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. PJudice

    Disgusting! Cancelled my subscription to the New Yorker.

    July 14, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  2. Excuse Me

    Mr. Remnick most certainly should apologize and yes he should defend himself. WHY because it was defensive!!!! Well he will get his 15 minutes of fame it will not be forgotten!!!!

    July 14, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  3. NotFallingInLine.org

    There's nothing that needs defending.

    While the supposed leaders of the party said nothing, we yelled for months as Obama fans attacked Hillary with rabid hate and many in the media made crude remarks about a leader of our party.

    What they did for months was and always will be offensive.

    The New Yorker's cover is satire.

    Clearly, the fanatical Obama cult followers think free speech only applies when it's their speech attacking others' beliefs or candidates.

    Knoxville NFIL

    We're not falling in line behind failed leaders and their selectee.

    July 14, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  4. Brookliar


    Don't blame Obama, he said he had NO COMMENT. In my book, that's not whining. If you want to talk about whining, talk to McSame and Dr. Phil Gramm. You idiot.

    July 14, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  5. C!

    I could see what they're going for.. but they messed up. They should've given some kind of hint for the dull people with no sense of humor...

    I'm a Obama supporter 110%... and I'm not offended by this cover... I think it says a lot about the rumors and bs that's been said about the Obama's.

    They could've saved it with one little title or line explaining their stance. They didn't.. feel the backlash boys. hahaha..

    OBAMA `08!

    July 14, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  6. Dane Kiambi

    The New Yorker cannot be right and everyone else wrong on this. This is an appalling example of irresponsible, sensational and subjective journalism which ought to be condemned in the strongest terms possible. To save face, the magazine must apologize to Senator Obama and his wife, Michelle, with the same prominence they gave this crude, highly inappropriate and offensive so-called illustration.

    July 14, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  7. lisa

    ===he got his 15 mins of fame=====

    ................i will no longer read the new yorker...................................

    ...........this guy has disrespected ALL Americans.

    July 14, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  8. Winston

    Mr. Remnick,

    This goes beyond the category of Satire. its tasteless.

    What would the reaction be from Hillary supporters if you depicted her in some despicable sexist putdown manner?

    What would the reaction be from McCain supporters if you depicted him in a manner bashing him over his age or his wife in a manner of an heir to a company that Mothers Against Drunk Drivers might be picketing?

    July 14, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  9. don

    The New Yorker should not have to defend itself. This campaign was getting boring. I need some satire inserted every now and then to lighten the mood. If anyone can't take the heat, leave the kitchen.

    July 14, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  10. momof3

    so.. it's a liberal media tried to "attack" McCain – ironic!!
    The ones that giving 'troubles' to Obama so far are his real good friends from his pastors, the Rev.JJ, Bernie, to the liberal media... but they all are McCain's fault...!! Typical!!!

    July 14, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  11. Dave, Illinois

    Nothing out of the stinking sinkhole that is New York suprises me. Im so glad I live in flyover territory. The culture on both coasts has sunk so low. One of the reasons I call myself a Republican is to be polar opposite of the party that is embraced by Hollywood and East-coast pop culture.

    July 14, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  12. nitro

    Only an idiot and a bigot would justify this.

    July 14, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  13. Wayne

    You cant underestimate the intelligence of the American people. The Average American is pretty stupid. Does he realized that he is referring to an electorate who voted for Bush TWICE!! Even with all the failures of Republican leadership at least 40% of this country is still considering McCain who has the same economic and foriegn agenda as Bush.

    So yes, Americans are quite dumb. If McCain is elected President it will demonstrate just how dumb this nation has become. The other nations of the world will run circles around us in the global economy.

    July 14, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  14. It's a done deal

    Brooklyn. Your exageration of Obama's position on this is rediculous. He commented. That's all. For someone who believes in free speach, you sure have a lot to say about Obama's right to free speach. Oh wait, that's right, as a candidate, you forfit that righht under your rules. Nice – just vote for McSam and shut up. You right wingers are scary. Thank god you will lose all control over what is left of our great nation.

    July 14, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  15. Sleezoid David Remnick

    BURN THE NEW YORKER, just as they depicted burning the American flags. They're morons and we should kick them to the curb.

    David Remnick can kiss my patriotic backside for all I care.

    From a real American to a sleezoid.

    July 14, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  16. Lloyd

    Where is the d cover of McSame in a wheel chair, and Cindy dressed as doll baby? I'm waiting for that cover. David Remnick is a scumbag.

    July 14, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  17. nitro

    How in the world do you think everyone will get this. I dont know of a single african american that saw things the way you idiots say they would. But I guessyou dont think that we count . Check us out in November, you wont like us very much then either.

    July 14, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  18. Obama mama, Grayslake IL

    Please find something better to put in the magzaine and stop this childish and stupid behavior of the 5th century, if you have nothing to put in the magazine write about stars and the moon we will still read the magazine.
    The cartoon of Obama and his wife is the dummest thing I have ever seen especially in this 21st century. I do not think It could have been an issue if it were on the show of some comedians not on the front page of a magazine. I do not know what the editor was thinking. He was for sure out of touch, please stop the hate attitude.
    Let us be at peace and talk about issues that concerns us as well as the rest of the world.

    July 14, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  19. Terrence (Winston Salem, NC)

    Brooklyn –
    If he wants to be my President, I would appreciate no more whining because it really makes us all look bad… We need strength for God sake not a baby… This comes with the job… He is fair game, his family is fair game that is just how it is, no matter if it is right or wrong, every President has had to take it and they have all simply shrugged it off… Why can't he?

    Because there is nothing satirical about the picture numbnut.

    July 14, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  20. Sharon

    I just got back from New York and had a wonderful time. After seeing the cover of the New Yorker magazine–us dummies in the midwest who aren't supposed to understand it, will be vacationing somewhere else.

    Obama 08

    July 14, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  21. Phil Newton Murphy, Oregon

    It's not satire. It's ugly, exploitive racism.

    July 14, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  22. Gail AL.

    Ihave had a vision in my mind for months, about Obama and Michele,the cover of the new york magazine is my vision.

    July 14, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  23. Victor

    Does the New Yorker hate black people or muslims? I don't get it.

    I wear an Afro, is that supposed to be a negative thing?

    David Remnick is a pig.

    July 14, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  24. H-ROD


    July 14, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  25. NotFallingInLine.org

    Actually, I suppose the point of defending the cover is to keep it in the spotlight. Well done, Mr. Remnick.

    If Barry Bam Bam can't take the political heat, then he should go play some more golf and leave the real work to women like Hillary Clinton.

    Knoxville NFIL

    July 14, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22