July 14th, 2008
09:30 AM ET
15 years ago

Obama camp calls New Yorker cover 'tasteless and offensive'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/14/art.cover.ny.jpg
caption="The New Yorker magazine says its latest cover is just satire."]

(CNN) - Barack Obama's campaign has sharply criticized The New Yorker magazine over the publication's latest cover illustration that appears to portray the Illinois senator and his wife, Michelle, as terrorist enemies of the United States.

Specifically, the cover, published Sunday, shows Obama in the Oval Office dressed in traditional Muslim attire and Michelle with an "Afro" hairstyle carrying a machine gun. An American flag can also be seen burning in the fire place and a picture of Osama bin Laden hangs on the wall.

Watch: Journalists debate the New Yorker Cover

"The New Yorker may think, as one of their staff explained to us, that their cover is a satirical lampoon of the caricature Senator Obama's right-wing critics have tried to create," Obama spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement.

"But most readers will see it as tasteless and offensive. And we agree."

John McCain campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds said he agreed with Burton's sentiment.

iReport.com: Satire or slander? Share your thoughts

Obama himself refused to comment on the illustration Sunday.

Full story

soundoff (306 Responses)
  1. ET


    July 14, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  2. Kyle

    I Love It!

    Freedom of speech is alive and well in America.
    Finally an accurate portrail of My Belle and Barry.

    July 14, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  3. Jose Card - Independent

    I don't find the cover to serve any purpose other than to increase the sales of the publication. Whatever The New Yorker might indicate, we should all reserve the freedom of speech. I do hope Senators Obama and McCain both agree on this one.

    At least, it is made in the USA.

    July 14, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  4. Larry WI

    perfect, someone not afraid to print what many of us consider a definate threat. Could not have portrayed it any better myself. Good job NEW YORKER

    July 14, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  5. Liam Danhof

    I alway had a great amount of respcet for The New Yorker but now....never again will I read this rag.....I bet in a million years they would never publish anything like this for McBush. Shame on you!
    Every right wing nut is going to go out and buy this issue and have it hanging in the living room. Thank you New Yorker for setting this country back to the middle ages. We have loads of problems and now this. Again, SHAME ON YOU!!!! Liam Danhof

    July 14, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |





    July 14, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  7. Xavier, Saint Louis, MO

    Just goes to show you how ignorant people are going to be when Obama is President; unfortunately, get use to it, because come November he's winning!

    Obamanation '08


    July 14, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  8. Multinational American

    Not living in America all of your life is not a qualification to be a "complete America". I personally lived outside of America for more than 1/2 of my early life as the dependent of a miliitary father.
    It is statememts like the one made by "JohnBoy" that show the depth of ignorance and racsim which prevades in America today.

    On the other had I agree that the seal showing Obama with the reference to the Office of the President was over the top also.

    We as Americans have the right of free speech which is guaranteed by the Constitution, but we should always posess the intellegence to use that right for positive and not negative discourse. The cover done by the New Yorker, while it may be politacal satire, is in very poor taste. While the editors and staff may think this type of cover is funny, the fact of the matter is it will only serve to reinforce the falsehood of Mr. Obama 1) being a Muslim, and 2) his presidency being an aid to the Radical Islamic cause.

    Lastly, it is my opinion that the New Yorker cover is an insult to all practicing Muslims in America, the majority of whom "DO NOT" align themselves with the Radical Islamic cause.

    July 14, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  9. Jon-Patrick

    "Obama spent 1/2 his life outside the USA, he is not a complete American."

    If that un-makes an American, you have a lot to explain to the thousands of US service men, women and their children who live oversees in our foreign installations.

    July 14, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  10. Danielle, TX

    The article may be good, but how many people will read the article, versus those who will just look at the cover? Tasteless, INDEED!!

    July 14, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  11. J.L.Warren

    and just what credentials does "journalist" Clarence Page carry that warrant CNN taking his opinion as their position?

    July 14, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  12. Buddy

    The truth Hurts. They hate America look who their friends are. NOBAMA!

    July 14, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  13. Gail

    I think it's a great cover and it will stimulate discussion on the matter and hopefully lay to rest the absolutely ridiculous lies the right wing is trying to circulate about the Obamas.

    July 14, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  14. Roger

    wow people are idiots

    July 14, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  15. Kevin

    WOW, heads should roll for this!!

    July 14, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  16. Jane

    This was an extremely LAME attempt at satire. Of course, savvy New Yorker readers are going to "get it." But I'm worried about the other 90%: the rest of our sound-bite addicted country: those who had misconceptions about Obama's religious extremism and lack of patriotism in the first place. Months were spent dispelling rumors about Obama's "Muslim" heritage and his middle name. And this just re-opens the wound. The New Yorker evidently doesn't regard the polls that indicate the scary percentage of people who still believe that Obama is a secret Muslim extremist.

    Doesn't the New Yorker realize that just by showing this cover over and over again on FOX News, that the lies about the Obamas continue and fester? Sean Hannity's week has just been made...........

    I love political cartoons, but this one was over the top, and in extremely bad taste.........


    July 14, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  17. Keke

    I think the New Yorker magazine cover is racist and tasteless. Can we say perception is reality here?

    July 14, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  18. Chris, Middletown, CT

    While wrapping yourself in "freedom of the press" – I guess you can say anything you want – maybe for the next cover you could show McCain tossing Jews into an oven...oh that sattire would be so funny (not) –

    July 14, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  19. would be funny except

    There are too many uneducated people in this country who are still not aware that Barack Obama is a Christian. This would be funny except for people's ignorance. Many people still believe the Republican spread rumor that Barack Obama is a Muslim.

    July 14, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  20. Terry from VA

    When they run a cover showing McCain collaborating with his Viet Cong captors, boozing with women in Jacksonville, FL, adultery after Carol McCain's car accident and before their divorce, his questionable conduct as a member of a group that was the center of the largest savings and loan fraud and collapse in the United States, then, I will believe the cover on Senator and Mrs. Obama is just satire.

    July 14, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  21. Scott, Wichita

    That's hilarious!

    July 14, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  22. KStone

    I find the New Yorker offensive and tasteless too. But more importantly, it serves to perpetuate the insidious notion that Sen. Obama has a hidden un-American agenda. That he is a closet Muslim! What if he is? Being a Muslim and a patriotic American are not mutually exclusive.

    July 14, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  23. Jean

    Well I think it is a crying shame someone would run down anyone in this fashion.

    July 14, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  24. Evadney

    This COVER is beyond tasteless!! This is 2008.

    July 14, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  25. Alan Boyer

    I hope the New Yorker does a cover with John McCain in bed with Cindy while his first wife is in a hospital bed recovering for a horrific auto accident. The difference is that the McCain illustration would depict undisputed facts.

    July 14, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
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