The Note: Bad Humor

And The New Yorker cover wins a slot as talkfest controversy of the day. Barry Blitt's cover illustration of an Oval Office fist bump -- complete with the Osama portrait, some choice headwear, a smoldering American flag, and Michelle packing heat -- drew immediate condemnation from the Obama campaign. "Tasteless and offensive," said spokesman Bill Burton.

"Knowing the liberal politics of the magazine, I believe the magazine's staff when they say the illustration is meant ironically, as a parody of the caricature some conservatives (and some supporters of Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.) are painting of the Obamas," ABC's Jake Tapper writes. "But it's still fairly incendiary, at least as these things go. I wonder what the reaction would be were it the Weekly Standard or the National Review putting such an illustration on their covers."

"Politicians don't like satire because it's subject to differing interpretations," blogs the Los Angeles Times' Andrew Malcolm. Says illustrator Barry Blitt: "I think the idea that the Obamas are branded as unpatriotic [let alone as terrorists] in certain sectors is preposterous. It seemed to me that depicting the concept would show it as the fear-mongering ridiculousness that it is."

Says New Yorker editor David Remnick: "The fact is, it's not a satire about Obama -- it's a satire about the distortions and misconceptions and prejudices about Obama."

More Remnick: "Satire is offensive sometimes, otherwise it's not very effective."

Some Jackson fallout -- timely in light of Obama's NAACP speech Monday night. "The Rev. Jesse Jackson's offhand insult of Barack Obama last week has exposed a heated debate over whether Obama's groundbreaking presidential campaign -- and his repeated challenge to the black community to straighten out its own affairs -- is displacing and alienating some in Jackson's generation of black leadership, which held the government accountable for the plight of African-Americans," Joseph Williams writes in The Boston Globe.

Al Sharpton tells Newsweek: "There's definitely a generational divide going on in the black community, and it's been happening for a while. People who deny it aren't seeing clearly."

"The episode renewed questions about what Jackson has become in the sunset of his career and how he really feels about Obama and the kind of campaign he has run," Kevin Merida writes in The Washington Post. "Pioneers love to be acknowledged."

"On the surface, the venerable civil rights organization's 99th convention should be a love fest between the African-American attendees and the first African-American with a real chance of being elected president," McClatchy's William Douglas writes.

"But last week's crude comments by the Rev. Jesse Jackson about Obama 'talking down' to African-Americans brought to light concerns among some civil rights activists and African-American academics about Obama," Douglas continues. "Some have taken quiet umbrage at Obama's proposal to expand President Bush's faith-based initiative and his comments about the moral responsibilities of African-American fathers, saying his remarks are designed more to woo and soothe white voters than to address issues impacting the African-American community."

The Sked:

McCain speaks to the National Council of La Raza in San Diego at 3:45 pm ET, then raises money in Albuquerque Monday night.

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