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July 14th, 2008
02:10 PM ET

New Yorker cover: satire or “tasteless & offensive”?

 Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The New Yorker magazine says it's satire. A lot of people think it's disgusting.

This week's cover portrays the Obamas as terrorists. Barack Obama is in the Oval Office dressed in traditional Muslim attire - sandals, robe and a turban. His wife Michelle appears with an Afro, dressed in camouflage, combat boots and carrying an assault rifle.

The couple is doing a fist bump, while an American flag is seen burning in the fire place and a picture of Osama bin Laden hangs on the wall.

Obama's campaign calls the cover illustration – which is titled "The Politics of Fear" – "tasteless and offensive”. John McCain's campaign agrees.

But the magazine calls it satire, saying the cover "combines a number of fantastical images about the Obamas and shows them for the obvious distortions they are." They add that satire is part of what they do and the cover is meant to bring things out into the open.

Some agree with the magazine, saying that it just pokes fun at all of the ignorance out there and generates discussion.

But the Huffington Post suggests this is the perfect image for anyone who's ever tried to paint Obama as a Muslim, his wife as an angry revolutionary or questioned their patriotism.

Here’s my question to you: What do you think of the cover of the New Yorker that shows Barack Obama in traditional Muslim attire and his wife Michelle with an Afro and assault rifle?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Circy from New Mexico writes:
What year is this? 1964, when civil rights workers were murdered in Mississippi? The people at New Yorker magazine need to look up the definition of satire. This cover is nothing but hate!

Brenda from Dallas, Texas writes:
Jack, The educated loyal reader of the New Yorker understands the satirical imagery of the Obama cover. Sadly, the uneducated and elderly that read, forward and believe the smear e-mails will take the cartoon as an illustration of truth and evidence to support their vote for McCain. The New Yorker will benefit from the publicity and sell more magazines. The New Yorker readers will enjoy a quick low-brow chuckle. Then John McCain will be elected the 44th President of the United States.

Mertis from Atlanta writes:
Jack, This is awful. Not funny at all... When can we expect the cover of John McCain in a wheelchair with Cindy pushing it? I mean fair is fair.

Brandie writes:
Good old-fashioned satire, through and through. How do I know this? Because people are fighting about it. The best satire inflames and enrages the viewer, then after they've blown a fuse they laugh in their sheer silliness. Seriously, everyone needs to get off their political high horses, have a beer, relax and laugh.

Ben writes:
It was a bad choice on their part. A lot of this country isn't very open-minded or even well-read in politics and media. So they see this picture and take it for face value. I'm an Obama supporter, but I'm also for fair play, and this is not fair. They did it for shock appeal, and they knew what they were doing.

Paul from Virginia writes:
Move over, Fox News! You have just been out-Foxed by the New Yorker.

Mel writes:
Someone at the New Yorker will either get fired or a raise.

Brock writes:
The people who might believe those myths don't read The New Yorker, so not to worry. They're not interested in reading or New York.


Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (192 Responses)
  1. Catherine Fredericks

    Jack, its satire, get used to it. If they did this to John McCain we wouldnt hear a peep out of you.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  2. David, Orlando, FL

    After his vote on the 9th giving the telecoms immunity for their criminal wiretaps as requested by a president who broke the law and further weakening the 4th amendment, I could care less who says what about Obama. I no longer have a choice in this election. Neither candidate has any regard for the US Constitution or the rule of law – unless it applies to me.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  3. Rod from Chicago

    The euphemism to best describe their sordid satire depiction of Barack Obama and his wife are uncivilized, noisome, counterintuitive, disoblige, incongruous, acrimonious, scheming, inconceivable, detrimental, invidious, ubiquitous, lunatic, ferocious, detestable, and there is an hebdomadal of this type of reporting(Get my point).
    Hence, their vainglorious attempt to annihilate and derail Barack Obama presidential effort; need to be addressed by the scoundrels that engage in this type of deplorable and disgraceful acts. To run a cover like this in the heat of a campaign, on such a sensitive issue is unforgivable.
    Unfortunately Jack, if the democratic primary is any indicator of what’s to come, the people that live in Western Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia, want find this ad so amusing. Now, on the other hand, if they actually run an ad depicting John McCain not knowing the differences between Gerontocracy: Government by Elders, and Gerontology or Geriatric: The Scientific study of aging, I will believe that they meant no harm by this type of ad?

