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. Geneva Hill

    I have to be honest and say I don't read the New Yorker, and for good reason now. This country is in bad shape and no time for cartoons now.

    Come on all young open minded young people and intelligent thinking older people (like myself) OBAMA ALL THE WAY!

    July 15, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  2. OldBob

    Satire usually has an obvious target. The appropriate target of the New Yorker satire - the bozos who have complete misconceptions about Obama in the light of obvious evidence to the contrary - are nowhere to be seen in the cartoon. That's the problem.

    July 15, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  3. Nausea

    Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
    Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

    July 15, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  4. Jerome

    If you Yanks are stupid enough to vote for McBush than you deserve the crap you are in today. I mean if you can't see the mess Bush has created for your country

    – trillions in debt
    – two wars...one illegal
    -economy totally collapsing
    -hundreds of thousands innocent Iraqi's and thousands of US military killed
    -country splintered
    -loss of rights to privacy
    -torture of prisoners
    -etc. etc. etc.

    My god what does it take to wake you up?

    -

    July 15, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  5. Beverly, Minnesota

    Dear New Voter for McCain-

    I've never heard of anything more ridiculous! I can't believe people still think like you. It's no wonder this country is screwed up. I don't like the picture on the cover of the New Yorker, but the article itself clears up some myths about Senator Obama – some of the stuff you mention in your comment. Did you bother to read it? No, is what I think – you only looked at the cover. Think of a different excuse for not voting for him – if you changed your mind because of a magazine cover without reading the article itself – I would say that is just ignorant!!!

    July 15, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  6. Glenn, Cary, NC

    Let's see... Weather Underground radicals for friends and fund-raisers, attacks on people who wear flag lapel pins as false patriots, first time in her life she's been really proud of her country, his idea of Christianity comes from the teachings of Jeremiah Wright ... maybe Obama doesn't think the New Yorker cover is funny because it gets a little too close to the truth.

    July 15, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  7. Doug, New Jersey

    A Muslim would have a very good chance at getting my vote, well as good a chance as a Christian, Jew, Budhist ETC would.

    However I don't like racists and people who are defined by hate, so I won't be voting for this black liberation theologist.

    Yet, I can see why the white guilt libs who hate whitey more than any minority in America today would, Rev. Wright and Michelle helped secure Obama's support with them. I just ask that if they do ever wish to carry out their grand plans that they start with themselves, thanks for that wgld's. :)

    July 15, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  8. Lindo Atangan

    That cartoon depicting Obama and his wife as terrorists smack of blatant disrespect to the couple. It is stupidity at its height! This is no longer a political satire but a personal attack on the person of the Democratic presidential bearer.

    Shame on you New Yorker magazine!

    July 15, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  9. Jenny, Rio Vista, CA

    I am really hoping that most of the people that post negative comments about Obama are either a few of the 25% that still think Bush is a great president, metal patients that are using the hospital computer, or a few of the racist bigots that still live in their trailers.

    If you really are democrats that wanted Hillary as the nominee then I feel very sorry for you. Your anger is taking over your common sense thinking. Why on earth would you vote for someone who has opposite policies to Hillary, who wants combat forces to stay in Iraq, wants Phil Gramm as his treasurer, and has no healthcare plans.

    C'mon democrats. This is serious. Just look at what has happened these past few months. People are losing their homes, banks are going bankrupt, the war in Afghanistan is flairing up because of the war in Iraq, soldiers are dying every day. McCain is going to continue on this same path AND you are going to vote for him. Wake up please.

    July 15, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  10. Reality Check Richmond Virginia

    boy, alot of the comments on here seem like they came from a nut house. It appears alot of commentors are commenting about subjects not even discussed in the article above or didn't actually read Obama's reply.

    July 15, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  11. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Barack,

    Just wait until after the convention, and you are the Democratic Party candidate.

    The racist, bigotted forces are already at work here in San Antonio. Obama bumper stickers with his picture in the turban and his middle name, "HUSSEIN," larger than anything else on the bumper sticker.

    For all the greatness of this country, we still haven't grown-up when it comes to racial tolerance.

    We can't afford another Republican administration in the White House – not now!!!

    OBAMA – 2008 & 2012!!!

    July 15, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  12. G

    New Voter of Mccain
    You know you sound like an idiot right? And just proved Obama's point of the cover fuellng the rumor instead of squashing it. I can't believe that there are still Americans out there with such ignorant opinions. And yet these politicans and the editor of the New Yorker say Americans are smarter than this. I am starting to wonder?????

