Obama As Joker And Typical Hypocritical Liberal Outrage

Pictures of Obama as “the Joker” above the label “socialism” began popping up around the L.A. area.

Needless to say, liberal outrage was swift to follow.

It didn’t matter that liberals had already come up with the idea themselves to attack George Bush.  Nor did it matter that this was the work of one anonymous person, versus the fact that the “Bush-as-Joker” project was created by a major mainstream media outlet in Vanity Fair.


The blatant hypocrisy in crying “FOUL!” over the picture of Obama as Joker never even enter into the liberal mindset that saw no problem in the picture of George Bush as the Joker.  Hypocrisy is such a part of them – the very atmosphere they breathe – that they appear as completely unaware of their hypocrisy as a fish is unaware of the water around it.

Noel Shepperd at Newsbusters demonstrates the outrage from the mainstream media surrounding the “Obama-Joker” stunt that somehow never managed to materialize when a major media outlet portrayed Bush as Joker.

Oh, the OUTRAGE (pronounced in identical cadence to the “Oh, the HUMANITY” famously uttered by Herbert Morisson at the explosion of the Hindenburg):

Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable President Earl Ofari Hutchinson is calling the depiction, politically mean spirited and dangerous.

Hutchinson is challenging the group or individual that put up the poster to have the courage and decency to publicly identify themselves.

“Depicting the president as demonic and a socialist goes beyond political spoofery,” says Hutchinson, “it is mean-spirited and dangerous.”

“We have issued a public challenge to the person or group that put up the poster to come forth and publicly tell why they have used this offensive depiction to ridicule President Obama.”

And how long did you think it would take for some leftist goon to depict it as an act of racism? I mean, after all, we ALL know there is a long historic association between “the Joker” and the negro, going all the way back to when Cesar Romero played the role on the the campy Batman program in the 1960s.

Who could have missed the obvious anti-black racism of that role?  No one I know, anyway.  And, of course, when Jack Nicholson reprised the role in one of the more recent Batman movies, I remember everyone saying, “There they go with that racism again!”

I am now immunized from any charge of racism.  I have a knee-jerk response: “That is a terribly racist thing of you to say, you racist bigot.”  When charges of racism are unleashed like a flood, it simply turns into water flowing off a duck’s back.  The real racists are the people who keep leveling the charge for partisan ideological effect.

I think my favorite pseudo-outraged piece by the pseudo-intellectual Lost Angeles Times is this one:

Reading into the Obama-as-Joker poster … or not

11:50 AM, August 5, 2009

Joker There’s nothing like a controversial political caricature to get people talking, blogging and tweeting.

But when it comes to understanding those same cartoons — as opposed to rehashing, reblogging and retweeting them — context is key.

The New Yorker magazine’s infamous cover illustration of Barack and Michelle Obama in radical drag, bumping fists in the Oval Office as an American flag burns in the fireplace, is understood to be a parody of conservative paranoia, not an attack on the first couple. But put that same image on the cover of the Weekly Standard and the illustration takes on a vastly different meaning.

In this respect, the image of President Obama in Heath Ledger Joker-face is especially disturbing because it is completely devoid of context — literary, political or otherwise. The image seems to have emerged from nowhere and was created by no one. Deracinated from authorial intent, Obama-as-Joker becomes a free-floating cipher that can be appropriated and re-appropriated by everyone.

Clearly, the poster — which has already mutated into countless variations on the Internet — communicates a virulent hostility to Obama, but in a vague and flailing way. It can mean anything and it could mean nothing. (The latter seems more likely than the former.) In some versions of the image, the word “socialism” has been appended to the poster. But as media outlets like CNN have pointed out, the Joker (as portrayed by Ledger in “The Dark Knight”) was a rabid anarchist, which doesn’t jibe well with the accusation of socialism.

