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 got screwed

    Oh he is sooooo sensitive !!!!!

    July 14, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  2. Brittany

    If you call 6 years 1/2 of someone's life who is 46...you need to redo the math.

    Check your facts before you start talking crazy.

    And if it was a cover of John McCain in a wheelchair and his wife as a filthy rich barbie doll, you McCain supporters would be very unhappy too.

    July 14, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  3. DM, Let talk about the truth!!

    This boarder on Racism to an all time high. I know this not only offensive to the the people of the United States of America but also the people of the free world. This tell you how low the media is welling to go to discredit a man of color an American.

    Let's move above the discreditation and move to the truth.

    Let stop spreading romurs and start telling the truth..

    Obama and his family is American first and foremost repsect them for this...

    July 14, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  4. kelly

    I guess we will find out how Obama feels about free speech.

    July 14, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  5. djw

    George Bush spent all of his life in America and he is not an American for using Americans for oil!!!!

    July 14, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  6. Jeanine G

    JohnBoy, Barack Obama spent a little over 4 yrs in Indonesia between the ages of 6 & 10...and that's all.

    Out of 47 years that does NOT make 1/2 his life!


    July 14, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  7. E.N.

    The New Yorker is often and mainly catered to academics who understand and appreciate its satirical content. The non-academic media, it appears is attempting to let this become an issue. It should be in the Obama and McCain camps interest to avoid discussing this necessary and unnecessary depiction.

    July 14, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |

    WHAT A BABY!!!!

    If this man is to be President... He has to understand one thing... FREEDOM OF SPEECH and if he is REALLY for the people, right or wrong, offensive or not, it is OUR RIGHT... NO President has EVER whined as much as this guy and he is not even elected yet...

    We bash Bush daily and he is still smiling... Shrug it off and get used to it... WE the PEOPLE do NOT need a weak baby leader...

    July 14, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  9. NIcholas Serio

    Tasteless, tacky, offensive, bias, anti-American, anti-Muslim and disqusting is the way I would describe the New Yorker magazine cover. It is certainly insulting to the populate of New York City, the extreme melting pot. One can only wonder what the editorial staff of this pseudo-liberal magazine was thinking when the decided to portray the Obamas' in such a polorizing manner. I can only wonder if the cover is sour grapes over the loss of the Democratic nomination by the Clinton dynastics.

    July 14, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  10. A Concerned Democrat-NYC

    Incredible that a supposed venerable publication would stoop so low. Pathetic and sad.

    July 14, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  11. 1911

    And they say that race is no longer an issue in America... It's interesting how most people in our country continue to judge & mock what doesn't resemble them physically, allowing ignorance to prevail... Sad is the only word that comes to mind.

    July 14, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  12. MARYANN Oswego IL

    What goes around comes around....If you do not like the cover do not buy the magazine.....Our country is in TROUBLE and our nominee is upset about a magazine cover!!!!

    July 14, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  13. Andy

    Truth hurts.

    July 14, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  14. RJ, CA

    I think the cover says it all - great job!

    July 14, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  15. Joanne

    Obama should have the right to sue for slander. This is downright disgusting. I hope (and expect) that this magazine will see a drastic decline in sales.

    July 14, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  16. The Lady

    We should stay focus to our countries problems. This is professionally tacky.

    July 14, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  17. Puffin

    I do not see the humor in it.

    July 14, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  18. Obama Fan

    It's stuff like this that just feeds into the ignorant, xenophobic perception that Barack Obama and his wife are the "scary" kind of black people.

    I know where I'm voting in the fall, and as a Mexican-white man, it's Obama for me.

    July 14, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  19. Danny

    This is exactly what it is. Obama has a big mouth to camouflage everything. He has blinded everybody. This dress symobolizes the Northern part of Kenya which is bordering Somalia. You can actually see Somalis proudly wearing this attire who are actually muslims.
    I had the pleasure to visit both kenya and Somalia sometime ago. CNN must have a documentary on this part of the world so people know where Barack is coming from. This is a fact.

    July 14, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  20. JIM...TX

    Figures the HRC an Republican wingnuts will think this is just great...bet they'd think a picture of McBush trying to say.. comb his hair would be outrageous an mean. Too bad we can't stick to the real issues and not perceived ones for the next few months till Obama gets elected!

    July 14, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  21. Super D

    There is no telling what the true intention is. It's been spun several directions already. But this is the type of stuff Obama has got to endure, and frankly, he's bought some of it on himself.

    July 14, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  22. Nick

    Obama may have spent some time outside the US, but doesn't that increase his qualifications? The fact that he knows more about people overseas would help greatly given our current situation.

    Obama 08.

    July 14, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  23. CarlosN

    This is a new low for a publication. I don't know what they were thinking but is just plain disgusting. As for today at 9:44 am my subscription is cancelled, and will NEVER be renewed again. Period.

    July 14, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  24. Zelda of Pittsburgh

    Why doesn't Obama stop giving in to political fears, embrace the satire and CHANGE the converation? He's become so afraid of being labeled a Muslim that he avoids mosques, his campaign aides have told Muslim women they can't sit in certain areas during his rallies. It's ridiculous. When fear dictates your actions (unless you're in physical danger), it's rarely good. I'm an Obama supporter, but he really needs to get a new perspective and a back bone. Embrace the satire and take this opportunity to change the conversation.

    July 14, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  25. Michael

    I think it is great it reflects my feelings of him,

    July 14, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
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