July 15th, 2008
09:10 AM ET
11 years ago

New Yorker editor defends Obama cover


Watch New Yorker editor David Remnick defend the magazines controversial cover.

(CNN) - Amid widespread criticism over The New Yorker cover illustration that portrays Barack Obama in Muslim garb and wife Michelle Obama as a gun-toting militant, the publication's editor told CNN Monday he doesn't regret approving the use of the controversial image.

Watch: Remnick on The Situation Room

David Remnick, the longtime editor of the highly-regarded publication, said he believes the ironic intent of the illustration will be clear to most Americans.

"The idea is to attack lies and misconceptions and distortions about the Obamas, and their background and their politics. We've heard all of this nonsense about how they're supposedly insufficiently patriotic, or soft on terrorism," he said. "That somehow the fist bump is something that it's not. And we try to put all of these images in one cover, and to satirize and shine a really harsh light on something that could be incredibly damaging."

The cover - which shows the pair in the Oval Office, with an American flag burning and a picture of Osama bin Laden - has been widely criticized by Republicans and Democrats alike. On Sunday evening Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton called it "tasteless and offensive." John McCain said Monday it is "totally inappropriate."

Bernard Parks, a California city council member and supporter of Barack Obama, told CNN he is calling for a boycott of the liberal-leaning magazine.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (527 Responses)
  1. Lilbeth

    Hey, Brooklyn,

    The reason Obama can't and won't just shrug it off is because he is black. Plain and simple. Get use to it people, don't you know and understand by now that black people are able to say whatever they please, anytime they please, demonstrate their anger in any form or fashion anytime they please and everybody is just supposed to "take it" and understand. Boy, payback is hell. Anybody, black or white must understand that when you're running for the largest, most important (supposedly) office in the land, you're going to be a target for just about anything. Most American people will not see the satire in this magazine cover – why? because this country is divided (lots of ignorance) and, yes, racial. It will always be this way. Grow thicker skin, Obama or you'll never make it.

    July 15, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  2. rbt

    This mag cover not only feeds the problem, but it is a stepping off point for discussions that also feed into the myths and the untruths that are magnified by how it is discussed even on so called left wing cable networks. It is not enough for the pundits to say the allegations are untrue, when they then conflate the untruth to a "perceived" problem that people don't know Obama and that Obama must inform the people. Obama has made many speeches and answered questions about his upbringing through ads. Journalists have a duty to uphold their trust and need to unequivically denounce these untruths period and without opening the door by conflating another "Obama Problem". Wouldn't it be nice if the journalists actually did their jobs and reported the truth rather than discussing the lies which merely perpetuate the myths?

    July 15, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
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