Like Shepard Fairey’s “Hope” poster, the mystery “artist” behind the Joker prank has borrowed and altered an existing media image of the president for his or her own creative ends. (It’s from a cover shot of Obama featured on Time magazine.) In many ways, the Obama-as-Joker picture can be viewed as the evil twin of Fairey’s “Hope” — one is laudatory and arguably hagiographic while the other is mean-spirited and demonic. Maybe one day, a publicity-savvy museum will mount the two of them side-by-side in an exhibition on the malleability of the digital image.

Understandably, some people have latched on to the poster’s white-face significance. Is the creator saying that the president is pretending to be someone he’s not? Again, it’s impossible to know for sure. The Joker was a garish parody of a clown, and a clown can be any race — the white makeup doesn’t necessarily have an ethnic subtext.

At one extreme, the poster suggests that Obama is a psychopath who is completely out of control and running afoul of the law — which he clearly is not. For a cartoon or parody to work, it must have at least one toe placed firmly in the realm of reality — a credible starting point from which to launch into the free-for-all ether of comedy.

The most that can be said about Obama-as-Joker is that it’s a prank that the Joker himself would have been proud of. It has exploded like a cultural grenade — an act of cultural terrorism? — and has left meaningless chaos in its wake.

— David Ng

First notice the complete omission of the Vanity Fair attack against Bush.  Mentioning it would obliterate Ng’s thesis, so he simply doesn’t mention it.  But isn’t the fact that it was done to Bush part of the overall “context” in understanding why it might be done to Obama?  Why bother yourself with revealing something that would only serve to demonstrate how truly full of crap you are?

Then there is the reference to the New Yorker cover featuring Barack and Michelle Obama “in radical drag.”  It’s not the Obama’s we’re mocking, it’s conservatives.  So it’s okay.  You see, it’s perfectly acceptable to fabricate a straw man by which to mock and attack conservatives.

Whether Vanity Fair or the New Yorker, the point is the same: if you’re a Joseph Goebbels-modeled propagandist, as long as you’re not negatively depicting your fellow Nazis, pretty much anything goes.  The left is always able to create a self-serving “context” to declare what is and is not in bounds.  “Joker-Bush” is perfectly acceptable; “Joker-Obama” is immoral, dangerous, and racist.  Says we.

Then there’s the dismissal of “Joker-Obama” on the grounds that Heath Ledger’s Joker was an anarchist – and Obama is clearly not.  Let’s put aside the fact that “the Joker” has been around for a loooooooong time prior to the Heath Ledger movie role, and that it is frankly asanine to define the meaning of the Joker strictly within the Heath Ledger-created “context.”  Let’s put aside that Cesar Romero’s Joker and Jack Nicholson’s Joker were just thugs (as in “Chicago thugs”) with an unusual pigmentation.

Was George Bush an anarchist?  You see, that’s why any analysis that really wanted to take itself seriously needed to mention the Vanity Fair “Joker-Bush.”  If Bush wasn’t an anarchist, and the left used the Joker anyway, then how is it somehow suddenly intellectually stupid for the right to use the same motif?  Other than the fact that Goebbels never turned his propaganda against the Nazis?  What about the simple playground rules that if you punch me in the mouth, I get to punch you back?

In any event, the Lost Angeles Times writer concludes that Obama as Joker “is completely devoid of context — literary, political or otherwise.”

I’ve got two things to say to that.

First of all, it there is absolutely no related context, then why is everybody talking about it?  Why didn’t they talk about Bush-as-Joker the same way?  Good satire simply has to have some direct relationship with the object of the satire.  And the closer to reality the satire comes, the more powerful it is.  If there’s no connection, the joke is literally lost.  So I would ask the Lost Angeles Times, why is it that some lone guy put up a poster of Obama as the socialist “Joker” that struck a powerful chord, while a giant magazine published a nationally distributed cover that failed to strike anything?

And secondly, I would submit to you that there very much IS a context.  And that context is that President Obama, like the Joker, is “changing” society in what will be an incredibly destructive way.  Like the Joker, who loved to mar traditional societal representations with his own image, Obama is out reshaping and distorting and perverting our society into his own, yes, socialist image.  I can’t help but think of that elderly woman who got so tired of seeing Obama that she sold her televisions.

