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New Yorker Presents Sharp (If Not Quite Sharpie) Political Commentary

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Don’t look now, but The New Yorker is figuring out this Internet thing. The blogs are not only multiplying but also nicely finding their groove, the podcasts are rapidly becoming the bona fide aural equivalent of the magazine (which is really saying something), and the website has just uncorked a major treat for political junkies. It’s called “The Naked Campaign,” a series of brief videos in which cartoonist Steve Brodner muses—with pen in hand—about the 2008 presidential candidates.

I am so poor at drawing that any decent display of draughtsmanship (you don’t seriously want me to put an F in that, do you?) renders me slackjawed. I could watch Brodner doodle, erase, adjust on his whiteboard at 4x speed all the livelong day, consumed with awe. I love it.

As befits the “sketch” nature of the concept, the videos are hit or miss, but that’s part of the fun, really, and there’s way more “hit” than “miss” here. Brodner’s a sharp cookie, so even when the visuals are mostly found footage of Rudy Giuliani wandering around a garden-supply store, Brodner manages to make you see something about Rudy you had never noticed.

And hey, where else are you going to see Hillary Clinton depicted as John Lennon, Mike Huckabee as the Ayatollah Khomeini, and Barack Obama as Woody Allen? —Martin Schneider

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