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
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How 1,000-year lifespans could remake the economy
- Why the Supreme Court is allowing Texas to hold an unconstitutional election
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- Ban PowerPoint!
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
- Rise of the machines
Subscribe to the Week