Joe the Plumber heard Obama talk about “spreading the wealth around” and responded by saying, “That sounds like socialism.”  And Joe the Plumber was right: it DID sound like socialism because it WAS socialism.

The Obama campaign came out in a fury that he was not a socialist, and that his policies were not socialism.

Then after Obama won election, the leftist magazine Newsweek triumphantly exclaimed:

And Earl Ofari and David Ng want to tell us it is somehow “mean-spirited and dangerous” to simply state the truth?

We’re seeing what is being done with the “Joker-Obama” poster to what is being done with the “manufactured anger” over health care town hall meetings.  Just as it was the left that FIRST attacked George Bush as “the Joker,” it was also the left that began using the tactics that liberals are ascribing to conservatives confronting Democrat politicians over health care.  An article written back in 2001 records how the left would show up and simply shout down conservative speakers such as David Horowitz, Ward Connerly, Dinesh D’Souza, and many others.  They weren’t even allowed to clear their throats before they were shouted down.

This is part of the larger category of how the left used to say “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism” (usually erroneously attributing it to Thomas Jefferson) when Bush was president, only to depict conservatives as being obstructionist and immoral for protesting President Obama’s policies.

This tactic of blatant hypocrisy is only successful because the mainstream media are themselves major participants in that leftist hypocrisy.

Hopefully, by pointing out these blatant acts of mainstream media hypocrisy and pseudo-outrage, we can turn the spotlight of legitimate criticism on them, rather than on the false target of conservatives.

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9 Responses to “Obama As Joker And Typical Hypocritical Liberal Outrage”

  1. David Says:

    Obama in nine words; Some men just want to watch the world burn.

  2. Michael Eden Says:

    I don’t think Obama wants to watch the world burn (unless it’s under a conservative system, anyway).

    My “Obama in nine words”: Individual liberty must be placed under government-imposed “unity.”

  3. Michael Says:

    What a great article. The “intellectuals” of Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and the Lost Angeles Times can be summed up in two words: “Intellectually Dishonest” – or better yet, “Hypocrites!”

  4. bobbygee Says:

    You don’t get it. We have been stating this fact for years. That’s why state run media outlets ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN, New York Times et all are in the tank. I stopped watching this folks. Fox is just as bad.

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1615033/the_war_on_individual_freedom_has_begun.html http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1602999/where_are_we_headed_as_a_nation.html

  5. Michael Eden Says:

    Hypocrisy is a “that without which” sine qua non of liberalism. And the “Fairness Doctrine” or the “angry mobs” crap is a classic example of just such hypocrisy. NO ONE has done more “shouting down” over the years than pro-Democrat organizations. Yet all of a sudden when conservatives do some it’s a threat to the very fabric of democracy itself; and a community organizer is outraged that communities have organized.

    My word for the media is “propagandists.” Because that is exactly what these dishonest ideologues masquerading as “independent journalists” are.

  6. Michael Eden Says:

    I’m not sure exactly what it is that “I dont’ get,” or what fact you have “been stating for years” It would have been nice if you had told me.

    Anyway, I most certainly agree that the networks you refer to are all in the tank – although Fox News is such to a FAR lesser degree and most certainly is NOT “just as bad.” Among other things, Fox has more liberals on a single program that any of the other networks has conservatives all day. They are far more balanced in their coverage – and have been recognized as such by a number of recent journalism studies.

    That said, when I finally broke down and got cable a couple years ago, I was surprised – and frankly disappointed – with Fox News.

    I myself prefer radio and internet for my news to augment my subscription to the Wall Street Journal.

