Gawker.com reports Rolling Stone is printing a magazine with Kanye West as a black Jesus on the cover: "The Passion of Kanye West." First impression: typical counter-cultural aging-hippie mag. Second impression: hey, so why are they also plugging a mock-the-religious-right story on "God's Senator?" Will they get a clue about the cognitive dissonance?
Here's your media bias test: will "Today" give outraged Christians a chance to fuss at the idea that a rapper whose "persecution" has only led to gold er, "records" should feel crucified like Christ? On March 21, 1997, Matt Lauer devoted a segment to outrage at National Review. As we reported at the time:
Matt Lauer opened the segment: "Asian-Americans are calling the current cover of the National Review magazine offensive and racist. As you can see the cover depicts the President and First Lady as narrow-eyed, buck-toothed Chinese dressed in Mao suits serving tea. The cover story is about the Asian connection to the Democratic Party campaign fundraising controversy."
Daphne Kwok, representing the Organization of Chinese Americans decried the magazine cover, while National Review editor John O'Sullivan was invited to defend the caricatures. Lauer questioned O' Sullivan's sensitivity: "Mr. O' Sullivan you are part of a committee that commissioned a drawing for the front of the magazine. What was the message you were trying to get across?....Didn't you know though that there would be a lot of people who would think this was very offensive?" Today didn't make an issue last November of a derogatory Emerge cover depicting Justice Thomas as a lawn jockey with the title "Clarence Thomas: Lawn Jockey of the Far Right." Thus, George Curry, editor of the left-leaning magazine, escaped questioning by NBC's sensitivity police.
AP's story adds:
"The strangest tangent of the Rolling Stone story, however, is when West says he's addicted to pornography. He remembers first seeing his father's Playboy magazine when he was 5 years old. "Right then," West says, laughing, "it was like, `Houston, we have a problem.'"
Gawker breezily reports more on what's inside Rolling Stone:
In the interview, West divulges that he’s dating a young MTV staffer, reveals how to walk on water, and discusses his responsibilities as Son of Man. We recommend you click the image to enlarge, just so you can appreciate the Christ-like detail in His bloody gashes and crown of thorns.
Lest you find the cover offensive, remember that it’s okay if a magazine uses a person of color as Jesus — that conveys sympathy and respect. If it were Mark Wahlberg or Piper Perabo tied to the cross, however, that would mean eternal damnation.
(Hat tip to the Waukesha cheeseheads)