Johnp Perazzo: Obama Joker vs. Bush Joker

Roundup: Pop Culture & the Arts ... Movies, Documentaries and Museum Exhibits

Caricatured portraits of Barack Obama wearing Heath Ledger-style"Joker" makeup, with the caption "socialism" situated just beneath the President's image, have been displayed recently on numerous outdoor surfaces — telephone poles, blank walls, highway supports, etc. – in the city of Los Angeles.
obama joker2

Though the identity of the Photoshop artist is unknown to anyone, the Christian Science Monitor concludes, disapprovingly, that "a conservative graffiti artist" is the culprit. Adds the Monitor: "Now, digitized copies of the portraits have gone viral, spiraling across Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr. Predictably, the right-wing blogosphere is bursting at the seams with glee."

Even more predictably, leftists have begun to complain that the portrait is racist. According to Bedlam Magazine, for instance: "The Joker white-face imposed on Obama’s visage has a sort of malicious, racist, Jim Crow quailty to it." The good folks at L.A. Weekly, meanwhile, tell us that the portrait "has a bit of everything to appeal to the drunk tank of California conservatism: Obama is in white face, his mouth (like Ledger’s Joker's) has been grotesquely slit wide open and the word ‘Socialism’ appears below his face. The only thing missing is a noose."

As Matthew Vadum has already noted in NewsReal, in 2004 the very same L.A. Weekly ran this picture depicting President George W. Bush as Dracula, his mouth dripping with the blood of innocents from around the world:


Then there was this classic published by The Village Voice in October of that same year, showing Bush as a vampire sucking the blood of Liberty from the metaphorical neck of our nation:


And just 13 months ago, Vanity Fair depicted Bush as none other than, voila, the Joker! With no chorus of complaints from the Left!


Notably, these caricatures of Bush appeared neither on solitary highway stanchions nor on the walls of buildings in vacant lots, but rather in major publications of the political and social Left. This is to say nothing of the many published cartoons that routinely depicted Bush as a primate. One September 2007 Huffington Post story, in fact, actually bore the title, "New Scientific Study Reveals Bush Is a Chimp."

What would be the Left's reaction if a conservative were to make a similar assertion about Obama?

Bush was also commonly caricatured by the Left as Adolph Hitler. The anti-war demonstrations of 2002-2004 — led by such Marxist "peace" coalitions as International ANSWER (a front group for the Marxist-Leninist Workers World Party) and United For Peace and Justice (led by the pro-Castro communist Leslie Cagan) — featured multitudes of banners and placards depicting Bush as the Nazi Führer...

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Daniel Pedroso - 8/10/2009

Usually when a leader of a nation invades a country based on falsehoods, similar to Hitler's invasion of Poland, a fair descriptive similarity to Hitler can be made. In April, 2001, prior to 9/11, Vice President Cheney Energy Task Force discussed how to divide up Iraq’s oil fields (1). Hitler tortured innocent civilians, and children, the same as Bush (2). Hitler concentrated power in the executive branch of government; Bush to a lesser degree did the same by violating over 750 laws (3). Similarities in between Hitler’s war crimes and Bush’s war crimes can be made. One can argue that Bush did not torture, kill as many civilians as Hitler. One can argue that Bush did not violate as many national laws as Hitler. But one cannot argue that Bush did not commit war crimes, like Hitler.

Best Regards,