    July 14, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  4. Rosalynd Florida

    The New Yorker cover is a disgrace! The individual who approved that cover should be dismissed immediately. This is inexcuseable, what jerks!

    July 14, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  5. Randy, Salt Lake City

    I believe it was meant as satire. But, since most 'Murikans don't or can't read, they'll look at the cover and hold it as PROOF that the right-wing, fear-mongering media (which encompasses ALL media outlets) was right all along. Then they'll go back to another media induced stupor about Lolan, Spears, Hilton, Ramsey or ... who's next?

    July 14, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  6. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    The newest cover of the New Yorker kind of reminds me of what it says on my passenger side mirror; "Caution: Objects may be closer than they appear".

    July 14, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  7. Pietro from NYC

    It would have been satire if the flip side of the cover had an equally offensive John and Cindy McCain illustration complete with champagne wishes and caviar dreams, gushing oil, Depends, and mental recessions. But the magazine didn't do that so this looks like a one-sided political attack. Very bizarre for a liberal-leaning magazine with impeccable editors and writers. Of course, we are all talking about this issue, and in today's world, what's right is what sells best...

    July 14, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  8. Jeremy D (University of Texas)

    It’s offensive that a way to degrade a someone is to associate them with Islam. That’s ridiculously offensive to Muslims and shows that America isn’t a melting pot, we’re an easy bake oven and you have to use the ingredients we specify as acceptable. We’ve accepted African Americans, Latinos, Asians, Catholics, Jews, etc. but when are we going to accepts Muslims, Homosexuals, etc. We have a lot of work to do as a country, and this cover shows it.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  9. Caryn, Washington DC

    I get satire but this cover crossed the line. I find it to be very disrespectful and disengenuis. There are far too many people in this country who believe these vicious rumors and this cover is adding fuel to the fire. For the intelligent few who understand satire this may just arouse conversation but for all the rest of the idiots out there, the irony will be completely lost.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  10. Kay in WV

    I think we have much more important things to worry about than a New Yorker cover. It's just more noise in a campaign season that seems to be mostly about how much noise and spectacle each side can put out in front of the press to distract it from what they are/aren't saying about real issues.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  11. Tom - Las Vegas, Nevada

    I would say it is in poor taste, but let's try not to get too worked up about a magazine cover. The voters in this country do still have the ability to form an independent opinion based on their own research of the issues, don't they? Oh yeah, I forgot the people I'm referring too. It's an outrage!!!!!!

    July 14, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  12. Joe in DE

    The cover was rediculous – lot of people would not knw what was intendd.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  13. Brian - Trinidad

    I have lived through the Katzenjammer Kids,Lil Abner,Andy Capp,Mutt and Jeff,Doonesbury, etc. and have not heard any such outrages from the many other races,peoples and cultures that were lampooned.Why does Obama not deserve to be treated like everyone else?

    July 14, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  14. Not a Black!

    If Obama can get through this parody, there is nothing to stop him and that worries the republicans! Keep in mind that George W. Bush has put us in this position, so, this magazine caricature should not be too much dismayed! This nothing compared to what the repubs really would like to do. Get over it!