  7. Oz Says:

    Michael Eden. I hadn’t known of the July 2008 depiction of Bush as Joker in Vanity Fair but as the Los Angeles Times notes. It’s important to give depictions a context. The Bush-Joker illustration was given a context in Vanity Fair and an author Drew Friedman. Clicking on your link to Vanity Fair and reading the comments, it seems that nobody liked the Bush-Joker illustration either because it tries to make the same argument that the Obama-Joker illustration makes, which is ‘Joker=Scary so Bush/Obama=Scary.”
    You also have to consider that many people were fatigued of George W. Bush in July 2008, whether conservative or liberal so why would there be an outrage over depicting Bush to the likeness of an anarchist. While Obama has a good degree of support.
    I know you don’t like Obama. You make that fairly obvious but I really recommend that you expand what you read past the Wall Street Journal because you really limit your perspective.
    Obama inherited this economy and two wars among other things. The questions that need to be asked is how we as a nation got this position?

  8. Michael Eden Says:

    I’m just not going to bother with any hypocrisy which states, “It was okay to attack the Republican guy, but it’s wrong to attack the Democrat guy.” Frankly, the biggest reason that “many people were fatigued of George W. Bush” was because of the unrelenting attacks that had chopped him down for the previous eight years. Pardon the intended pun, but it is a complete joke to suggest the “Joker” just happened out of the blue. It was part of years’ worth of attack.

    The Democrats primarily attacked Bush over the wars. Now that they are in power, they have changed NOTHING – and in fact are expanding in Afghanistan (which is faring WORSE than it ever did under Bush, btw). Just imagine if Republicans treated presidents at war the way Democrats did. We would be a nation of lambs ripe for slaughter.

    I try to cite articles to documented virtually every major point I make, Oz. The overwhelming majority come from sources other than the Wall Street Journal. The Wall Street Journal DOES have a couple of key virtues: 1) it is successful while its liberal competitors are literally going bankrupt; and 2) it has the overwhelming support of people who understand business. Both factors give the WSJ credibility that few other sources have.

    Allow me to deal with your last two sentences by copying and pasting a previous comment. You say:

    “Obama inherited this economy and two wars among other things. The questions that need to be asked is how we as a nation got this position?”

    Allow me to say the following:

    It wasn’t George Bush or Republicans who destroyed our economy. George Bush warned the Congress SEVENTEEN TIMES to deal with the housing mortgage industry that ultimately imploded our economy – and Democrats blocked him at every turn. They had their own “Fannie Mae Enron” thing going on.

    The Democrats have owned Fannie and Freddie for years. Franklin Raines, Jim Johnson, Jamie Gorelick, Daniel Mudd. All Democrats (Obama tapped Johnson for a position, and Raines was one of his advisers). And many of the top Fannie/Freddie officials are career Democrats and staffers who have been rewarded for their patronage in an organization whose profits are private, but whose debts are public. They’ve been involved in all kinds of fraud and accounting scandals as they racked up giant bonuses for themselves. And Fannie and Freddie chiefs literally call the most radically liberal Democrats “family.”

    Fannie and Freddie owned 56% of the total mortgages in the country. They had the sole authority to buy mortgages, bundle them together into securities, and then sell those securities to private investors. They were also heavily involved in the subprime loans as means to make housing available to poor and minority buyers under the CRA.

    When the housing market blew up the economy, it wasn’t the private lenders who destroyed it, but the all-powerful government – primarily through Fannie and Freddie.

    Democrats used Fannie and Freddie as political slush funds for campaigns, and as the primary tool to enact their liberal ideological agenda in the mortgage industry. And Democrats jealously guarded their “family” from any changes.

    Bill Clinton himself acknowledged that it was DEMOCRATS who refused to regulate Fannie and Freddie, the GSE entities that had the unique ability to bundle mortgages into the securities and then resell them that exploded the economy:

    Bill Clinton on Thursday told ABC’s Chris Cuomo that Democrats for years have been “resisting any efforts by Republicans in the Congress or by me when I was President to put some standards and tighten up a little on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    A Bloomberg article explains how Fannie and Freddie blew up the economy:

    “Enough cards on this table have been turned over that the story is now clear. The economic history books will describe this episode in simple and understandable terms: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac exploded, and many bystanders were injured in the blast, some fatally.

