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. Silence Dogood

    It is a sad day when the mentality of the average American has dropped so low that they don't even know what satire is. This could have been a real slam on all the Obama right wing mythologies. But the Obama chose instead to be a victim over being intelligent.

    Is Obama saying his followers are not smart enough to get the obvious satire?

    Hate bloggers: look up "satire" or get someone to explain it to you.

    July 14, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  2. McCain is way toooo OLD!

    McCain was not even born in the US!!

    He'll also need diapers in his 1st term!!!

    Time for grampa to take a nap! No McLies

    July 14, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  3. D'Anne

    Brooklyn... you know you are whining, right?

    July 14, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  4. Winston

    I would hope that every sensible advertisers pull their ads from that magazine.

    July 14, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  5. Roberta, NC

    It is obviously satire...but if it helps keep Obama out of the Oval Office then That is only an added, unplanned benefit! I am LMAO!

    Do some research into political satire and you will find something to offend every candidate and every person in America! But that is one of the reasons that we are LAND OF THE FREE, HOME OF THE BRAVE! Everyone has a right to an opinion...right or wrong, patriotic or offensive, funny or "I don't get it"! Freedom of expression is what makes us truly unique. My vote in November goes to the candidate I feel is most qualified to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States"...so help me God it will!

    Hillary (it's not too late) Clinton or John (the next best choice) McCain '08

    July 14, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  6. Geri

    I looked at the cover and laughed my fanny off. I took it as a joke. You people need to lighten up.

    July 14, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  7. Lesley

    It is tasteless, pure and simple. Talk about subliminal messages. This is satire-gone-wild. No wonder McCain is repudiating it. He could be next!

    July 14, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    New Yorker is tres liberal and tres Democrat about many things . . . but not about the Middle East. The reason – It caters to the sensibilities of a certain kind of New York voter – one that wants Democrats to be warlike in the Middle East. Does this really need to be spelled out? A lot of Jewish voters don't like Obama, because they want the U.S. to remain stuck in Iraq and bombing Iran as well. Israel's supposed well-being gets higher priority than the well-being of the United States. And the New Yorker is a cultural expression of that mindset.

    July 14, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  9. Debby, NJ

    New Yorker
    You will regret this cover!!!

    July 14, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  10. RB

    What about Rev. Wright's right as an American to speak what he felt, Brooklyn? Don't be a hypocrit.

    July 14, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  11. TEXAS



    UPSET and I'm a REPUBLICAN.................Call it whining it is a disgrace!!!!!!

    July 14, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  12. BRONX

    Hey BROOKLYN, stop calling the kettle black. You sound like a two year old who has to go to his room.

    July 14, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  13. Jacob

    Stop the whining. People complain that others distort Obama's positions by not reading all the details and taking things out of context. We'll same thing with the New Yorker cover. Deal with it and recognize it for what it is, a political cartoon/satire. If you're shallow enough to believe in a cartoon it speaks volumes about yourself for not investigating further. People say dumb and stupid things in this country but its their right whether you agree with it or not.

    July 14, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  14. hellesq

    Mr. Remick's (and the New Yorker's) mistake likes in confusing the intelligence of the American people with the intelligence of American politicians. Irony, like candor, is not within the latter's rhetorical skill set.

    July 14, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  15. bob

    Brooklyn, you are the one that is whinning. Obama hasn't even commented on this latest attack and he has handled every attack a lot better than Hillbillary and McFrankenstein.

    July 14, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  16. Andrea

    The cover, while a well intended idea, was over the top in this political atmosphere.

    July 14, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  17. lamike

    What Mr. Remnick smugly calls art or satire is blatant racism. If he doesn't understand how the republication of this cover will be used to hurt Mr. Obama, Mr. Remnick has his head where it doesn't belong. It reminds me of the cartoons many years ago that depicted my Irish ancestors as monkeys.
    My wife and I are long time subscribers to the New Yorker; our relationship came to an end today.

    July 14, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  18. Sal

    and it is not "Colbert in print" Colbert and Jon Stewart are funny, this cover is not.

    July 14, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  19. DeeDee

    Brooklyn, I wish you would give Obama the same treatment you are giving the New Yorker and Mr. Remnick. Oh, I forgot people like you don't seem to think he is an American, so he doesn't have the right to free speech. If he strugs it off he's weak, if he speaks against it he's whining. We don't seem to know what we want or need.

    July 14, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  20. DeeDee

    Brooklyn...you do know that you are whining, right?

    July 14, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  21. Lisa in Ga.

    I am working on a cartoon figure showing McCain in a diaper along with the other four members of the Keating 5 or shall I say Cheating five. I might throw in some women with chains around the necks since he doesn't respect women.....also a small book in his hand that says "Learn how to remember what I said with lying".... also a fire burning a piece of paper with all the names of my lobbyist friends.....

    July 14, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  22. kelly WI

    Loved the pic. It says it all.

    July 14, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  23. LYN

    I am still thankful that we live in a country where such a thing can be published without a beheading. Long live America and our freedoms.

    July 14, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  24. CB2

    Brooklyn: please give all of us a break and SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE!!!! BO isn't whining about anything. This is nothing compared to what others had to endure. BO can take...just as long as John McSHAME and his WIFE can take it as well.

    July 14, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  25. Sick & Tired

    I hate to inform you BROOKLYN; but your rights stop at the point of infringing on the rights of other citizens. The problem with some US citizens is that they want rights without responsibilities.

    July 14, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
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