Hit The "SEND" Button One More Time



I've been a reader of The New Yorker since I was twelve years old. The town I grew up in was too small to have a bookstore, but it had a newsstand that was pretty cosmopolitan for South Carolina, with magazines like Utne Reader and Mother Jones and alternative weeklies like The Village Voice.

The New Yorker, as I came to find out over the years, was a legend unto itself, the brainchild of Harold Ross, country boy made good. In later years, the magazine's fabled zeal for accuracy and fact checking of the articles it published took on a life of its own, and was the impetus for the best selling book Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney, which is one of my personal favorites.

William Shawn was its venerated editor for decades - a steward of the old school, he was opposed to anything more than a modest use of profanity, even in the fiction selections. His succesor, Bob Gottlieb, didn't last very long. Tina Brown showed up in 1992, fresh from the helm of Vanity Fair, determined to "take the boring tone" out of the magazine.

She succeeded.

This week's cover depicting Barack and Michelle Obama as radical Muslim terrorists hits me pretty hard. I learned so much about the world outside of South Carolina from the well written, well researched articles in this magazine.

I haven't had a subscription in years, but I occasionally buy a copy, if it has more than one article I want read, and I always pick up the fiction issue.

The July 21st issue, on sale today, contains an in-depth article about Obama's rise in Chicago politics, with interviews of several of his closest advisors during his State Senate and his U.S. Senate campaigns.

But you wouldn't know that by looking at this picture. It's all there - the fist bump, the muslim headdress, the jacket, the militant Angela Davis afro, an American flag burning in the fireplace, with an assualt rifle and a picture of Osama Bin Laden thrown in to round things out.

This looks more like something dreamed up by PUMA (Party Unity My Ass), a modern day version of the White Citizens Councils that popped up after the Brown vs. The Board of Education decision, or one of the hundreds of niche websites dedicated to hating and eradicating Obama.

Is the possibility of having a black president THAT terrible? I think the rank and file of America and the middle management of America are okay - they've been working and living with blacks, Indians and Asians for years. The upper class and the rich are the only ones who continue to inhabit settings devoid of any minorities.


If you know anything at all about magazine publishing, you understand how important the cover is. It drives newsstand and grocery store sales, and provides media buzz to help win over new subscribers.

So this idea had to pass muster not only with the art director, but the magazine's editor, who is in many ways a proxy for the publisher. I don't know anything about David Remick, the current editor, but will be one of many, many emailers who will tell him that he has let his magazine sink to an all-time low.

I hope Tom Joyner is rallying his listeners. I hope you take the time to send and email, even if it is nothing more than a picture of Obama, to Mr. Remick. I hope those of you who frequent this internet hit the "SEND" button on our computers until your fingers get blisters.

The man on the street is not the enemy. It is the man who wants to control what you see on TV and what you read in the paper, the man who lives in the executive suite, the board room, or the cabin of the private jets crisscrossing the skies.

Here's the email address.
themail@newyorker.com

Go ahead, hit that "SEND" button one more time.


UPDATE - Additional email address:

ADVERTISING CONTACTS

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David Miller
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For other advertising inquiries, please contact

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