...all I have to say is: It’s the summer of 1960. John Kennedy, the Democratic nominee, and Jackie are satirized on a magazine cover. She’s made up like Marie Antoinette, eating cake or some stinky cheese while looking down on mere middle-class folks. He is on his knees before the Pope, kissing much ring, while Cardinals stuff his pockets with the Vatican legislative agenda. And in the background we see Daddy Joe P., paying off a long line of folks, his body guarded by a Sheldon Leonard look-alike with a 1930’s style Tommy gun. Maybe a couple of guys in SS uniforms, too.
Okay, the stuff about Joe P. has a basis in fact. But it still wouldn’t have been funny then, or, more importantly, smart. That’s why this New Yorker cover is offensive and dumb. The conceit: They and their readers so smart and liberal and cool that they can joke about the rabid stereotypes flying about the first African-American President of the United States before he's even officially nominated, much had the opportunity that he could turn 400 years of racism on it's head in just a few years on the public stage by actually getting elected.
Because, after all, he’s their man, right?
Reminds me of that scene in Animal House, where the frat boys show up in a black club where Otis Day and the Knights are playing. Same band that played their party, very different context. One of them loud talks “Hey, Otis...my MAN,” and nearly pays with his life.
He didn’t get it. Neither did the smart folks at the New Yorker.