Commentary

The Art Of Satire?

Taking note of the flood of publicity that attended The New Yorker's questionable cover cartoon depicting Barack Obama as a stereotypical Muslim and Michelle Obama as a militant, editors of other magazines have art directors working overtime to come up with their own headline-grabbing versions of the offending cover. Over the Line took a peek across a spectrum of covers in development.

Road & Track: Barack seen in the interior of a gas-guzzling Hummer drinking a beer and driving at 80 mph, while Michelle tosses fast-food trash out the window towards roadside paupers--one wearing a sandwich board proclaiming: "Will Work for Gas."

Stars & Stripes: Barack waving troops onto transport plane in background, while in foreground a group of Iraqi schoolchildren is blown to bits by sectarian terrorist bomb. Michelle takes photos of dismembered victims and hands out "Mission Accomplished" buttons to Iraqi police cowering behind station door.

Food & Wine: Grocery cart in foreground is filled with donuts, vats of Crisco, chips, sodas, Oreos, and frozen pizzas. Barack has back turned to organic vegetable displays and Michelle bypasses fish, reaching for fried chicken.

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Time: Barack is seen on knees begging Congressional leaders to pass legislation. Backs turned, congressmen enjoy private joke, drink cocktails and sport T-shirts emblazoned with "Beltway Insider's Club." In foreground, Michelle is in tears at WashPost story mentioning Obama's "neophytes."

National Geographic: Barack and Michelle relax in luxury of private transatlantic flight passing over average Joe Americans camped out in backyards pretending to be on vacation. Flight attendant is seen confirming that reservations at George V are confirmed.

Foreign Affairs: UN backyard barbecue crowd of world leaders stand in line with plates and folks as China, Indian and Brazilian heads of state carve slices off Barack's torso rotating on spit over roasting flames. Secondary line waits to have sex with Michelle in background.

Commonweal: Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Barack high-five in foreground, while in background whites populate Auschwitz-Birkenau-like camp. Smiling Michelle seen pointing prisoners towards "Shower Room."

New Yorker: Barack painting target on Freedom Tower construction in lower Manhattan. In background are Pentagon, U.S. Capitol and White House with concentric circles still dripping paint. Michelle stands behind Barack looking skyward talking on cell phone.

Punch: David Remnick jerking off.

The story you have just read is an attempt to blend fact and fiction in a manner that provokes thought, and on a good day, merriment. It would be ill-advised to take any of it literally. Take it, rather, with the same humor with which it is intended. Cut and paste or link to it at your own peril.

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