July 15th, 2008
05:10 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama: New Yorker cover fueled some misconceptions

CNN

Watch part of Obama's interview with Larry King. Catch the full interview with Obama on CNN's Larry King Live tonight, 9 p.m. ET.

(CNN) - Barack Obama on Tuesday called the controversial New Yorker cover that unflatteringly depicts him and his wife an unsuccessful attempt at satire that will likely fuel misconceptions he has long battled over the course of his presidential campaign.

But in an exclusive interview with CNN's Larry King, the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate downplayed the impact of the illustration — which depicts him in Muslim attire in the Oval Office, with wife Michelle carrying a machine gun.

iReport.com: Satire or slander? Share your thoughts

"It's a cartoon…and that's why we've got the First Amendment," Obama said. "And I think the American people are probably spending a little more time worrying about what's happening with the banking system and the housing market, and what's happening in Iraq and Afghanistan, than a cartoon. So I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about it."

"I've seen and heard worse," he said. "I do think that, you know, in attempting to satirize something, they probably fueled some misconceptions about me instead. But, you know, that was their editorial judgment."

The cover, which also depicts a U.S. flag burning in the fireplace and a picture of Osama bin Laden on the wall, drew heavy criticism from both political parties after it first circulated the Internet over the weekend. Both presidential campaigns immediately condemned the magazine, calling the illustration "tasteless and offensive."

Earlier: New Yorker editor defends cover

David Remnick, the longtime editor of the highly-regarded publication, told CNN Monday that he believes the ironic intent of the illustration will be clear to most Americans.

Watch: Journalists debate the New Yorker Cover

In Obama’s wide ranging CNN interview Tuesday - the entirety of which is set to air tonight on Larry King Live at 9 p.m. ET - the Illinois senator seemed to give cautious approval of the government's response to the turmoil surrounding mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Full story

soundoff (285 Responses)
  1. Military Man

    I'd like to buy the man a sense of humor.

    Failure.

    July 15, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  2. ANGIE

    what a great guy hes not whining but focusing on the issuses way to go barack cant wait until you become president!!!!!!

    July 15, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  3. german man

    Lets Drill.
    Is that what the people want to hear.

    Wait, no we can't drill now.

    Wait. yes we can.

    No we better not drill.

    Signed
    Obama

    July 15, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  4. Lisa

    No more tea parties for Barack and his supporters!!!

    July 15, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  5. Chuck

    He responds to a cartoon by saying "we should illegally violate Pakistani territory and kill Osama bin Laden?" Usually he just snickers and calls these things "silly."

    Did the New Yorker get your goat there Barry?

    July 15, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  6. Tim

    Why did Obama's people agree to do an important interview while the All Star game is playing? CNN should replay the segment tomorrow for those who miss it.

    July 15, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  7. FEDUP

    Yeah right, Chris Dodd has a primo mortgage with Countrywide, this on the heels of failing banks. Not a good VP choice if you ask me..

    July 15, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  8. jen

    Tomorrow night McCain will be on Larry King to parse a few of Obama's words, and take credit for figuring out we need more troops in Afghanistan which obama figured out a year and a half ago.

    July 15, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  9. al

    *************************************

    CLEAR SOUND JUDGEMENT.

    THATS WHAT WE NEED.

    STOP THE MADNESS. VOTE OBAMA.

    July 15, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  10. rachel

    Why no outrage when they showed hillary and barack in bed reaching for the red phone? Why is it that it seems that Barrack is the only person that noone can make fun of?

    July 15, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  11. Marcello

    Obama's right. We have more important things to worry about than a cartoon. It's time to put this subject to rest.

    July 15, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  12. daniel

    Obama is on the money, the cartoon is tasteless, but there are more presing issues to be concerned about than a silly cartoon.

    July 15, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  13. Italy

    Free Country , free spech , this is what you got Obama. Be a man and not a little baby.

    July 15, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  14. AJ

    Collect all New Yorker magazines and make a bon fire!!!

    July 15, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  15. RyanD.

    Well said!

    Obama 08'

    July 15, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  16. Jon in WA

    Very fair. Political cartoons will happen, and you can't reply to them all.

    July 15, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  17. kim hussein taylor portland, oregon

    "The cover, which also depicts a U.S. flag burning in the fireplace and a picture of Osama bin Laden on the wall,"

    THAT is where they stepped over the line and why many of us are so upset. if it were just the charicatures-no big deal!!!

    but the burning flag and picture of bin laden went WAAAYY over the line. there are too many ignorant americans who dont even know what satire means, let alone that that's what the new yorker thought they were doing. for a bunch of smart, talented people, adding those two things was an EXTREMELY stupid decision!!!

    maybe when obama obliterates the pathetic No Child Left Behind, americans will get a better education; it's scary how clueless and self-destructive some people are!

    July 15, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  18. Bill From Florida

    I will not vote for Obama, but what he said to Larry King, I respect him for that. He could have really played the race card , but he chose not
    to.

    July 15, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  19. Nom Deplume

    What people fail to comprehend is that the NY'er, a MSLM publication, focused only on the traits that are flat out false or that the Obama Camp feels it can rebut.

    Nowhere a mention of his socialist agenda, and the fact that he surrounded himself with far left thinkers that are against gun ownership, free markets, private property rights and conservative speech.

    By satirizing muslim and anti-american rumors, it deflects our attention from those unsavory attributes about Obama that they don't want us to focus on, and that they don't even try to rebut.

    Got Freedom?

    July 15, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  20. lorraine tartaglio

    obhma obhma why dont u all give him the presdiency already because he sure dont ave to work for it all the media is giving it to him what a bios country this has become , what a shame when the media has more influance then the people when the media reports half truths , and dont tell stories about amercian troops who are getting beheaded , but want us to fell sorry for aperson who is in prison for 5 years for trying to kill amerciand are u all kidding me what is really the truth is there any1 out there with the b.... to say it like it really is
    as for me i am not voting and am encourgaging people i knew not to as it is alrady desided as to who the winner is oh what a country that i loce has subcome to and at wat cost

    July 15, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  21. Obama Supporter from FL

    Who cares? McCain doesn't know that Czechoslovakia doesn't even exist anymore!! My goodness – I can't believe the trivial crap that people focus on.

    July 15, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  22. Tully

    The cover just shows what the rest of america thinks. Not everybody is brain washed by obama yet!

    July 15, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  23. Darth Vadik, CA

    Lets just stick to the issues, you know, economy, war, etc etc.

    July 15, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  24. Dems be dopes

    Can anyone name a religious group that gets upset with cartoons?

    July 15, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  25. Stone Sanchez

    Yeah, I've heard that McCain is really just a spy for the Vietnamese too

    July 15, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12