Gene Weingarten, in his Tuesday chat, addressed the breaking 'story' of Barry Blitt's caricature of Obama for the New Yorker:
New Yorker: Isn't it disingenuous (at best) for the editor to say his mag is NOT written for the upper-west side? I love the mag and still feel at least that that socio-economic group is its target. Sure, WE don't need an explanation; plenty of others might.
Thoughts, o' arbiter o' humor?
Gene Weingarten: Yeah, I don't want to speak at enormous length about this, because you've already heard from Kurtz and Achenbach and today, a very thoughtful piece from Kennicott.
To be brief: Of course it was a mistake. A minor mistake, but a mistake nontheless. The New Yorker has no words on its cover, meaning the cover art alone must carry its message. Obviously, the devoted reader of this particular magazine is going to understand this is satire; but this is a magazine sold on newsstands, and a lot of eyes might look at it without the benefit of background.
I disagree with Achenbach on one point: I think the image is pretty funny, particularly the depiction of Michelle Obama as though she were Angela Davis. It actually took me a second to get that joke, and then I laughed.
Those who are trying to make this out as a big deal, a gigantic blunder, are political zealots trying to make a point. Once explained, The New Yorker's intent was clear, and benign.
and the new Comic Riffs blog was noticed:
Springfield, Va.: Have you "had your way" with the Comics Riff blog meister yet?
washingtonpost.com: Comic Riffs
Gene Weingarten: I am watching with interest. He has my support. I thought his first post, expressing exhaustion with meta-gats in strips, was a smart idea.
And Cavna's new Comics Riff blog got some notice:
McLean, Va.: Gene, Did you have any role in the creation of the Comic Riffs blog?
Gene Weingarten: Nope. Not even a heads up. So I can't answer for it, but I'm happy it's there. Can't overcover the comics.