophy wives” expected to stand quietly behind their man, smiling, nodding and looking pretty.

My vote goes to feisty Michelle. She’s smart, articulate and charismatic and is not afraid to voice her strong opinions on important and difficult issues facing our families, our homes and our communities.

Georgianna Grant Enthusiastic Supporter of the Barack/Michelle Team


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