    July 14, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  15. BOB in Michigan

    The New Yorker cover is highly offensive Jack. Things covertly done in the name of satire or as a joke still reek of the same stench of racism. This reminds me of the Jim Crow era in America when the caricatures of blacks were perceived as funny also. It just shows the racism that still permeates our society.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  16. cpaul

    The editorial staff of the New Yorker Magazine should be ashamed of themselves. Did they really think an article, in a magazine with THIS cover, would help enlighten those already weary of Senator Obama? It's disgraceful and only serves to feed the misgivings.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  17. Thomas, Michigan

    I think it will work positively to, early on, expose the ignorance of
    foolish portrayals of the Obamas. This candidate is a genuine
    product of American opportunity. Obama's intellect and humble roots
    will easly withstand the satire. The New Yorker, should, however,
    give equal time to a John and Cindy McCain satirical cover. Lots to
    work with there!

    July 14, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  18. LEE CATALINE

    This is the text of an e mail I just sent them

    The New Yorker

    You people amaze me at how little you know about satire, and or how little you care about the damage this cover will do. I personally know people who are still weighing what they see and hear about this guy as to whether the rumors and lies about his faith, his patriotism, his race, etc. are just that, or maybe he really is all the things you portray on this cover. Some people will look no further than the cover, or the stories that will be about it, to cement their decision. Shame on you for not only being offensive and tasteless but for giving the Rush Limbaugh’s and Sean Hanity’s of the airwaves ammunition that they could only dream of. Can’t wait to see if you do a satirical cover on Mc Cain, probably a cartoon portrayal of a Traitor with Alzheimer’s or equally stupid and offensive as this one on Obama and his wife is.

    Lee Cataline

    July 14, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  19. Harry

    Sure it was satire and the only thing missing was something that labeled Obama as 'ELITE". No wait, an article in the New Yorker, itself, does that.

    The liberal elite will "talk down" to us average americans, proclaiming we should read the article. However, this magazine, as with so many others, is destined to be in the magazine racks, of waiting rooms across America. When was the last time, you actually read an entire article in a waiting room? Pretty much just the pictures, huh.

    A picture is worth a thousand words. This was a big picture, in a big election year. Remember where this magazine is laying around in 3 or 4 months.

    Harry
    Ky.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  20. Teri in FL

    Jack,
    All that cover did was open the door for the Ditto-heads. They'll say the 'Liberal media' can do it, why can't we...and I'm sure their product will be beyond offensive. As you know, if 15% of Americans still think he's Muslim and will raise taxes on the middle class, we aren't exactly dealing with an electorate that 'gets' satire.
    Teri K.
    Palm Coast, FL

    July 14, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  21. Caroline, Hamer SC

    This will show the rest of the world just how far we have come ,not far from the dark ages. This is trouble for all of us no one in there right mind should buy this mess I would not have it in my house or allow to be brought in my house, this should be token of the self and not sold it is degusting

    July 14, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  22. Emma, San Jose, CA

    The message of the cover is not going to compel readers to question the meaning or intent of the images. I think we can count on many folks to take them at face value. The cover is loaded with symbols that are false and that stir intense emotions. It is also outrageous that The New Yorker
    is getting loads of publicity over this.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  23. circy in New Mexico

    What year is this? 1964, when civil rights workers were murdered in Mississippi? The people at New Yorker magazine need to look up the definition of satire. This cover is nothing but hate!

    July 14, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  24. T (Ft Worth)

    God have we as a nation stooped to all time levels. We are not whiners as Phil Gramm said but a bunch of war mongers and will do nothing to keep people scared of their own shadows. We ought to be ashamed of what we have allowed to happen.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  25. Jerry from Fayetteville, TN

    I think that if that cover has an impact on the election then our country has a very serious problem concerning the mentality of the American electorate.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  26. Bill,Quarryville. PA

    I think it is disgusting and it makes my blood boil when I see what some national magazine would stoop to. This magazine must belong to the same people that owns fox news. I was hoping we would not see anything like this in this election. It doesn't matter to me which presidential candidate is portrayed in this matter, it is wrong and disgusting and should be condemned by the news media. A free press is a cornerstone in a democracy but this is a good example of when someone takes of advantage of it to help get their candidate elected.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  27. Jerry Ibrone - Atlanta, Georgia

    Great cover. It fits perfectly with the "Liberal-Left's" tendency to torpedo its own candidates every four years. Way to go New Yorker. You clearly don't know your own best interest.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  28. Faad, ITALY

    Jack, what's that ??? you know some of demos can't read ( hillarys supporters ) it will make them think of what they wanted it be out of ignorance. anyway we in europe don't think is a problem cus we can read like other real americans. OBAMA 08!!!!

