You’d think The New Yorker – of all places – would be savvy about subtext, not to mention all the deconstructed and psychoanalyzed subconscious and semi-conscious wishes inherent in “authorial choice” or whatever they called it at the Sorbonne and Yale circa 1983. But no! The cover above is appearing on the magazine this week, putatively as a warning that those meanies on the right are about to smear the Obamas as the second coming of Angela Davis and Ayman al-Zawahiri. But how could that be? In truth Michelle and Barack are nowhere near as interesting as Angela and Ayman – or as imaginative (in a negative sense, anyway). And to make matters quickly worse, the cover itself has already been disowned by the candidate.
So what’s going on here? Is David Remnick that desperate for attention for his aging magazine? He does at least still have one author worth reading (Lawrence Wright). As for the current cover, maybe they could do a quick switch to an oldie but goodie.