Sunday morning, we were all talking about the offensively sexist jokes the comedian Bernie Mac told at a Barack Obama fund-raiser. Suddenly, this inflammatory New Yorker cover appears and everyone is distracted. The Bernie Mac material was Obama's responsibility, and it offended women and those who are sensitive about sexual material. The New Yorker material was not attributable to Obama, was actually an attack on Obama's opponents, and yet nevertheless gave Obama the opportunity to play the an outraged victim of a scurrilous attack.
Wasn't that convenient?
ADDED: Some commenters imagine that I think The New Yorker instantly rushed out a magazine cover in order to eclipse the Bernie Mac controversy. Obviously, that would be a stupid thing to think, and if you think that I thought it, you were indulging yourself in a convenient belief. To make it uncomfortable for you to wallow in that belief, I will need to lengthen this post with a some tedious explication. Much as I hate to use the sledgehammer. Here goes. I think the media seized on that cover and pumped it into a big outrage, and that outrage was very effective in ending the discussion about Bernie Mac. I'm suspicious that the media is trying to help Obama.