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. NObama

    So much for the first amendment. I guess anything making fun of liberal or talk radio is worth censorship.

    Liberal democrats are the closest thing the US has to fascists.

    Though the objective was to attack lies and misconceptions, the Obama's as radical leftists matches very closely to their history.

    Obamabots won't like it, but then they never fancy the truth.

    July 14, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  2. Timothy

    This New Yorker Magazine is as lower than trash!!!

    July 14, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  3. Laura

    Obama is not the first public figure to be presented in this manner. The reaction to this cover by the campaign concerns me more than the cover. This is sattire for pete's sake. It makes me question his ability to be president even more. What is an Obama's presidency going to look like if he is reacting like this to the free speech of the media?

    July 14, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  4. Cheryl L. Swaim

    BHO can dish it out, but he can't take it.
    McKinney '08!!

    July 14, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  5. Leslie

    Can someone go back and do a history of African Americans, particularly women depicted on the New Yorker. Are there any positive images, probably not.

    Obama and Michelle, inspite of racists.

    July 14, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  6. deroy

    were these the OBAMA costumes at a costume party?

    no they would be scared of rifles.

    July 14, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  7. Jackson

    I agree with Janet from WV. This type of garbage just reinforces lies and slander.

    July 14, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  8. Samantha

    The big picture is lost in the front cover. Wrong decision.

    July 14, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  9. Chut Pata

    Unfortunately there are millions of idiots out there who will panic after seein the cover and vote for McBush.

    Then there is such a thing called "subliminal message" and this cover provides exactly that! It will get on the back of other millions of idiots who are not so idiots but will act as an idiot by voting McBush.

    After all these idiots and the not-so-idiots bought the idiotic idea that Iraq, and not Afghanistan, was the harbinger of terrorist and should be attacked. This idiocy has costed over 4,000 american lives and Bin Ladin is still free.

    July 14, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  10. Mavis

    The New Yorker is trash.

    July 14, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  11. Renee

    Obviously, the NEW YORKER has been talking to the producers of Saturday Night Live.

    How the mighty have fallen.

    July 14, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  12. jimmy velman


    July 14, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  13. strong

    There are more important things for Americans to be worried about.

    This flare-up here is just non-sense, a no-nothing news item which concerns nobody really.

    July 14, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  14. Tiffany

    The guy or whom ever can up with this they need to have sleepless night the New Yorker Magazine was reinforcing fear in the minds of people who thinks Obama is a Muslim. This New Yorker Magazine is very Low than Low how Low will the New Yorker Magazine go!! So dumb New Yorker Magazine.

    July 14, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  15. FEDUP

    Keep the caricature in the headlines just in case anybody missed it.

    July 14, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  16. Barbara

    They are probably in the "red" and needed something to bring attention to their magazine.

    July 14, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  17. Sybil

    Good job Brownie....or good job Davy-NOT.

    July 14, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  18. aware

    It is funny but as in all satire there is a grain of truth implied! 🙂

    The arrogant, obfuscating Obama is increasingly seen as untrustworthy so the satire plays to what are already legitimate fears!

    Obama needs to be concerned but he will lose regardless! 🙂

    July 14, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  19. Lelland

    He can't defend it, it's trash.

    July 14, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  20. Von

    The New Yorker should change it's name to the New Garbage Can.

    July 14, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  21. Marc PDX

    Some advice for the New Yorker (not original): "Whenever I find myself in a hole... I stop digging..."

    May just want to think about that one a little bit... 🙂

    July 14, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  22. HM

    This is another example of the right wing, neocon dominated press led by Fox News in a blatant attempt to defame Bara....

    Wait, did you say the New Yorker? Why it must be a phish job by the GOP b/c that magazine and its newspaper cousins, have always been for our well informed (dare I say liberal) thinking friends here in NY and everywhere else that matters, well New York anyway.

    I confused and a little hurt.

    July 14, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  23. Marsha

    So this is why Hillary is hanging on, apparently she knows that racism is alive and well in the halls of the New Yorker.

    July 14, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  24. Marc PDX

    This one will go down in history as a big media backfire gaffe. Funny how everyone around Obama finds him/herself in trouble. I haven't quite figured out why yet. Maybe too many people are trying to find ways to toss R-Bombs ("Racist!") and some of them are blowing up in their faces. Or maybe it's just "What goes around, comes around..."


    July 14, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  25. Paul, Tampa

    Truly tasteless New Yorker. You should be issuing an apology to the Obamas. Instead you are behaving like a spoiled teenager. Time to grow up!!

    July 14, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
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