New Yorker editor David Remnick recently spoke to his college alumni magazine about political cartoons — and explained that he doesn't believe a single image can change a voter's opinion.
When asked by the Princeton Alumni Weekly's Brett Tomlinson whether he believes political cartoons can "affect the way a person votes," Remnick responded:
No, I really don't. I think it can contribute to the cumulative way people think about something. Someone trying to think about Tammany Hall who saw Thomas Nast's political cartoons over and over again would probably be affected by that. ... You can say the same thing about photographs -- the first photographs of the Civil War or the photographs that appeared in Life magazine and elsewhere during Vietnam. Does one image change a person's political views in an instant? I doubt it. But it has some cumulative effect and some importance.
Read the full Remnick Q&A at the PAW website (scroll down to second item).
Remnick's New Yorker was at the center of controversy after it published a satirical cartoon of Barack and Michelle Obama as Muslims in July. At the time, Remnick defended Barry Blitt's "The Politics of Fear" cartoon and his decision to put it on the cover, telling Rachel Sklar, it was meant to target "distortions and misconceptions and prejudices" about the Obamas.