I forget now where I saw this comment, but I thought it made a good point -- the McCain cover is all stuff that is true while the Obama cover is illustration of rumors. OK, not so much the constitution in the fireplace (arguable) but McCain IS in fact old, Cindy DID in fact have a drug/pill problem, McCain DOES have a combover (OK, I'm not quite sure what's on his head, are those bandages? If so, he DID have surgery on his face and sported bandages for it), and McCain and Bush HAVE agreed on a bunch of things.
So while I never was upset about the New Yorker cover, the Vanity Fair one still doesn't seem like a true answer.
That'd have to be something about a black baby, that his Vietnamese captors made him into a Manchurian candidate, um can't think of anything else. But scurrilous rumors, not plain ol' reality.
That part (McCain rumors) is me, but the other point this person made was that the Vanity Fair cover makes the Obama cover worse because of the implied equivalency -- John McCain is, in fact, old, so is Obama in fact Muslim? I still tend to think people aren't THAT dumb, but I've certainly been surprised by people's capability thereof often enough.
Lots of people ARE that dumb.
The other problem is the extreme faultiness of memory, particularly when we want to believe something, and the tendency of information meant to refute the kind of scurrilous memes being assiduously created and distributed, by the right in this case, to become faultily recalled as information CONFIRMING the trash.
I bet that, within a few weeks, many people will remember not that there was a satiric Vanity Fair cover, but that there was SOMETHING which proves Obama is a terrorist with Angela Davis as a mistress, or some such.
Whether any who might actually have ever conceivably voted for Obama will be thus affected is moot.
I am also not arguing against satire, simply because we are beset by fools who will be incapable of comprehending it.....but I do think that it is wrong simply to accuse Obama of not being able to roll with a joke because he has reacted to something that will sadly end up confirming vicious rumours in the minds of many.