    July 14, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  29. Joe St Louis, MO

    This is a shame. I hope someone will contacts one of their Senators and get this stopped.

    Joe

    St. Louis MO

    July 14, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  30. Larry, Providence, RI

    Congratulations, "New Yorker". You just gave Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and other right wing hate mongers lots to work with. They will have a ball putting their spin on this and CONVINCING their audiences that it's all true, and more. It won't take much to make them believers. Fox News watchers think we won the war in Iraq. It ended when Bush declared "Mission Accomplished". What a sad country we live in if we elect another Republican for four more years.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  31. Erin in Kalamazoo

    It's such a sad commentary on the intelligence of the American people, Jack. The stabbing humor is obviously directed at the still all-too-numerous uninformed and frankly racist voters out there. The humor is just too high for some of our dimmer American minds.

    The New Yorker assumes too much and the Obama campaign rightfully sees it as a misguided, ironic satire that will be both lost on the American people and become the unintentional affirmation of the very mindset it calls into question.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  32. Brian, Collegeville, PA

    If we have to ask, then Obama won't win. Every American, no matter what "side of the isle" should be offend.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  33. Karen, Idaho Falls Idaho

    Hi Jack,

    While a few of the illustrations (such as the fist bump–which I personally find distasteful) reflect Michelle and Barak Obama, most of the cover went way too far. Regardless of whether or not we like Mr. Obama and his wife, they deserve the respect of the country's highest office which might be his in November.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  34. Dan Rose from New Orleans

    This cover is way beneath the good & intelligent humor usually found within (& upon) the New Yorker. Not only beneath, but profoundly disturbing. I imagine it is made from sarcasm, but it's too real a portrayal for what too many in our country genuinely feel. I wish I didn't see this. Makes me feel sick, and sad, Jack.
    -Dan from New Orleans

    July 14, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  35. Jan Davis, Knoxville, TN

    Jack I think it is one of the most disgusting, untrue, and distasteful magazine covers I've ever seen. The Obama campaign should sue The New Yorker for defamation of character. Love your show!

    July 14, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  36. Kay-Ann, NYC, NY

    I get satire...but for folks in Dumbville, USA....THIS validates what you guys in the MSM peddle daily.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  37. Ali - NY

    The latest cover of the New Yorker would be less offensive if they illustrated the McCain’s in the same manner. I can just imagine that cover; McCain using a walker to get around the oval office and Mrs. McCain wearing a mini skirt while sipping on a can of beer. His Maverick batch could be seen burning in the fireplace and he would have a typewriter on the table and painting of Bush and the wall, which is just as bad having Bin Laden.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  38. Gord from Boston

    Jack
    I think the Obama camp should chill out with the weekly demands for an apology from someone. His poor misunderstood me victim act is not Presidential and he should toughen up or shut up.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  39. Ross f rom Rerflands, California

    I think it's funny. Those that do not need to check their Satire Meters. I have to admit it would look better on the Cover of Mad magazine. Go Obama.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  40. ed

    Jack,

    The New Yorker cover is offensive.
    All non Christian Religions should be offended as should all AMERICAN that believe in the Constitution

    It means the United States of America founding principles of "Freedom of Religion " is a farce and a satire.

    What if Barack Obama is a Mulism does that make him a bad person not eligible to be President of the USA?

