2012 Election | Andrew Sullivan | Barack Obama | Gay Marriage | Newsweek | Tina Brown

New 'Newsweek' Cover: The First Gay President

Here's the cover of the new Newsweek:


The headline tries for wit in its unsubtle recollection of a profile of Bill Clinton authored by Toni Morrison, entitled "Clinton as the First Black President," which appeared in the New Yorker in 1998. In it, Morrison wrote:

Years ago, in the middle of the Whitewater investigation, one heard the first murmurs: white skin notwithstanding, this is our first black President. Blacker than any black person who could ever be elected in our children's lifetime. After all, Clinton displays almost every trope of blackness: single-parent household, born poor, working-class, saxophone-playing, McDonald's-and-junk-food loving boy from Arkansas.

Andrew Sullivan's Newsweek story has yet to be posted to the web, so there's no telling if he's written similarly of Barack Obama. Hard to imagine he would. I'm pretty sure Obama's never "displayed" any gay "tropes," if such things exist at all.

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  1. It was stupid enough for Clinton, it's even stupider for Obama.

    Posted by: Paul R | May 13, 2012 2:29:57 PM

  2. I recall Sullivan saying that the title of his "Why Are Obama's Critics So Dumb?" article was chosen by his editors, and that's probably what happened here. I wouldn't get hung up on it.

    Posted by: alittleblackegg | May 13, 2012 2:31:47 PM

  3. Very damaging, stupid and boorish. Newsweek should fold up its tent once and for all.

    Posted by: carl | May 13, 2012 2:34:21 PM

  4. Can you imagine what would have happened to Obama if he would have led a gang of young men in high school in an attack on a fellow student and cut off his hair? Jail time? Do you think he would have had any chance of being President?

    Posted by: Joey | May 13, 2012 2:35:21 PM

  5. it makes sense, actually. his biggest and most-vocal critics have the same problem with him that they have with gay people; he's "different" from them, in ways that in no way justify their negativity toward him.

    ask your average obama-hater why they hate him and you get Tony Perkins-style nonsense and rhetoric. ask what policies of his they object to and you get a blank stare.

    it's rather apt.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | May 13, 2012 2:41:19 PM

  6. Almost as bad as the "Newsweek" cover where they put lipstick on Nel Patrick Harris.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | May 13, 2012 2:41:21 PM

  7. pretty horrific photoshopping going on here

    the stupid halo is eve off-center ffs

    Posted by: red | May 13, 2012 2:43:37 PM

  8. Yep, stupid. Because Clinton is pinky-white. Calling him black because of "tropes" makes it doubly absurd. With Obama, given that his sexuality has been questioned (albeit not as persistently as has his citizenship), this will play to the low information voter as confirmation. Why, Newsweek?

    Posted by: TJ | May 13, 2012 2:45:02 PM

  9. I ordered Newsweek for years, but canceled it last year. It wasn't the same paper any longer.

    Posted by: Matt26 | May 13, 2012 2:47:12 PM

  10. ...........did y'all read the piece or are you only responding to the cover image and text? save the knee-jerk responses for the conservatives. that's all they have.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | May 13, 2012 2:52:44 PM

  11. "I'm pretty sure Obama's never 'displayed' any gay 'tropes,' if such things exist at all."

    Didn't he marry a drag queen?

    Posted by: BABH | May 13, 2012 2:53:48 PM

  12. @ BABH

    I was going to say that the Newsweek cover seems pretty dumb.
    But then I decided that your comment warranted that description even more.

    Posted by: gr8guyca | May 13, 2012 2:57:49 PM

  13. the reasons people hate Obama are the same reasons people hate gay people. apt. comparison.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | May 13, 2012 3:00:17 PM

  14. It's no more ridiculous than calling Bill Clinton "The First Black President," but then that WAS rather silly. It's tempting to think of it as a "slur" but then that would be saying that saying a person is gay is a slur, which most up us have hopefully grown past.

    However, chances are the usual Right Wing suspects will exploit this as they can, referring to Obama as gay and then when called on it insisting they were only quoting Newsweek.

    It seems pretty ham-handed so I hope Andrew Sullivan didn't come up with the title.

    There's an article on Yahoo! about this with a several paragraph long excerpt from the article and I agree with what Sullivan has written in that short bit. I'll post a link to that article but be warned that reading the comments there is often like sticking your head in a toilet bowl. Yahoos, indeed.


    Posted by: Caliban | May 13, 2012 3:06:20 PM

  15. @Babh - To spend time out of your life and ignore the filters in your head to write this pathetic excuse of a dis (even as a troll comment it's just pathetic). Such a sad life you must lead.

