NY Times: "Want Obama in a Punch Line? First, Find a Joke"

By now you've probably heard about the upcoming cover of The New Yorker stirring up controversy and cries of offense. This morning The New York Times ran this great piece by Bill Carter exploring why it's so difficult to make fun of or satirize the Obama campaign, with insight from late-night funnymen like Bill Maher, Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart:

When Mr. Stewart on “The Daily Show” recently tried to joke about Mr. Obama changing his position on campaign financing, for instance, he met with such obvious resistance from the audience, he said, “You know, you’re allowed to laugh at him.” Mr. Stewart said in a telephone interview on Monday, “People have a tendency to react as far as their ideology allows them.”

Noting that the senator seems to emphasize the historic nature of his quest, Mr. Stewart said, “So far, our take is that he’s positioning himself to be on a coin.”
The main problem seems to be Obama's lack of obvious flaws and his newness. It reminds me of an episode of The Simpsons when Homer tries to dig up dirt on Ned Flanders after Bart and Lisa spend a week in his house:
Lisa: Let's see. Dirt.... dirt... well, there wasn't really much dirt.
Bart: There was a bunch of old paint cans in the garage though!
Homer: [laughs] Ol' painty-can Ned.
Something else of note from the article, David Alan Grier is getting his own satirical news show on Comedy Central starting in October called Chocolate News.