    Fannie and Freddie did this by becoming a key enabler of the mortgage crisis. They fueled Wall Street’s efforts to securitize subprime loans by becoming the primary customer of all AAA-rated subprime-mortgage pools. In addition, they held an enormous portfolio of mortgages themselves.

    In the times that Fannie and Freddie couldn’t make the market, they became the market. Over the years, it added up to an enormous obligation. As of last June, Fannie alone owned or guaranteed more than $388 billion in high-risk mortgage investments. Their large presence created an environment within which even mortgage-backed securities assembled by others could find a ready home.

    The problem was that the trillions of dollars in play were only low-risk investments if real estate prices continued to rise. Once they began to fall, the entire house of cards came down with them.”

    Peter Wallison warned in 1999 that an out-of-control AND DEMOCRAT CONTROLLED Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would overwhelm the economy. He said, ”If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.”

    And Peter Wallison – who PREDICTED the collapse – wrote an article entitled, “The True Origins of This Financial Crisis.” I would submit that his visionary foresight earns him huge credibility.

    Alan Greenspan similarly warned of the coming mortgage explosion in early 2005:

    “If [Fannie and Freddie] continue to grow, continue to have the low capital that they have, continue to engage in the dynamic hedging of their portfolios, which they need to do for interest rate risk aversion, they potentially create ever-growing potential systemic risk down the road.” He added, “Enabling these institutions to increase in size–and they will, once the crisis, in their judgment, passes–we are placing the total financial system of the future at a substantial risk.”

    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were at the epicenter of the financial meltdown – and Democrats sheltered it at all costs.

    When Bush TRIED to regulate and reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2003, Democrats fiercely opposed him. Barney Frank is on record saying:

    ”These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis,” said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ”The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”

    John McCain warned during the 2nd major Republican effort to reform and regulate Fannie and Freddie in 2005:

    “If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole.”

    Just before the entire housing mortgage industry – which Fannie and Freddie TOWER over – collapsed due to Democrats’ refusal to regulate their ideological tool and cash cow, Barney Frank said this:

    REP. BARNEY FRANK, D-MASS.: “I think this is a case where Fannie and Freddie are fundamentally sound, that they are not in danger of going under. They’re not the best investments these days from the long-term standpoint going back. I think they are in good shape going forward.”

    So the housing mortgage industry blew up – just as Republicans had REPEATEDLY warned it would. And the very people who stood in the way of doing anything about it demagogued the people who couldn’t do anything about it only because Democrats were in lock step opposing any necessary fix. The mainstream media failed to do its job as objective reporters, and allowed liberal propaganda to pass as news. And too many ignorant people bought that “news.”

    For the record, unemployment was at 4.5% when Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and the Democrat majority took over Congress in 2006 after Bush had been president for six years. What is it now under those same Democrats?

    Obama inherited the economy? Well, first of all, Obama as Senator voted for most of the things that gave him the budget deficit he blames on Bush (and it is rather sickening that a president would blame a deficit on his predecessor even as he racks up deficits that DWARF the predecessor he is demagoguing). Barack Obama has racked up more deficits due to his uncontrolled spending during 2009 alone than Bush racked up during all eight years of his administration COMBINED. And that isn’t counting the health care or cap and trade fiascoes he is proposing. And second, Obama, took more campaign money from Fannie and Freddie and the most corrupt Wall Street players like Lehman Bros. than ANYBODY (see here and here for a video). He was an integral part of the underlying causes that exploded our economy. As just one example, Obama was one of the lawyers who took part in suing Citibank to force them to make bad loans under relax standards. He is going to lead this country into ruin.

  9. obozo Says:

    Moderator can’t post this due to the disgusting profanity.

    If you have something to say, please have the intelligence and class to say it without being vile.

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