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. Lamarr

    Not an Obama supporter, but my first thought was this was pretty tasteless. However, expect no sympathy here as Obama is getting tastes now of what Hillary had to unfairly endure throughout her campaign.

    HRC in 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 14, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  2. Mark, Michigan

    Good job that really helps whiners like me when i am losing my house, and watching my job being shipped overseas. Thank you for that fine New Yorker? How about concentrating on something that might help somebody, sorry i'm making sense again.

    Say no to Old man River ( aka McSame )

    Obama 08

    July 14, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  3. Benn

    McCain is such a pansy! He is going to lose this election because he has no sense of humor, not balls fo the fight. I am suprised that anyone in the mainstream media would have dared run this cover. Cudos New Yorker!!!

    July 14, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  4. Michael

    Aw, Tim. You have fallen upon the thorns of life and you bleed. Bad Shelley; bad self pity.

    July 14, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  5. David

    No wonder the print media continues it's downward slide and loss of importance to most Americans {and thus can't get the necessary advertising dollars to sustain}. Instead of concentrating on real journalistic reporting and focusing on the issues that really impact Americans, print media like this magazine run stupid cartoons designed to ignite the dumbest of Americans! Adios, New Yorker, see you in the tabloid section of local grocery store!

    July 14, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  6. djw

    Hillary Clinton had it good because she is a women. If I was Barack during the primary I would have hit her harder than he did. You women Lib people are crazy. You want the same treatment as men but when it does not go your way you cry or you claim sexism. If you want to go after someone go after her husband and other sex freaks.
    Vi you just want your 15 minustes of fame!!!!

    Senator Clinton was good in the primaries but you must blame her campaign people not Senator Obama!!!

    July 14, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  7. felicia

    I can't believe that this was printed on the cover!! This is flat out wrong. I am really appauled at this.

    July 14, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  8. christine

    i think its offensive, but the media will put more fire to it by paying more attention to the magazine, than what the candidates are talking about that will be the media's main news i just dont get it, instead of iraq, gas prises, our economy but no they will all pay attention to the magazine, shame on the media, they always look for the wrong news istead of reporting real news they like this gotcha news, they have to shows us that they are not going to focus on such news, and talk about the war in iraq,gas,our economy, other journalist in the world are watching at the us media and loughing at how our news media reports about disrespectful things weather its president bush or obama or clinton, its a shame

    July 14, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  9. Kingslough NY.

    Preying on the ignorant. Thats what these whole charade is for.

    July 14, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  10. Kim

    The New yorker knows what they are doing. They know that some of the American people will believe anything they read and see. That was very tasteless.

    July 14, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  11. Hollywoodaholic

    Yeah, but how many people who see the image are going to read the story? The picture gets slapped around the news cycle without any context. Fox News will run it as a documented photo. Don't tell me The New Yorker thought satire would play to the ignorant. It was a calculated hit because Obama doesn't want to bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran.

    July 14, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  12. Sharon

    This is nothing compared to what Hillary endured during the primary season. Now we are finding out the real Obama which is different from the primary race.

    July 14, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  13. Fitz

    VI, what do you mean a taste of what Hillary endured? Hillary was never subjected to racism. Matter of fact, it was someone in her camp that initially sent out the email of Obama in the Kenyan outfit so what did Hillary endure. She is not the nominee please remember that.

    July 14, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  14. Vic


    July 14, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  15. PGB

    Mccain was not Born in America, he is not a complete American.

    July 14, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  16. Alice

    I was going to post something about the cover - but when I got here, and read the other posts, I decided instead to post about the posters.

    What a bunch of loons! Other than Greg from NY (who says "Well, regardless of the cover, the article is actually very good. I recommend it."), this site sounds like a training ground for Operation Chaos.

    Pardon me if by the time my post is printed, sanity has already prevailed . . .

    July 14, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  17. Young African American Male for Hillary

    Read the article people. It's actually a good article and I am not a fan of Barack Obama. Stop being so sensitive. That picture is not saying anything people aren't alraedy thinking about anyway...I'll say put it out there....

    July 14, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  18. John, NV

    Now I don't like this cover but Tim and Vi, how in the world is this McCain and Hillary's fault.

    July 14, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  19. Bright From Milwaukee

    Yet another play from the Republican's book of shame. Yes we can

    OBAMA' 08

    July 14, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  20. Pennsylvania

    If it's just satire... then let the next issue of The New Yorker be a satirical view of Sen. John McCain and his wife Cindy in all their aged, pill popping and war mongoring glory.

    Personally, I find that what The New Yorker has done with their cover of Obama will only solidify and add creedence to the fears that uninformed people have. It's not funny... it's offensive and misleading. Most people won't get past the cover to read the article and pictures are worth a thousand words - only these words would not be worth repeating.

    I won't buy the magazine just in protest of their ignorance.

    July 14, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  21. Joe

    As a long time reader of the New Yorker, I can tell you, they certainly would not and are not endorsing anything conservative. But, like true New Yorkers they are sarcastic. I love it.

    July 14, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  22. Scott A.

    Lighten up! It's a very funny cover. The New Yorker has broken the mainstream media's political correctness rule not to say anything that even appears critical of Obama. Now the rule is broken and the campaign can begin!

    July 14, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  23. Sam

    Wow, it took all of two seconds for some Hillary whiner to spout about what she endured. Yours was clearly the most put-upon candidate in the history of politics. Perhaps they should have gotten a pillow for her.

    I'd love for one of these Hillary apologists to point to one example — JUST ONE — of when she got treatment even slightly resembling sexism from Obama's campaign. That has been the implication for months now, though no Hillary supporter has been able to provide any evidence that anything of that nature ever came from Obama or his surrogates.

    Maybe the media, maybe Republicans, maybe people who just don't like her … but never from Obama.

    July 14, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  24. 5two

    How sleazy and inappropriate. This isn't satire, this is racist and offensive.

    July 14, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  25. Clare

    Hoorah for The New Yorker! It has done in one drawing what none of the rest of the media has the courage to do, i.e., show Obama and his wife for what they really are – a threat to this nation.

    July 14, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
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