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. LMAO

    Love him or hate him, this cover is shameful. I still get baffled at how "ugly" people can be toward each other. The level of disdain for Obama is unbelievable to me and for what? Because he speaks of change? Because he can relate to a lot of people? Because he gets support from people from all walks of life? We did the same thing to Abraham Lincoln, JFK and MLK. Why? You don't have to like Obama, but why tear him down like that? It's embarrasing. We have the freedom of speech and the right to vote as handed down to us from our forefathers. But we also have a duty of care to our children and future generations to pratice what we preach: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" and "If you can't say something good about someone, don't say anything."

    For what it's worth, I am an Obama supporter for more reasons than I care to state and I certainly have not condoned all of his actions during this campaign. I also believe his supporters can be harsh towards McCain as they were with Clinton. With that said, I'm an educated adult quite capable of making my own decision about who I'm going to vote for regardless of what gets said about Obama. I can only hope others are strong enough to stand for what they believe (whether that be for or against Obama)...let's just be civil about it.

    July 14, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  2. b/augusta

    I see what is happening here. Everyone, just remember swift boat.
    The cover is poisonous and an effort to portray Barack and Michelle as anti American. The Obama campaign should sue and request an injunction against the cover. It is highly offensive.

    July 14, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  3. Judge Judy

    AHA !!
    It took a New Yorker to lay the facts bare.
    The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

    And another truth: This comment will never make it out of "moderation", or "sensorship" would be a better word.

    July 14, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  4. Just admit it

    Hidden Racism – I have noticed a lot in the news the way people are very racist and sexist in there remarks. They don't want a women for president, they don't want a black man for president. They would rather have another OLD Bush raising Cain in the office. When will the rest of America wake up and welcome CHANGE!!! YES CHANGE!!!
    I wish we can create another reality show. "AM I RACIST OR SEXIST"
    where we can question a lot of the news castors while they are connected to a polygraph "lie detector machine" and just flat out ask them these questions. I wonder who would volunteer to take the test.
    Questions: Do you think you are racist?

    July 14, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  5. Shawn

    This is pathetic for the New Yorker. Just how low can you get with these types of publicity. They must have consulted Carl Rove for this cover page.

    July 14, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  6. Jackie - NYC

    I understand what the New Yorker is trying to do here but I am afraid a large part of the population won't see it. They won't read the article and the cover will just confirm what they already believe. I am once shocked and the close-mindeness of America!!

    To JohnBoy – that fact that Obama spend half of his life outside of the United States doesn't make him any less American than John McCain who wasn't even born in the United States, he was born on a military base in Panama. Get over yourself!!

    July 14, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  7. Brooke

    I'm not sure if Obama and his people understand the meaning of the word "satire."

    I guess Freedom of Speech is going to be one of the first things to go when Obama and company get into power.

    July 14, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  8. The Iraq war IS legal

    The truth hurts.............

    July 14, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  9. deb dunn

    on target!

    July 14, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  10. the takeover

    What do you mean COMPLETE american?? What is that definition?

    July 14, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  11. patricia

    If your going to be a politician get use to it, it goes with the territory.

    July 14, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  12. Rob

    Of course Obama is criticizing this. When it affects him, it matters, and it is wrong. When it affects others (i.e. Clinton, McCain), it's ok. How can Americans be so naive, and vote for a man who says "lay off my wife." Everyone is fair game, especially spouses who help raise millions of dollars.

    Time to end the double standard '08

    July 14, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  13. sammie wright

    Wow. What we have to endure as a people. It's not enough to follow me in the shopping malls, or be the last to get served in a restaurant, be stopped be plain clothes officers with guns walking with my laundry from the laundry mat at 12 in the afternoon or going for an interview for employment. It all adds up, day after day, year after year. I'm am simply hurt. I cannot understand how we as a nation cannot lead the way on all fronts not just in Iraq. Now who all raised their hands and said, "Yeah this is the cover we want to stand behind and represent! Let's go with this!"

    July 14, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  14. joeD

    The New Yorker may think they are poking fun and being satirical, but there are about %28 of the people in the country who will actually say that cover is what they actually believe will happen when Obama is elected. A bit of a backfire, egging on those %28 percent I think. Even after the Rev Wright nonsense, the midwest still think obama is muslim. All practical sense has fled this country.

    July 14, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  15. Evadney

    This article is beyond tasteless! It is time white America acknowledges just how racist it continues to be. This is 2008!
    Wake up!

    July 14, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  16. Ted

    That is disgusting. All the fake Democratic Hillary crowd will come in cheering in 5...4...3...2...

    July 14, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  17. hal

    I think the cover is rather funny. Lighten up- this is just the beginning!

    July 14, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  18. ET from OMAHA

    They can draw OBAMA kissing Bin Laden i will still vote for him over McWar who will undeniably start WW3.
    Why don't they draw OBAMA in AL-Qeada camp training or shouting bush with Bin laden? Bunch of stupid journalists.
    They can only fool some stupid ignorant that only watch TV or vote on gossips and smears not me.

    July 14, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  19. Sharon Norris

    They should be ashamed of this cover! This is pure slander, no way related to satire at all! What does this say about the respect for the office that he is running for? This is shameful and a poor representation of unity of our country. This is an outrage and is disgusting!

    July 14, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  20. John McShame, Obama Is Going to Tax You & Cindy, but Not Me & 95% Americans Making < $250,000/Yr

    Let me say, I am all for satire - but that is what the comic pages are for. When you post cartoons like this on the front page, and it has no relevance to the article, it means only one thing - we are trying to sell magazines.

    July 14, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  21. independent

    Its an insulting cartoon. no matter what the new yorker puts it out as a satire a lot of people will carry the picture in their minds. As they say a picture is a thousand words and some....

    July 14, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  22. Bobby, Triangle, VA

    The New Yorker Magazine is a disgrace to all americans and should be ashame, however you can tell who they want to be president. They need to realize the only people who this will have an effect on are the people who are not voting for Obama anyway!

    July 14, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  23. freddy

    LOL. Too funny. I thought the article was excellent and I thougth the cover was funny. Maybe for the Obama's the cartoon hit a little too close to home? What have you to hide? It's a satire. Chill and laugh. Making a big stink about it give it credibility.

    July 14, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  24. vjh

    This just fuels the ignorance that exists, very tasteless. Hey John boy, you're a prime example of that ignorance. What's the matter, never had the opportunity to leave the hills ? Sickening.........

    July 14, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  25. Wesleyj

    Finally a publication with the good sense to show what Osama Obama and his wife are all about.

    July 14, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
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