    Maybe the New Yorker mag should explain my question above

    July 14, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  41. David Richards

    I think the "satire" is in the most poor taste I have ever seen. With friends like these, Barack Obama doesn't have to worry about the Republican attack sqaud.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  42. Anthony Smith

    If Obama wants to be president of some 300 million Americans during war and difficult times, he better get thicker skin. The papers, cartoonists, pundits, and late night hosts have ridiculed and have done satirical work for years on presidents and political leaders. Isn't free speech why you guys have a job? Hell, they just about butchered Hillary Clinton. When the country needs a big man in the post, it seems Obama wants to be like Shawn Bradley...SOFT!!!

    Wildwood Crest, NJ

    July 14, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  43. Dee from Canada

    It is a daring cover. It pulls out of the closet the comments some people have said privately while pretending to be liberal. At the same time it presupposes that most people are intelligent enough to "get it". If it draws people in to read the article, then it will have done its job. If folks miss the satire – then America loses...and the discussion about its educational system must again come up for discussion.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  44. James D. Cary NC

    I think it plays into peoples preconceptions. If you think the attacks on Obama are ridiculous and false, the cover looks absurd. If you beleive the attacks, you're likely to see it and say "Right on!".

    July 14, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  45. Judy - PCMO

    Just another "bully" on the street throwing a punch at a winner....Senator Obama and his exceptional wife. We too have to utilize our capability of free speech by remembering the three R's:

    Respect for self;
    Respect for others'
    Responsibility for all your actions!!!

    Or have the pundits and most of the media hardened so much that those words can't be absorbed and let's say respected.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  46. Patricia F Upstate NY

    Outragious. They've crossed the line. Too many in this country still think Obama is a Muslim and this will feed into that notion. I say, New Yorker, pull the cover.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  47. Thomas

    It is just right wing, christian fear mongering as they say it is. Seems that the traditional family values of greed and intolerance were just not enough to make their case against change.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  48. Rebecca in SC

    It may be that satire was intended, but since nothing in the cartoon depicts the bearers of false witness that the New Yorker staff have said were the targets of the satire, we are only left with a picture of the Obamas that furthers the very smears the New Yorker claims to criticize. Since the Obamas are the only targets apparent in the cartoon, it isn't really satire. Satire needs to have some basis in truth. Either the New Yorker's staff are very inept, or they intended the cartoon to harm Obama. Unless members of the main stream media are willing to point out every time they report on the cartoon that it depicts lies, it will no doubt do so.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  49. Raoul, New Orleans, La.

    I think the cover is hilarious. I think the stereotypes which lead to this cover are scary. Twelve percent of national poll responders thought Senator Obama was a Muslim, and this is much more frightening than a silly cover of a magazine. You can thank the "kitchen sink" now and a new breed of swiftboating later. Instead of canceling debt, perhaps Senator Clinton should campaign some more to help erase some of the damage her husband did. When he said there would be a race between two people who love their country if Senator Clinton won the primary, Bill Clinton vaildated some of these stereotypes. This was beneath his stature.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  50. kate, seattle, washington

    Who cares about the New Yorker? My question is, with all the financial mess, "Am I going to be able to feed my kids next week, next month, next year?" This is petty distraction from real issues.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  51. Thomas

    Gutless!

    July 14, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  52. Susan, Orlando, FL

    I certainly hope the McCain's will be on the next cover, maybe Cindy pushing her doddering old husband in a wheelchair while holding the big fat check from the sale of Anheuser-Busch to a foreign company. Don't be upset, it's only "satire".

    July 14, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  53. Kara Sidney, Ohio

    This cover is horrific.........And people wonder why America has lost it's highly coveted reputation around the world?

    July 14, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  54. Geri Britt

    The cover of The New Yorker is the Irresponsible and immature result of the imaginations of twits.

    Geri – Mead, OK

    July 14, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  55. Mike Nunn - Hot Springs, Ar.

    No matter what your belief, this cover does not make me proud to be an American. Any person who would produce a cover such as this has no concept of what America means.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  56. Dorothy

    Jack
    I think The New Yorker has a sick sense of humor, not that I would call this humor. To portray a presidential candidate and his wife in such a manner shows a total lack of respect for the voting process, for our country and our people.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  57. Gigi in Alabama

    This ceases to be satire when there are people in this country that will look at it and swear it proves that it is the truth (as they see it).

