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. MLH

    The New Yorker has a right to print a magazine with that piece of tripe for a cover, but the rest of us (including Senator Obama if he chooses) have a right to voice our opinion of it. It offends on every level, and the New Yorker should be ashamed for printing it. Just because you have a right to use poor taste and judgement doesn't mean you are required to exercise it.

    There are people who believe Senator McCain's experience in Vietnam could be satirized by a cover with him dropping bombs on helpless women and children. As someone who supports Senator Obama, I say that cover would be as out of place as this one is.

    July 14, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  2. Rob indetroit

    After seeing the cover of the new yorker i became sick to my stomach. there are alot of stupid people who will believe that cover.

    July 14, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  3. Vicki S

    I am wondering if the next cover will be of John McCain whispering top secret information to the Viet Cong as he is waving goodbye to the other POW's at the Hanoi Hilton?? hmmmmm that would be some good satire.

    July 14, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  4. Ryan, Tempe AZ

    The difference between Colbert/Stewert is that they deal their commentary in the form of sarcasm and obvious exaggeration. The New Yorker showed stuff that people have said, but didn't make fun of the other side in the form of perhaps having McCain in a wheelchair with an oxygen tank. If he didn't directly mean to offend anybody, then put McCain on next month's cover.

    July 14, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  5. Ben

    The New Yorker will have to apologize–there is no two ways about it.

    This magazine should mark July 14th as being the worst day in their history.

    July 14, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  6. Moon Maiden from Lake Michigan


    July 14, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  7. activistmom

    Its too easy to pull the inherent racism and sexism out of people. You can read it above. I respect New Yorker's right to do it, but it totally backfired. People these days just arent smart enough.

    July 14, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  8. Tricia

    I'll never understand when people make mean statements or jokes and then they say the subject of that statement or joke needs to "lighten up". What about the magazine, do they have any responsibility? I thought not.

    July 14, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  9. I used to be a Democrat

    If Obama thinks that he is not going to be satired as a candidate, or as President, he's got another thing coming.

    Obama's people are acting like morons. Is everyone who opposes Obama a racist?

    July 14, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  10. Long Beach

    Here is to Freedom of Speech!

    I guess poor little Obama met his match with the New Yorker, he used media to hurt Hillary, but when it is his turn, he can't take it. This is how you know that Hillary IS the right MAN for the Job! Go Hillary!

    July 14, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  11. Boycott The New Yorker

    Once again, the New Yorker got it wrong.

    Do not dwell on such an idiotic subject. Move on, Barack Obama has run a respectable campaign.

    Obama 08

    July 14, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  12. Wow

    David you got it wrong. Put a picture of your mother on the cover, so we can talk about her. Michelle has two kids, what a stupid image for her kids to see there mother with bullets and guns.

    July 14, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  13. Susan

    You do know what the controvosy is – your attempt at satire turned into a smea that disgusted more people than you can begin to imagine. shame on you for approving this racist filth.

    July 14, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  14. Marlie I

    I cannot believe the hateful comments on this blog. There is still such a thing as good journalism, and this is the lowest of the low. Whatever is wrong with America. What a frightening nation you have become.

    July 14, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  15. Jamie

    It's satire and the article points out to the misconceptions some people have of him. The problem is obama brought this on himself and he's been whining like a baby at every single thing that he is the problem. He's just not the right candidate. I hope the superdelegates come to their senses at the convention. Nothing is cast in stone yet.

    July 14, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  16. bk

    OMG watch out if anyone says anything Obama will play the race card. What a whiner Obama is. I hate to think we have to put up with him whining for 4 years. He is a follower not a leader. He is actually more like Bush than McCain with his arrogant elitist attitude.

    July 14, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  17. Randy KCK

    I think Obama needs to trade that soft skin of his for some thicker rougher skin. I mean the man wont even cross his hart for the "Pledge of Allegiance" this act should speak volumes to all of us as "Americans". He isn't on our side he is not American. It's a sad, sad day when a wanna be hopeful president is hurt by a picture. Not just hurt but out raged and McCain he should expect to be next and he more than likely he will be, will he cry too 😦 God I hope not .
    Any candidate should expect this, it's happened every election, it's our freedom that is what makes AMERICA grand, beautiful and FREE, we will keep it that way it's the dream and the promise it's the life I love.
    So don't be soft. Is this what America is, are we a bunch of softy, cry babies that let some words or a cartoon hurt our little feelings. Not me what about you?

    July 14, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  18. David Newport, OR

    It is tasteless...but something I would totally expect from NY. Wanna bet it will be in an ad somewhere in one of those "battleground" states where the populous is not able to decipher "the ironic intent of the illustration".

    July 14, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  19. Wendy

    The New Yorker is pulling up the old racist tactics that will not work. Barack is better than the smear campaign that's online right now. It makes me sick that a person would do such a thing.

    July 14, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  20. Barry IL

    There is no humour in the New Yorker cover. It is not cool either. The weirdest thing of all is that there are still some people who believe Obama, who claims he is a Christian, may be a muslim. This is ignornace of the worst order. Where in the world a muslim person claims he/she is a Christian and go to Church? I think the 12% who think so must be living on another planet. Let alone for a muslim person to claim he is a Christian, those who convert from muslim to christian cannot survive a day among their community. Alas, few Americans still think about something that defies all realities in the rest of the world may be true. In other parts of the world, a muslim who dare to claim he is a christian commits the worst sin and blasphemy . Are we this ignorant about the rest of the world or just play the cheapest politics?

    July 14, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  21. carolflowery

    In remembrance to all Americans, get a grip, get your sense of humor back and for goodness sakes quit taking yourselves and your candidates so seriously to point of "worshipping them" it's unrealistic and no matter who gets in the President's office come January, there will just be more of this and many others

    July 15, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  22. Matt, Manchester, CT

    I guess the First Amendment only works for Liberals when it is supporting them or tearing down people who disagree with them. Ha ha ha.

    July 15, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  23. Jonathan

    It was funny. Get over it.

    July 15, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  24. Griff

    You can't escape your DNA... Mr Obama...

    July 15, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  25. Pat Carpenter

    The cover is not satire. It is just plain crude, rude, and reprehensible.

    July 15, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
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