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. Hillary Backer for McCain

    That's what you get for not going away and quitting so that our Hillary could become the next President.

    July 14, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  2. Bulldog

    The Clinton campaing is the one who originally sent out a picture of Obama in African garb that attempted to make him look "Muslim". That was a horrible GOP tactic that is being used by them today along with other hateful lies, but it was Clinton who engaged in this type of horrible manipulation first. Thank you so much.

    July 14, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  3. jfs Memhis, Tn

    I actually think that this magazine could be sued for libel or something ???? Pretty serious visual.......since most people DO NOT read ANY longer the cover sends a VERY serious and FALSE message. I think that the campaign should sue.....or insist that TV, Radio , Internet ads, Newspaper retractions be paid for over the next month to apologize and correctly inform. The purpose of our free press is to fairly and JUSTLY inform........not take it upon themselves to drive or misguide public opinion. REALY PRETTY STUPID.......COULD PUT THE NEW YORKER out of business.

    July 14, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  4. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    Hey, folks, let's all pitch in and buy Obama a sense of humour!

    July 14, 2008 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  5. Florida democrat

    Let's hope it exposes these ridiculous lies and beliefs about Obama and his wife. My parents live in NC and they still believe the man is Muslim and that he is from Kenya.

    There are many ignorant people in this country that need something more than Obama stating he is not Muslim. I hope The New Yorker cover will be discussed in all news outlets so that average Americans can be told of the satire and can be educated on the truth.

    I personally find the cartoon very offensive by itself but I certainly understand the need to push these issues into the media spotlight. It is absurd how many ignorant people there are in the US.

    July 14, 2008 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  6. Shame ON YOU!!!!!

    The New Yorker magazine .........Disgusting!!!

    July 14, 2008 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  7. spruce

    As an Obama supporter and a reader of the New Yorker, I found the cover to be exceptionally funny. Given the source, it was obviously lampooning right wing caricatures of Obama.

    To Bill Burton, I say lighten up. To JohnBoy, I say get your facts straight: Aside from living in Indonesia from 1967 to 1971, Obama has spent his entire life living in the United States.

    July 14, 2008 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  8. Joseph

    So what if Obama spent half his life outside the US??? Didn't many of our founding fathers come here from outside too???? Think before you speak my friend!

    July 14, 2008 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  9. Sheri

    This is very disrespectful to all Americans. and RACIST.
    It will BACKFIRE

    July 14, 2008 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  10. Dave

    It's a magazine. The more attention the more sales.

    July 14, 2008 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  11. Bulldog

    This is a picture in time of what the GOP is trying it's hardest to paint. There are many ignorant people who still believe that Obama is a Muslim, which he is clearly a Christian, and the GOP is sending out immoral lies in the forms of emails and through the media to manipulate ignorant voters. People need to be responsible and do their own research rather than blindly following and believing these lies.

    July 14, 2008 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  12. Jeanine G

    I too find the cover tasteless, but I believe Obama will simply have to roll with it and declare his displeasure and then move on and use it as a learning tool to teach the willfully ignorant the truth.

    There are still too many folks out there forwarding lies in emails or speaking amongst themselves about these untruths and they need to be addressed firmly and definitively.

    OBAMA '08

    July 14, 2008 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  13. WHY!!!

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    The New Yorker magazine ………Disgusting!!!....CNN WHY is this awaiting moderation?

    July 14, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  14. Chris11

    Ok if the joke is on you it is tasteless... but if Bernie Mac makes an off color (or gender) joke at a fundraiser you just "mess" around with it and accept it?! Why is it that the rest of the world must take it but the second someone does something Obamessiah doesn't approve of then it is unacceptable?!

    Somebody please stop reporting on this man... he is a joke!

    July 14, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  15. Jeff

    Does the Obama camp ever stop crying?? Once again, this is an attempt to throw attention anyplace but Obama and his lack of substance. The fact that McCain and Obama are our candidates for President truly shows that the electorate in this nation is a confederacy of dunces!!

    July 14, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  16. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    VI writes, "Ah! A taste of what Hillary endured!"

    Blah blah blah!

    As if Hillary was an angel.

    Love how HRC supporters think she and only she got treated unfairly.

    Give it a rest ladies.

    July 14, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  17. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    Jesse, Bernie and New Yorker, with "friends" like these, Obama is going to have to work even harder to beat McCain.
    Fortunately, in the states he needs, he's holding just fine. Heck, even Zogby has him VERY COMPETITIVE in ARIZONA.

    July 14, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  18. Obama-Junkie, IL

    Of course The New Yorker is showing a tasteless and offensive image of Obama and his wife. This begs to question who were the "folks" at the New Yorker who thought this image of the Obamas was "satirical". A picture is worth a thousand words, so how does the New Yorker expect people to react to this "controversial cover"?

    How many controversial covers have the New Yorker had with leading presidential candidates and wives like John and Cindy McCain, or Bill and Hillary Clinton, or George and Laura Bush on the front?

    July 14, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  19. Ian

    Wasn't John McCain born in Panama? I thought that you had to be born in the U.S. to be president?

    July 14, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  20. Dan

    All Obama does is whine...get over yourself.

    July 14, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  21. Alex

    The only word to describe the cover of that magazine is inaccurate. If you're talking about burning the American flag in the fireplace and committing terrorist actions, Bush and McCain should be the ones in that picture. The level of state-run terrorism that the United States performs in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world is the lowest form of imperial ignorance of others rights.

    They don't hate us because we're free, they hate us because we try and take away their freedom to choose their own rights and privileges in their own country. That goes for more than just Iraq. While Obama isn't the best on this issue, at least he wants to talk to our "enemies" and hear them out, rather than attack them illegitimately like Bush and McCain. We don't deal with the likes of Iran because they are state supporters of terror? The reason most of these countries don't like to deal with us is because we ARE state terror.\

    Get that cover out of here New Yorker, your basis for it is inaccurate and harmful.

    July 14, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  22. Hillary Clinton

    Barack and Michelle Obama are not radical Muslim terrorists........
    as far as I know.

    July 14, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  23. Shannon

    Maybe Mr Obama should stop whining. I guess it was ok to trash Hillary everyday, but the thin skinned, whining Obama's can't accept a little satire! I still think David Brooks had it right, when he called him Fast Eddy. It's a perfect name!

    July 14, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  24. PJ Independent, New York

    Actually, the photo/cover is not far from the truth. Yes, I'm just another 'bitter' Hillary Clinton supporter who will not support/vote Obama in November.

    July 14, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  25. T GUY


    July 14, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
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