    It is probably one of the most offensive cartoons that I have seen and the Obama family should sue The New Yorker and their cartoonist for defamimation of character. It shouldn't matter if you are Democrat or Republican, you should find it offensive and in poor taste.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  58. Anne

    It's way beyond disgusting. It makes me sick.

    Anne
    Texas

    July 14, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  59. Marie Ontario

    Hey this is McCain's only chance in November so give him a break. After all how would you like to go into an election with his platform and only be able to talk about his policies geared towards the rich and famous.

    History shows it's good politics to cater to America's greatest enemy FEAR!

    July 14, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  60. Robert C Lowenthal

    New York has alot to be proud of but the New Yorker magazine is not one of those things. The political cartoonists and editors make no reference to the people spreading false rumors about Obama. You can't tell who is being satireized. If they were trying to make a point, as they said they were, they missed it. In the end, they just came off as being the same as the false rumor moungers. It's a sad comment on the state of American journalism (New York style).

    July 14, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  61. Steve

    Satire in cartoons is fair when it portrays an exaggeration of the truth, but this piece of garbage is an exaggeration of despicable lies and is a flat-out character assassination of the Oboma family. If they put Bush and Cheney's face on those cartoons, it would have made a lot more sense.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  62. Fred

    I think this is anything other than a satire. I want to see the New Yorker depict the values of the other candidate in the same fashion then I would change my mind. I think with an IQ of 50 I still can figure out the intent of the cartoonist.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  63. isyoucanread

    The New Yorker Magazine is traditionally one of the more liberal periodicals in the nation. Why would they want to derail their messiah?

    July 14, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  64. azad

    who cares? let new yorker magazine expose themselves, their tastes.
    azad. ny

    July 14, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  65. John from New York

    It is offensive...but it's also satire. We are in uncharted waters here.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  66. Mike B

    Come on – it's satire (note: satire is not necessarily humor). When was the last time any of you read Jonathan Swift's Modest Proposal?

    The real story here isn't the cover, it is the fear that people will believe the cover – that they'll see it and look no further (c.f. many of the other comments). The real story is how so many in our country are so poorly or even wrongly informed and so easy to manipulate. But wait – that's what the New Yorker story is about!

    A masterful job if you ask me.

    And if you really want to be worried – worry about the story, not the cover.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  67. Jonathan from Richmond, VA

    Jeff,

    This is a disgrace. How could someone call this "Satire", when it's down right wrong! No matter the picture anyone tries to portray of Obama, he can't be touched! You can't change the public's view on the Obamas. They rock! They're young, they have the drive, and they'll be what's needed in Washington. New faces, better foreign relations. We're tired of the same ole Washington. We know that there is hope for us. That's what the US needs right now. We need "Change" in America. It can't get any worse than what it is now. We hope he wins in November. He's still getting my vote.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  68. John

    It doesn't matter whether or not it is satire. The fact is that the vast majority of people who see this depiction have never and never will read the magazine . . .what is left is the image which is disgusting and should bring about more than a few dismissals at the magazine.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  69. charles henderson

    I don't remember seeing anything about a white person running for president being a terrorist or portrayed as one why is that?, I think the image of obama and his wife have nothing to do with satire, but it's a cover that shows the racist view of the person who created it and the company who endorses it saying it promote discussion. images are very powerful things that's why companies spend billions in advertising a specific image. I think it was meant to strike fear in those who would see it, mainly whites because they are the ones who would see him that way. it's sad that those who are racist refuse to admit it, but portray their hidden racist agendas behind "white sheets" , and call it a cover story.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  70. V Trahan

    Worse than tasteless and offensive – its stupid. How didi it make the "cut" for cover is the better question. I thought that the current administration was all about getting cheap laughs but I guess I was wrong. Shame on you New Yorker.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  71. Peter, New York City

