Obama Denounces Tasteless New Yorker Cover

ImageThe cover of the July 21 New Yorker depicts Obama in turban fist bumping his wife who is complete with an afro and automatic weapon while an American flag burns in the fire place and picture of Osama Bin Laden on the mantle that is getting all the attention.

Both presidential campaigns have denounced this cover. Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton said, “The New Yorker may think, as one of their staff explained to us, that their cover is a satirical lampoon of the caricature Sen. Obama’s right-wing critics have tried to create. But most readers will see it as tasteless and offensive. And we agree.”

Here is the cover:


McCain campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds agreed, “We completely agree with the Obama campaign, it’s tasteless and offensive.” The New Yorker has defended their cover as satire, and even if you can get past the hatchet job this does on Obama, what bothers me most is the burning of the American flag, and picture of Osama Bin Laden over the mantle.

To me that image is a slap in the face to all of those who were injured, died, or lost loved ones on 9/11. I don’t think it is appropriate to joke about Bin Laden in such a personal and political sense. People who see this cover won’t see satire. What they should see is a shameless attempt by an irrelevant magazine to get some cheap publicity.

In politics, presidential nominees deal with this kind of trash all of the time. Obama is a big boy, he can take it, but I think this cover shows a great deal of insensitivity towards the troops who are overseas, because of 9/11, justified or not, and those who were harmed by the attacks masterminded by Bin Laden. I just don’t see any humor in terrorism.

Campaign quotes came from Politico

8 Replies to “Obama Denounces Tasteless New Yorker Cover”

  1. As a New Yorker subscriber I think this cover is completely appropriate for the magazine. It is a sharp satire which is within the bounds of previous covers. As a reader I didn’t think twice that this was satire. It has lampooned other national leaders in similar ways such as this combination Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Larry Craig combo cover after Mahmoud claimed homosexuality was non-existant in the Iran to an audience at Columbia University

    And I’m sure some no-name blogger has no room to call the magazine that broke the Abu Ghraib story irrelevant (that’s the New Yorker, since you obviously don’t know that or you can’t recognize the most important story since 9/11).

  2. This is exactly what they need. Now it cannot be said that the press never gave him a hard time.
    I feel bad for those who lost loved ones in 911, but they do not own the rights to these issues, any more than those who lost loves ones anywhere else.
    There are MILLIONS of Americans who think 911 was an inside job, including many who lost family members. Millions more would at least want a comprehensive investigation, including most who lost family members. Osama bin Laden may have been the ultimate fall guy when all is said and done.

    Stop hiding behind the “hush, you insensitive bore” routine. Investigate why red hot steel was pulled out of ground zero 5 weeks after the event. Why has the FBI STILL not released the surveillance tapes of the plane hitting the pentagon?

    America has done much to make me proud. Let’s keep up the good work, huh?

  3. I know this will seem like an effortless view of the magazine but it’s true, they have done a lot of important journalism in the past, this cover is most likely satirical (as I believe) but I also find it tacky and tasteless.
    Even if this is satirical, at best it is crude and lazy.

  4. The New Yorker is barely relevant anymore. A biweekly magazine is a dinosaur in the age of cable news and the Internet. Yes, they broke the Abu Grab story, but what about all of the stories that they have gotten wrong? The New Yorker has been taking more risks with their reporting in order to try and keep up with the new media.

    This cover is really a publicity stunt designed to get people talking about the magazine again, so in that respect, it has already been a success. I agree that it was lazy work, and I would add that it is a cheap cry for attention.

  5. Almost as many people will look at the website of this no name blogger as subscribe to the New Yorker in a year. (Yes, I happily admit that we are a no name site. We are small, but our growth rate is 10%-20% a month opposed to the New Yorker’s flat 3% a year as of 2005. This website has only been around since March, and has light years to go in terms of content, layout, and staffing, but in a couple of years, we will have more visitors than the magazine has in a year. We are new, but we are also coming along fine). The New Yorker is a magazine with a rich history, but the media which you are reading right now, is the future.

  6. Since the campaign began, those who cannot accept the idea of “change” in this country have made every effort to dehumanize Obama. First by attacking him, then his wife and maybe his children are next. The New Yorker may feel that their depiction of Obama and his wife on their cover is harmless, but don’t believe the hype. They have joined the class of bigoted, resentful, hopeless Americans who continue to cling to racism and hate by using “scare” tactics that delay the kind of “Change” Obama speaks to. But let’s remember, Obama told us that it would not be easy and The New Yorker helps to make his case.


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