    July 15, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  13. Mike C.

    The Muslim world spans several continents and countless cultures. Why is the Middle Eastern outfit that Obama is shown to be wearing immediately regarded as "Muslim?"

    Mike C.
    Woodlands TX

    July 15, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  14. Will, NJ

    I'll admit the magazine was trying to satire rumors about Obama, but there should have been at least a small explanation on the cover seeing as how many Americans are too dimwitted and would take the images literally.

    July 15, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  15. KMAN

    In the New Yorkers failed attempt at politcal satire ... they have only proven that they are not nearly as sophisticated as they would like to believe they were. They have only fueled the fires of stupidity and racism that is so evident from the right winger's comments on this blog. Sorry New Yorker ... your 'sophisticated' efforts were lame and you didn't do one iota of good for your candidate!!

    July 15, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  16. beevee

    The New Yorker cartoon of the Obamas is clearly a slander. Inspite of the Editor says to defend its publication it is downright atrocious. I think it is a rightwinger's ploy to tarnish Obama.

    July 15, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  17. Jerome

    I know you won't print my comment but I hope you enjoy reading it and see what the world thinks of you.

    The once mighty USA is now on the verge of collapse. The only thing you have going for you is your arsenal of nuclear bombs.
    ________

    If you Yanks are stupid enough to vote for McBush than you deserve the crap you are in today. I mean if you can't see the mess Bush has created for your country

    – trillions in debt
    – two wars…one illegal
    -economy totally collapsing
    -hundreds of thousands innocent Iraqi's and thousands of US military killed
    -country splintered
    -loss of rights to privacy
    -torture of prisoners
    -etc. etc. etc.

    My god what does it take to wake you up?

    July 15, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  18. Clifford

    Democrats for McCain – or his VP. This lifelong voter will either not vote or vote for McCain. He's too old to survive 4 years in the White House. His VP choice will be the leader of our country. Go Romney!

    July 15, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  19. JP2Feminist

    For eight years, editorial cartoonists and the Left have caricatured President Bush as a monkey and a terrorist. I don't recall President Bush ever once whining about the gross lies and distortions that were leveled against him on a daily basis. If Obama wants to be President, he better learn now how to deal with his detractors. What a cry baby!

    July 15, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  20. Irene

    Whine Whine Whine. I am a victim and everyone falls at his feet

    He wants to be President. Welcome to public life. Now grow up and be a man

    I suppose this also means that if he becomes President the Washington cartoonists will get laid off because no one wants the whiner and victims feeling hurt.

    When is the Press going to show him for what he is? Scared of doing your job?

    His MO is whining and playing the victim and everyone lets him.

    What a bunch of suckers this country has turned into

    July 15, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  21. New Voter for McCain = REPUBLICAN IN HIDING

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    New Voter for McCain?

    HAHA I THINK NOT! Nice try.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    July 15, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  22. NotFallingInLine.org

    Why is Obama still whining about this cartoon?

    He hates all free speech that doesn't stroke his ego.

    And he knows that playing the victim works to his advantage.

    Apparently, he thinks the American people are easily distracted from the truth about him.

    Knoxville NFIL

    July 15, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    My fear with Barack Obama has nothing to do with skin color, religion, or having a american hater for a wife. It's that he keeps saying he wants to "transform America", but has anyone other than me noticed that he NEVER explains what he wants to transform the country into.

    His views on immigration are LUDICROUS! I come from an imigrant family and support immmigrants that come to the US LEGALLY! However, Obama wants us to allow anyone to come to the country, set up shop, and be ok with it. We have laws, and no matter what race you are or what country you are from, FOLLOW THEM. If I break the law by driving an uninsured car, I can go to jail. If an illegal comes here through "shady" means, we reward him with a greencard...go figure!

    July 15, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  24. EC

    I will vote against obama, to keep rev. wright out of the White House, and that ain't a joke. I do not want to see his hands on the knob to the door. For those that read this and think the writer is a White American, I'm not, I am a Black American.

    July 15, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  25. kim hussein taylor portland, oregon

    gawd, it's so shameful how ignorant some americans are on other countries and cultures. the world is a big, fascinating place, and thanks to the neoCONs, we are no longer one of the most respected countries on earth! obama is our only hope to gain back the respect of the rest of the world!

    sheesh, people, take a vacation outside of the country some time. and NO, Cabo does not count!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 15, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
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