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. CLINTON 08 VP

    "PUSH THE DEATH PENALTY FOR 9/11 OSAMA BIN LADEN" YEAH SO WE COULD ALL FEEL BETTER BY RELEASING ALL OUR "REVENGE TENSIONS" WE MAY HAVE... THAT'S WHAT McBUSH WOULD SAY ABOUT OSAMA AND ALL AL-QAEDA MEMBERS, KILL, KILL, KILL, WAR, KILL... OF COURSE, IF THEY EVER FIND HIM... (DEAD OR ALIVE, OSAMA IS LIKE 70 ISN'T HE?)

    UNITED WE'RE STRONGER

    OBAMA (P) & CLINTON (VP) 2008-2014

    NO TO "BUSH II" (MCCAIN), NO TO MR. WAR, MR. DEATH, MR. OOPS I BUMP MY HEAD, YOU'RE TOO OLD AND YOU ARE "WAR-SICK" SINCE YOU WERE PRISONER IN VIETNAM, YOU WON'T BE PRESIDENT!

    July 15, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  2. deeinjersey

    Wow. Just wow. I hope a good number of these posts are from a 10 year old just trying to cause trouble, otherwise this country is in BIG trouble.

    I guess I now truly understand why we have had 2 terms of Dubya. I truly have underestimated the racisim and lack of intellect in this country.

    July 15, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  3. CD

    Hillary supporters are so naive, bias, bitter, whiners and are all hallucinators. What do you mean by a flawed process? The same process that nominated Al-Gore and no tantrums were thrown, the same process that nominated John Kerry and no tantrums and now a black man wins and the racists and wild clawed feminists are crying the process is flawed. It was Hillary that was throwing the kitchen sink, insulting Obama and praising our opponent John McCain because of her greed for power and now you dare point fingers at Obama? You Clinton supporters can go to hell and sit on a cold toilet sit for all I care, what an audacity and I'm tired of your twisted lies and pettiness. You guys want to destroy the democratic party? Well I've got news for you all today, it takes two to play this game and yes we can also destroy the party if Hillary ever dares to run again. Please stay home this november while we build the future. Nonsense!

    July 15, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  4. bernadette

    like all other issues, Obama has faced this with calm and character. He is the type of person we need to lead us, not a hot-headed guy who doesn't know the difference between sunni and shia or the correct name of the Czech Republic, in spite of his many travels abroad and vast 'experience' on foreign affairs. Obama also is the only candidate who has vision – he had vision to know the war in Iraq was wrong and for over a year and a half has been arguing that we need to spend our resources in Afghanistan and Pakistan to fight the terrorists that attacked us – McCain just 'got that' today.

    July 15, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  5. nitro

    If David Remnick could perdict what millions and millions of people think then we could say that he is psycic. But since we know hes not we call it what it is, A racist attempt to discredit the next President of the United States of America.

    July 15, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  6. aware

    It is funny, and it does tap into legitimate fears people have about the arrogant, obfuscating Obama and his wife! :(

    The obvious satire triggers the fear button even if the image is over-kill! And, Obama is so stuck on himself that he is losing credibility fast!

    July 15, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  7. jeri Fletcher

    All of you are willing to let idiots sway your vote or believe that Obama
    is a Muslim or that is doesn't love his country are very small minded, even when the magazine says it was trying to prove that they are lies (they didn't do a very good job) but still, PEOPLE WAKE UP

    July 15, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  8. Obamalism

    LOL, too ironic. Can someone name the other group that gets all bent out of shape about cartoons?!?!?

    To be honest, I'm more afraid of his black liberation theology than the possibility of him being a muslim.

    July 15, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  9. JFK

    And it apparently shows how Obama again does not understand humor when it comes to satire. But what makes me wonder is why did he not act this concernred over Rev Wright or Jesse Jacksons comments?

    July 15, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  10. Asian4Hillary

    The truth hurts!

    July 15, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  11. Julie

    Obama has such grace. He has been forced to answer to ridiculous issues like patriotism and this nonsense – that none of the other candidates have had to deal with – and yet he has done it eloquently. While, on the other hand, McCain was asked how his military background qualifies him to be president – and he threw a hissie and had to be rescued by one of his caretakers. It's a shame that the same standards of scrutiny aren't being applied to the mccain camp.