    The New Yorker should give equal time to John McCain and depict him being tortured by the North Vietnamese. The we can all understand that he is an old, feeble man who has seen better days.
    What we need is a young man without any experience or record on anything and is now flip flopping all over the place. Oh wait, we may get him.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  72. Wade

    I think it is perfectly okay as long as people remain logical when viewing it. It just takes a few people to start the process of misinformation. This may also be a tactical opening for Obama's camp, as they receive tons of support from people who may have other wise been leaning toward McCain. Sympathy can run deep in some "simple minded" people.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  73. Jeff - Austin, X

    Jessie Helms would be proud of the artist of this week's cover of the New Yorker. Let's call this cover what it is: nothing but a drawing that looks to appeal to people's base instincts.This cover is not satire. It is racebaiting and fearmongering at its worst.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  74. mary

    Catherine, I bet if they showed McCain, with diapers on, a hearing aid under a Klu Klux Klan hat with his ex wife and new wife sipping beer while laying in a bed on the back cover, then my dear it would be satire.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  75. B Jiggy in Indiana

    Jack this is sick! If it showed John McCain in a Klan outfit, would it be satire then?

    b jiggy
    Indiana

    July 14, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  76. Keith

    What about if that cover is right? What if the Obamas want to advance a radical plan sugercoated as liberalism. He has ties to many shady people. What makes this a great nation is that truth needs to be there even is the masses are opiated.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  77. Betty - California

    The whole purpose is to promote FEAR in the hearts of Americans. They are not just trying to get to the American public, but also to Senator Obama. He can't let them get to his head. This is just the beginning of how "Americans" will act and how they treat each other when they feel they are about to loose control of something. It's tacky and says a lot about the New Yorker. The change WILL come.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  78. Jennifer

    Jack,

    It is always those who offer themselves up in service who become easy targets for political advantage. What hurts the most is their children seeing this picture and wondering what it means about their parents. Barack and Michelle Obama collectively have worked to make their communities better places for their neighbors. Can that be said of the New Yorker???

    July 14, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  79. David Bakody

    It is exactly as you stated "Tasteless and Offensive" if it were of anyone other race of people how hell would break out. The fact it made headlines and is being debated speaks volumes of both the professional journalist and the New Yorker`s lack of professional editorial staffing.

    David
    Dartmouth NS

    July 14, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  80. Buddy Carter

    This is the standard fare of right wing rags and dirt bags.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  81. Denise Mayo

    Jack, I think the cover is brilliant not as a cover, but more as a political cartoon inside the magazine. It needs to be accompanied by some clarifying text, lest it validate the fears of those who, for whatever reason, want to believe all those "satirical" implications depicted there. I'm reminded of the sweet lady from West Virginia who refused to believe, despite information to the contrary, that Obama was not a Muslim. Lots of people "cling" to their beliefs, no matter how mind-boggling, and this cover just fuels their flame a bit more.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  82. larry wi

    I think it's fitting and realisticly put. This has been talked about already, and the portrayal put's our biggest fear on the forefront. These two are fanatics, and scary, and their antics need to be displayed and aired. If the shoe fits wear it.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  83. mimi

    why don't you quit coddling and worrying over poor Obama's little feelings - as that great man Harry S. Truman said - "if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." Personally, I am more than ready for poor little Obama to get out of the kitchen. He never should have been there in the first place. Hartford, CT

    July 14, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  84. Peggy

    I would think that the New Yorker would have more positive news to portray on their cover. I find this cover offensive and tasteless. I have never read the New Yorker, but after this I certainly do not plan to do so. While I understand the meaning of satire, this cover goes over board and is definitely out of line. The general public does not understand the meaning of satire, and much of the general public will think that the New Yorker is promoting Obama as he is which cannot be farther from the truth. I am a retired teacher, and I would have never survived in the public school system for 30 yrs had I even hinted at such obvious bias, prejudice, or racist ideas. By the way, I am white and a seriously concerned citizen.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  85. Major

    Jack-

    I have something called a "sense of humor". I'm an Obama supporter and I think the New Yorker cover is fine. Not only do I find it funny, but, I think it was brilliant. Now you and Wolf are going to talk about it over and over again. Americans need to quit being so sensitive! I saw a satire drawing of McCain as the Manchurian Candidate with alzeihmers... That didn't make news, and thats more believable than this!

