July 14th, 2008
09:30 AM ET
6 years ago

Obama camp calls New Yorker cover 'tasteless and offensive'

The New Yorker magazine says its latest cover is just satire.
The New Yorker magazine says its latest cover is just satire.

(CNN) – Barack Obama's campaign has sharply criticized The New Yorker magazine over the publication's latest cover illustration that appears to portray the Illinois senator and his wife, Michelle, as terrorist enemies of the United States.

Specifically, the cover, published Sunday, shows Obama in the Oval Office dressed in traditional Muslim attire and Michelle with an "Afro" hairstyle carrying a machine gun. An American flag can also be seen burning in the fire place and a picture of Osama bin Laden hangs on the wall.

Watch: Journalists debate the New Yorker Cover

"The New Yorker may think, as one of their staff explained to us, that their cover is a satirical lampoon of the caricature Senator Obama's right-wing critics have tried to create," Obama spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement.

"But most readers will see it as tasteless and offensive. And we agree."

John McCain campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds said he agreed with Burton's sentiment.

iReport.com: Satire or slander? Share your thoughts

Obama himself refused to comment on the illustration Sunday.

Full story

soundoff (306 Responses)
  1. Mike

    WHAAAAA WHAAAAA. I'll bet he called his mommy to tell her somebody made fun of him at school today. Wow is he/she thinned skinned or what? He's not fit to be Commander and Chief.(not sure the other one is either) Where's Ross Perot?

    July 14, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  2. Neal

    But it will sell. And that is what is wrong with money and the capitalist free market system. Sales are NOT the number one value in out society. Some fools think so had have gotten the rest of us to play along.

    July 14, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  3. Naomi, Texas

    This picture is simply offensive and wrong

    July 14, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  4. Bill Vallier

    I think the cover is way over the edge...

    I can't ever remember seeing one of George Bush dressed as an Arab and his wife wearing a veil, with a picture of the King of Saudia Arabia on the wall with the US Constitution burning in the fireplace.

    July 14, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  5. Kate

    I'd be interested to see a similar cover for the McCains... any ideas about what it would look like?

    July 14, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  6. Eric

    It would be a valid satire if they bothered to write an article about it or mention it in the magazine. They could also have added a picture of a frazzled John McCain with a walker yelling at kids from his porch.

    July 14, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  7. marygrace

    The cover is tasteless but those who are going to believe such things are true are going to anyway, no matter who tells them differently.

    Port Orange FL

    July 14, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  8. Jeremy D

    That's quite insulting of a Presidential nominee. It's about respect. Barack has shown a ton of respect for John McCain but the right doesn't show respect for Senator Obama who has given years and years of his life for public service.

    July 14, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  9. McCain for President

    If the shoe fits, wear it.

    July 14, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  10. James in NJ

    Tasteless....
    Bad cover, poor humor.

    July 14, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  11. mark trainor

    What a joke!! The New Yorker must think we have no brains and feed the close mindness of the few. Shame, shame, shame "New Yorker".

    July 14, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  12. Bob (Maryland)

    Of course, the sophisticated readers of New Yorker will understand the satirical intent. But those 10 percent of people who fall for the false rumor that Obama is a Muslim will just think "Aha! That proves what I've been saying all along!"

    The New Yorker editors were irresponsible.

    July 14, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  13. energy

    Senator Obama is causing all this nonsense to create undue sympathy. His name is Hussein, yet he is offended when he is called so–and that is even after Jeremiah Wright has lectured him that Arabic name has not always mean a Muslim name. I know many Christians answering Arabic names. Last year, I ran into a Catholic Reverend stationed in the US that answers–I think Mohammed or Abubakar. Obama creates all the suspicion and must demonstrate the transparency he claims to champion. I am for an Obama that is proud of his background and heritage and not a fake opportunist running for president. Still, he is better than the Republican fill-in called JM

    July 14, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  14. PhilG

    The cover say's it all

    July 14, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  15. dave

    the new yorker should have made it more plain that it was lampooning the ridiculous portraits of Obama. there are far too many simple minded Americans who cannot draw the distinction.

    July 14, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  16. Larry Kincaid

    Totally disgraceful. Lampooning? Or spreading the fear and ignorance? How low can you go? This rag is calling our next president an Osama loving terrorist. Seriously folks.

    July 14, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  17. RR FL

    This cover is scary because, it is probably nearer to the
    truth then any of us want to admit.

    July 14, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  18. Matt, Manchester, CT

    B.F.D. – If the New Yorker had made a similar cover about John McCain, no one would even remotely raise an eyebrow. The magazine would lauded for "pushing the envelope." Democrats are the worst hypocrites when they can give, give, give, but can never take.

    July 14, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  19. mispeg

    told you so!

    MCCAIN 08

    July 14, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  20. Martin

    No worries peeps, those of us that read the New Yorker, know how to take it,lol!

    July 14, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  21. Dems 4 McCain

    It's a little extreme for a bit of satire and could have done with a caption but if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen. Hillary had to endure it much to your satisfaction so now you're getting the same treatment.

    July 14, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  22. kula

    This is insane. Why would people do this to the Obama's?

    July 14, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  23. Nick, NY

    This is really insulting. I mean I know this isn't the NY Times, but really. The comparison of Obama to whatever that pic is supposed to be...a radical Muslim (as opposed to mainstream, peace loving Muslims) or a terrorist- and that of his wife to a terrorist is just below the belt. Who in their right mind would make such a comparison of ANY other Presidential candidate? Two terrorists? Or, a terrorist and a radical Muslim? Come on, guys.

    July 14, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  24. Tom, WV

    The fact of the matter is that there are still Americans out there who think Obama is Mulsim or who consider Obama not even an American (like the post of JohnBoy).

    I think the fear is that this will breed even more ignorance, which is a powerful political tool.

    July 14, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  25. jason

    it's supposed to be tasteless and offensive – being tasteless and offensive helps people realize how foolish the accusations are. That's why it's in a satire magazine.

    you've no reason to be offended by a satire magazine, unless it is saying something accurate.

    July 14, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
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