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Francoise Mouly, Art Editor, Discusses The Cultural Impact New Yorker Cartoons (VIDEO)

First Posted: 09/06/11 04:35 AM ET   Updated: 11/05/11 06:12 AM ET

After the fist-bump heard 'round the world, we may have learned something about the Obamas' relationship. But after the New Yorker cartoon featuring Terrorist Barack and Black Panther Michelle fist-bumping over a burning American Flag, we learned something about a media machine that couldn't stop debating it.

The New York Times called it the most memorable image of the 2008 presidential campaign, and Françoise Mouly, the Art Editor of the New Yorker, says she is "extremely proud" of the piece.

In the Big Think video below, Mouly likens the sometimes incendiary comics in the New Yorker to vaccines; they introduce a small amount of toxic material in order to cleanse the area overall. Mouly discusses the cultural importance of these comics, as well as her role in overseeing them. "This isn't the editorial comment," she says, "its not the cover story, it's not necessarily a link to anything, but it's the artist as lightning rod; he catches what's in the air."

Her personal philosophy seems to leave plenty of room for controversy; in her opinion, "talking about something is always better than not talking about something."

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Filed by Travis Korte  |