    @LITTLEKIWI - I think the knee-jerk response is what Newsweek is counting on. A lot more people are going to see this cover than read the article; I'd even argue a lot of those people wouldn't read the article b/c of the cover. They're not going to get the Toni Morrison reference, and they're just going to assume the article is just as hyperbolic as the picture.

    Posted by: Hugh | May 13, 2012 3:09:50 PM

  16. truth, Hugh.

    but at the same time, are news outlets intended for plebes or the intellectually discerning? facebook is already awash in complete FREAKOUTS over this cover and text, rather than anything resembling a thoughtful criticism of content, or comparison.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | May 13, 2012 3:13:01 PM

  17. This outrageous cover is an example of how the American media f*g-baits people and gets away with it. Reprehensible! In my opinion, it's a form of bullying directed at Straight allies. I'm not a Barack Obama supporter by any means, but this kind of crass sensationalism (there are obviously Republican partisans on Newsweek's staff) fits my definition of dirty politics.

    Posted by: Stuffed Animal | May 13, 2012 3:15:04 PM

  18. you don't support Obama, you hate those of us who are empowered by self-identifying as Queer, and you think only Christians go to heaven.

    yeah. you're sane :D

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | May 13, 2012 3:20:34 PM

  19. It was a compliment.

    Posted by: BABH | May 13, 2012 3:21:57 PM

  20. I hope next week's cover is a photo of Mitt Romney with the caption "Is Romney a sociopath?"


    Posted by: Oliver | May 13, 2012 3:23:10 PM

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    Posted by: joanna | May 13, 2012 3:32:06 PM

  22. I have proven how appreciative I am, how huge I think Obama's affirmation was, by praising it all over the Net and making a contribution to his reelection I can ill afford. But the "Newsweek" cover is, in its own way, as ridiculous as "Time's" photo of a woman breast feeding her three-year old standing on a chair. Regardless of who conceived it, the “Messiah for the Gays” is now “Saint Barack”? Messiahs and saints are only supposed to do good for we mere mortal. And there’s no reason to believe that the cover article will be much different from what he wrote on “The Daily Beast”—“[it] reaffirms for me the integrity of this man.” Seen against the reality of Mr. Obama playing the insufferable, indefensible "states rights " card with his right hand even as his left one finally threw in the “God is in the mix” card, along with his FULL record on LGBT equality, it’s obvious that "Raw Muscle Glutes," who once trolled the net for bareback sex even as he demonized other gay men for THEIR “irresponsible" behavior and "libidinal pathology,” once decried federal hate crime laws expansion and gay job protection legislation as needless "special rights," declared that "AIDS is over" [at least for white males of privilege with great medical insurance like him], and was a cheerleader for Bush's illegal invasion of Iraq—not to mention promoted racist junk science of "The Bell Curve,” still hasn't the vaguest idea what "integrity" is.

    As noted, Sullivan's previous cover story was captioned, "Why are Obama's critics so dumb?" Ask that of the some 800 gay troops he needlessly shitcanned. Ask that of the tens of thousands of gay troops who can now serve openly but not without the same protections against harassment and discrimination as nongay blacks, women, et al., because caved to Pentagon bigots who don't want to give the fags TOO much. Ask that of the gay military couples and their children who are banned from military family housing not because of DOMA but because of arbritary Pentagon policy Obama refuses to order it stopped. Ask that of the hundreds of thousands of LGBTs working for federal contractors who COULD have employment protection had Obama not reversed himself on that, too. Ask that of the binational couples who keep having to fight one partner's deportation because Obama refuses to use the green card system to protect them. Etc. Again, what he did this past week was GREAT! HISTORY-CHANGING! But it wasn't Jesus rising from the dead, and at the same time we’re grateful we should be issuing our community Reality Checks not writing him a blank check. What next—superimposing his face on the rainbow flag?

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | May 13, 2012 3:33:39 PM

  23. But OLIVER, Romney IS a sociopath!

    And KIWI, I get your point, but I don't see many others seeing it this way. Not the birthers, not the mooslum-haters, not the uppity-haters. I don't know why he couldn't have been portrayed in a way that honors the potential good intent and civil-rights progress potential rather than "All your fears have been confirmed" as a way to garner attention.

    Posted by: TJ | May 13, 2012 3:35:27 PM

  24. Looks like conservative propaganda

    Posted by: Jay | May 13, 2012 3:37:12 PM

  25. President Obama is cool....
    As a Gay President too he can re-enter into white house.

    Posted by: Rajendar kumar khatik | May 13, 2012 3:37:30 PM

  26. 1 2 3 »

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