The image: A political cartoon portraying First Lady Michelle Obama as a gluttonous hypocrite has drawn criticism from commentators who consider the image inappropriately personal — and even racist. Published Sunday on the conservative website BigGovernment.com, the cartoon shows a chunky first lady chowing down on a giant plate of hamburgers and fries while touting her much-publicized efforts to make Americans eat healthier. When President Obama objects that her anti-obesity stance may "annoy a lot of people," the first lady snaps at her (spectacularly jug-eared) husband, "Shut up and pass the bacon!"
The reaction: This cartoon is a "racist obscenity," said Lawrence O'Donnell on his Tuesday-night MSNBC program, as quoted by The Huffington Post. The president is portrayed as a "half man, half animal" in the "vile tradition" of base cartoonists who seek to dehumanize their targets. Plus, this cartoon isn't remotely funny, says Simon Maloy at Media Matters. "If there's a 'joke' in there, I'm missing it." In a defense of the drawing, James Hudnail at Big Government says "there is nothing racist about [it]." This was just "a mild poke at the hypocrisy of the first lady." Have a look for yourself:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 10 things you need to know today: September 1, 2014
- Why the West should let Russia have eastern Ukraine
- Scottish independence is another financial crisis waiting to happen
- 11 scientific studies that will restore your faith in humanity
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- The 10 best networking tips for people who hate networking
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Your literary playlist: A guide to the music of Haruki Murakami
Subscribe to the Week