A few takes:
1. Far from a monster, Bernie's been turned into a clown -- making it that much harder to take him, his regulatory enablers, and all the legal gamblers who bankrupted the country more seriously.
2. Perpetuating the joke, this is quite a take-off on Grandpa Munster.
3. Is perhaps part of the move here to feminize? In the high finance/high testosterone world that powers New York, maybe NYM thinks Bernie is a wuss for getting caught?
4. The marketing game... Hey, let's put this out just before the Academy Awards and make a few dollars off Heath Ledger's suicide -- and likely Oscar.
5. And then, if you are trying to deliver a character hit with the Joker, this is a high bar.
I mean, are you feeling the monster?
(illustration: Darrow for NY Magazine. March 2, 2008 cover)