    July 15, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  12. jeri Fletcher

    All of you are willing to let idiots sway your vote or believe that Obama
    is a Muslim or that is doesn't love his country are very small minded, even when the magazine says it was trying to prove that they are lies (they didn't do a very good job) but still, PEOPLE WAKE UP, SEE THE LIES FOR WHAT THEY REALLY ARE

    July 15, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  13. Ms. RDS

    Why are people continuing to say stop whinning when he says he could care less about the cover. He didn't comment Sunday when it came out b/c he doesn't care.

    July 15, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  14. Brooke

    Obama is great at playing the victim. I don't trust a man who can't laugh at himself. He sounds like he favours Bush's attacks on the 1st Amendment

    July 15, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  15. Teron

    I believe Senator Obama's cultural exhibition (i.e. picture in African/"muslim" regalia) has fueled his own demise and honestly he has only himself to blame. Though, he "won" the nomination he needs to recognize that political cartoons really do have some merit to the truth. In addition, because he too often chose to use racial issues in speeches/debates, again he focused more attention on this area of concern. He doesn't really use good judgement and this is why he continually apologizes for his words time and time again.

    July 15, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  16. Asian4Hillary

    WE THE PEOPLE want an AMERICAN PRESIDENT, NOT A BLACK PRESIDENT!!!

    YOU'RE NOT GOING TO TURN THIS COUNTRY INTO ZIMBABWE NOBAMA!

    July 15, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  17. Fav, Colorado

    It didn't lie, it spoke the truth – truth that you don't want revealed because you won't get your prize otherwise.

    Stop playing a martyr Obama, like most of your people tend to do, face the truth – and leave our country!!

    July 15, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  18. Linda Feldman

    Satire is based on truth. The New Yorker cover is not satire because it is based on lies. We cancelled our subscription.

    July 15, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  19. John

    I don't see what Obama is so up at arms about. This cartoon clearly points out how ludicris Right's campaign to paint him as a muslim terrorist has become. The title is The Politics of Fear! The cartoon doesn't reinforce the right's message, it tears it down.

    July 15, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  20. Kelby from Houston, TX

    Good article, bad cover. this is the type of cartoon you put on the inside of the magazine with a small caption saying "This is what the GOP want you to see when you look @ Obama

    July 15, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  21. Realkman

    Satire requires at least 100 IQ. Looking at the voting records of Americans in the last 2 elections, it is clear that the majority of the country does not have this minimum threshold. Short of the IQ requirement, this cartoon becomes an extension of the misperceptions laid out by the skilfull fear-mongering Republican machine. And all these people here who make it sound like they agree with the the cartoon, shame on you. Your hatred of who knows what is overcoming your judgement. Look at what happened to this country in 8 years. If you want more of it, vote McCain. I can guarantee you that he will attack more countries and he will destroy this economy even further. Obama is not perfect, but he is certainly the better choice.

    July 15, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  22. Brandon Hillary PUMA for Mc Cain-Pa

    There will be a "Bradley effect" this november-
    Another thing one should consider when reviewing obama's shrink in polls and the image thats being defined for him before we have even had major party conventions

    Puma.

    July 15, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  23. Obamarama

    It's only a cartoon if it's funny. Also, on the earlier Obama article...CNN you forgot to add that Iraq wants us out of their country...and that alone is reason enough to leave.

    July 15, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  24. randy

    LISA, your a sure loser barack obama will be president if you vote for him or not.

    barack obama 08!

    July 15, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  25. King

    It looks like "We don't really know him" and "He flip-flops on the issues" are the Blog Troll talking points today-

    Well if you'd get your news from anyone but Hannity and Rush (a supremacist and a drug addict, respectively) then you'd know exactly who the man is-

    And McCain can't hold a position to save his political life- he's flip- flopped on NAFTA, Afghanistan, Social Security, Immigration, the GI BIll et al-

    His message changes depending on his audience, and we will not be fooled

    July 15, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
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