July 15th, 2008
09:10 AM ET
10 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.

Full story

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (527 Responses)
  1. Brandon Hillary PUMA for Mc Cain-Pa

    The republicans should create campaign size posters and use them in the small bitter gun touting religious small towns in the south and swing states....LOL too funny.
    Now obama will take some heat from the media he soon will know how Hillary was treated. Its not the cakewalk he had in Jan/Feb

    July 14, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  2. tammyv

    When it was clinton (either), bush (either), displayed as redkneck it was fine... it is fine now too.

    Where is the free speech?

    July 14, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  3. Ardnuas

    He defends HIS racist attitudes....... not the cover..... this is why McCain doesn't have to run ads against Obama, he has enough racist in the MEDIA to HELP HIM WIN.

    July 14, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  4. Janet WV for Obama

    If the idea is "to attack lies and misconceptions", why are they helping to spread them?

    July 14, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  5. Linda31

    I understand what they were trying to do, but the message was totally lost with that cover. They could have had a much better cover that still hit the points without giving an audience to those that believe this nonsense.

    July 14, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  6. People make no sense

    You knew he was a white man! Where's the picture of McCain in his devil uniform, kiling babies and smacking on woman calling them bad words while gambling with U.S. dollars?

    Someone name me one New York cover that ever depicted a politican in this manner and I won't call him a racist.

    July 14, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  7. Ricky

    Good Job!
    Obama has to be more specific on his policies and his upbringing.
    Millions of Americans still think he's a Muslim.
    They think he is a Christian now, but they think that the Muslims think he's a Muslim because his father was.
    Apparently, once a Muslim, always a Muslim.
    Obama should talk about his Dad being a Muslim and he might clear the air.

    July 14, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  8. MJK

    I've read so many posts saying this was done by the GOP... I just laughed... this is a very liberal magazine... and they make fun of everyone. Those that are mad about it missed the point I think.

    July 14, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  9. Henche Mann

    A poke in the eye with a sharp stick to the politics of misinformation and innuendo. Bravo to the New Yorker. Well done.

    July 14, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  10. Jeff Long

    I tried to purchase the New Yorker Magazine of Obama.

    Guy at Barnes & Noble says all New Yorkers sold out LOL

    really looks like the liberal wishes for them to go out of business, well are incorrect as usual.

    July 14, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  11. MoniLuv

    Obama needs to lighten up. If he's smart as people made him out to be he'd realize that the cover is actually meant to help him and portrays him as a victim of fear-mongering by the Republicans.

    July 14, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  12. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Why not run a magizne cover with screaming and flesh burning women and children with Mcwar singing in his jet, dropping Napalm. He could be singing bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran. This would be an outrage to the GOP right wing rethuglicans.

    July 14, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  13. people say No to McCain

    i get it but you still missed the mark. there are so many STUPID people who will see this and try to run with it...most of whom could not read the article any way. in the cartoon there should have been a drawing of the IDEOT who thinks the things the cover represents

    July 14, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  14. LeAnn

    I too feel it is out of line, but in the country it is freedom of speech and the press. It works for all not just when we pick and choose.

    July 14, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  15. LT in Cali

    The article was designed to attack the misconceptions, but the cover is what you see first and it leaves a very different impression.

    July 14, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  16. Capt Kirk

    Its who they are .....terrific...fine job New Yorker

    July 14, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  17. jane in CA

    Both Sen. McCain, Sen. Obama and their spouses deserve respects from the media and American people. This is no excuse, The New Yorker.

    July 14, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  18. Linda31

    Oh and this is no Colbert! And Carville's title as a Democratic strategist should be used loosely. He's still upset about Clinton's loss.

    July 14, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  19. Joe

    I will never read the New Yorker again.
    What they did was disgusting.

    July 14, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  20. Vig

    We keep waiting to find out what Obama's made of – maybe it all amounts to that Pegg Lee song – is that all there is? I find it interesting that after the Wright controversy, the Mrs. Obama statement revealing herself as partiotically-impaired, the flag pin flap and the lack of hand over heart during the pledge, the images of Obama and his wife find expression through an anti-American satire. The theme persists. The shadow cast. The questions linger.

    July 14, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  21. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Hey, Obamites. It's satire. Get a sense of humor. Oops, you do. Your candidate is the joke, right?

    July 14, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  22. Unshrub

    Who cares, most of the people who read the New Yorker are intelligent enough to know it's satire.

    July 14, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  23. Maggie Daly

    But Democratic strategist and CNN contributor James Carville defended the magazine's cover choice as satire in its "ultimate form."

    "I don't know what the big deal is," he said.

    Oh, ok Carville – and if this was a 'satire' of Hillary Clinton, would it not be a big deal to you? You'd be screaming bloody murder!

    July 14, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  24. Jeff Long

    At least James Carville is smart enough to know what this is. I have been to 4 different Barnes & Nobles and 2 Borders here in California and I have not been able to find one copy of this magazine. All of the New Yorkers have been sold out.. Looks like this magazine was a hit.

    July 14, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  25. ginger

    What Americans are you talking about? The 26% who believe he is Muslim. Do you honestly believe they would listen to you? No way. Your cover only reinforces these peoples crazy beliefs. Next time use better judgment.


    July 14, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
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