How Does Doonesbury Stay Ahead of the Curve?

Jeez, Louise, Jiminy Cricket and Jesus H. Christ on a shingle, I never thought I'd look forward so much to Labor Day falling on the anniversary of the beginning of WW II, 1 September this year, as I do now.

Never mind that the election won't be for another solid 2 months after that.

OK, for starters, speaking as a born Elitist Upper East Sider, and as someone who went through High School being Ja Accused of looking like a young Harold Ross, and who also recently spent his days toiling at work cleaning, and thinking of interior decorating plans for an outdoor latrine called the New Yorker, and who who just so happens to own the complete set of the New Yorker cartoons, all of this hullabaloo is a non-starter.


Well, the website has an Alexa traffic rank of 5,600, or so, and that's for the entire world of web freeloaders.

Here in the good old USA, The New Yorker has a paid subscriber base of about 1 million copies a month, about 1/3 of 1% of the US population, or to put it another way....

99.67% of the American population does NOT subscribe to The New Yorker.

Never have, never will.

In other words, they don't influence jack diddly squat and it's delusional to think that they do.

Just like nobody listens to Techno, no one reads The New Yorker, not even for the cartoons.

Various other phrases around all this sound and fury spring to mind as well:

Slow News Day, Summer Doldrums, Dog Days Of Summer, Help!!! I've Got A 24 Hour News Cycle To Fill and I Can't Get Up!!!

Etc, etc, you get the picture.

This is not to say that there isn't any merit to these attacks on our Mister Obama being uncalled for and below the belt and just downright unsporting, because they are.

It's been little noticed in this past week but Doonesbury pretty much covered all this ground in the last week of the just passed month of June:

(Click On Each Individual Panel To Enlarge)


  1. The problem is the internet and the misuse of that one picture. Good post though and the Doonesbury cartoon is awesome.

  2. Well there are 6 panels, he did a whole week on it almost a month before this broke.

    The other thing is that the average McCain voter isn't even going to comprehend everything this picture's got.

    One thing nobody's mentioned is that not only is Michelle hot, but there's real love there between these two, you can totally see it in their eyes.

    Great 'toon.


    PS: You've been added to the email/comment rapid response team.

  3. This is a great DKos diary.

    Surprise...The New Yorker Cover Snafu is Just Another Obama Silver Lining
    by spearshaker [Subscribe]

    Tue Jul 15, 2008 at 05:27:59 PM PDT

    Well, as the old saying goes, if you have to explain the joke, it’s no longer funny.

    There’s another well known axiom to humor. Tragedy plus time equals comedy.

    Obviously, when it comes to the New Yorker’s latest cover featuring the Obamas as closet Al-Qaeda members and/or Black Panther era terrorists, an insufficient amount of time has passed between that elusive "now" and the whisper campaign that is ongoing against them. As to tragedy, the only tragedy in this episode seems to be the way in which the New Yorker has turned a subject matter that hungers for serious political discussion into a mangled, tone deaf and insensible gaffe.

    spearshaker's diary :: ::
    To that point, another axiom of humor. It has to be based in fact. But Michelle Obama has never been seen sporting an Angela Davis style afro, or packing a Kalashnikov. And there are no long lost pictures of Barack wearing a Thaqib on secret weekend outings, never mind the portrait of Osama bin Laden and the flag burning in the fireplace. Okay, there was that one picture of Barack adopting local Muslim attire as a courtesy to his African guests, but come on, that’s like mistaking George Bush for a member of the Kankouran West African dance troupe. There’s just no basis in fact for either assumption.

    And when it comes to humor hitting the mark, or falling flat, let’s not forget another maxim. Play to your audience. You don’t start your standup routine at a Borscht Belt, Catskill summer retreat by saying, "And speaking of Jews..."

    At every level of humor this satire failed. Not enough time has passed, nor cultural equanimity achieved, since the bruising Democratic primary campaign. There was no basis in fact for the joke, only cynicism and innuendo, and the New Yorker made the incredibly preposterous assumption that they were only appealing to their hip, chai chugging West Side audience. That, or it was an attempt at ramping up their circulation. I don’t know which conclusion would be considered the more disgraceful.

    Yet, I still see the silver lining. As with the already well vetted attempts by some to portray Barack Obama as just another Jesse Jackson extremist, and the more recent and insidious Fox News attempt to portray the infamous fist bump as some sort of secret terrorist cipher. Barack Obama has survived, and I dare say even thrived under difficult circumstances.

    Why? Well, in my opinion it is because, however unsavory these episodes may be, they force our society to face its inner struggle about electing a "black" candidate. The truth is on the table, and the public must fall one way or the other. Either you’re an unrelenting redneck, who will never vote for Obama anyway, or you watch the grace of the man under fire and realize none of this tripe warrants him being discredited. Fortunately, a majority of Americans fall into this latter category. Remarkably, resiliently, the public at large, for the most part, has seen through this current absurdity, as it has seen through everything else thrown at the man. And Obama simply becomes a more sympathetic character, the more he strides with grace through the political minefield around him.