Archives About Staff BagNews is dedicated to visual politics, media literacy and the analysis of news images.
October 29, 2013

Meet the De Blasios!

Call it patronizing all the way down to the typography. If NY Mag chose to frame the family, and the likely next first family of New York City as a biracial flavor-of-the-moment, as the hands-down winners of this year’s Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzaa mailbox double-take contest, the stereotyping of:

is worse than that. It’s not just the white-accented cameo-style portrait in the fashion of a primetime promo, each gaze designed to introduce and imprint that character into your heart/infotainment diet, it’s the Hollywood-style titling and typeface, as if branding The De Blasio family as a show. It might as well read: Meet The Jeffersons … with a White Dad!

(Plausible perhaps as a greeting card, the illustration logically voids that format with the word “meet.”)

If this cover is anything — as the sub-head questions whether the foursome can even make it to Sweeps Week as mostly a visual novelty — it’s as a cringeworthy reminder of white media’s two gestures when it comes to celebrating African-Americans. Option A: they’re athletes. Option B: they’re in entertainment.

(photo: pending. Design Director: Thomas Alberty)

  • Scarabus

    Or criminals.

  • Scarabus

    I thought it might be useful to compare this cover to others the magazine has used. Here’s a link: http://nymag.com/nymag/toc/2013/

    • BooksAlive

      Thanks for the smorgasbord of covers, Scarabus.

  • black_dog_barking

    Lacking the vocabulary to speak to typography I strongly suspect that the New Yorker wants us to see Saturday Evening Post in this image and reinforce that wish with their font choice for “DeBlasio’s”. To this untrained eye the ‘S’ and ‘D’ are very close to what we find on one of those covers from another time, before even George and Weezy.

  • http://www.futurebird.com Susan Donovan

    The trouble is there is no one else. The republicans have failed to offer anyone electable in NYC… So, there is this coronation anxiety that the whole city is feeling.

    I do think it’s kind of crumby to put it on his FAMILY. But still.

  • bks3bks

    What’s wrong with a happy multiracial family, exactly? Seems like the exact right fit for New York City.

    Do you prefer this?

    http://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/lhota11.jpg

  • acm

    Dont’ know why I didn’t think of this one, of course…

    http://www.hindishows.com/images/different-strokes.jpg

Refresh Archives

Random Notes