    Oh and Jack, please tell Soledad O'Brien I think she's cute.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  86. Mel - Rancho Mirage, California

    Jack, this is a disgrace it is divisive and ads fuel to the fire. The magazine should know that thousands of people will not read the article. They will just look at the cover, say, "I knew that Obama and his wife were militants and this confirms it." and convince themselves one more time that they should not vote for Obama. If the Newyorker truly believes that this is just satire and nothing else, then they believe that the pigs can fly, there are WMDs in Iraq and Saddam was responsible for 9/11.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  87. Jamie Goodwin

    I love a good satirical cartoon and understand the New Yorkers' comments, but this may have been something that could have appeared inside the magazine rather than the cover. The majority of Americans don't get it (i.e. the satire of the cover). The New Yorker is just trying to capitalize on sensationalism and non stories just as I have notice CNN doing on their website with teasers that lead to stories with no substance.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  88. Nick

    They may have intended satire, but they accomplished an unfortunate confirmation for those who wish to believe the rumors depicted on the cover.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  89. A Mama for Obama from Chicago

    As I always tell my kids, it's only funny 'til someone gets hurt. I think this will hurt. I doubt very much that very many people will be smart enough to see that it is intended as a satire, and it will simply feed into the stereotypes. With friends like this...

    July 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  90. John G.

    Next, we will see a Klan hood on McCain! We sure are a goofy bunch.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  91. k. phipps

    I think it's really funny. The media blows the Obama's "fist bump" out of proportion and calls them terrorists because they don't understand what it means. To anyone under 30, the fist bump means "good work," "good job," or "congratulations" between friends hence the reason they do it after speeches not "one step closer to destroying America" like the media makes it look.
    I think its great satire. Even the Obamas probably secretly think its funny because they know its not true and its the most absurd accusation that could be thrown at them. It's just hilarious, either the cartoonist who drew it is disconnected with the youth or is ridiculing the media as well for their beliefs.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  92. Jamie

    This is a double edged sword! On one hand it is freedom of speech and "just poking fun" but on the other hand is untrue and tasteless!! This is how rumors get started and create a mindset on people that could cause and alternate decision on who people vote for, which is ridiculous, but can and probably very well happen. And to an early comment, it doesn't matter if it was McCain or Obama, either way its wrong. Obviously, running for president, or just simply being famous, you will cross this type of ignorance. Never the less, this is offensive and I truly think because Obama is black, which for the record I'm not, and has the name 'Obama' people steriotype him to be a Muslim. People want there to be change and want "the world to be a better place", but yet we have people on these levels acting a damn fool. That kind of comment/cover doesn't make anything better. And the funniest thing is that if McCain happens to win this election and messes things up as bad as Bush did, if not worse, then The New Yorker is going to be singing a whole different tune. Watch and see, no matter the election outcome, I bet The New Yorker eats their words/thoughts/cover!

    July 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  93. Jim

    Even though I believe the people at New Yorker when they say this was mean to be satire, it was still a mistake. There are too many people out there who honestly believe this is the true identity of Barack Obama, and this kind of image isn't going to help inform them that it's not true. Perhaps if they'd put a big red stamp across the picture saying "Objects on the cover are more patriotic than they appear," there would be less offense taken.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  94. Dave in California

    It is a bad attempt at satire. Too many people will not get the satire because they actually believe this is an accurate representation of the Obamas, and there are those who are trying to dupe others into believing it is.
    Fortunately, not many of them read the New Yorker; but they may well here all the chatter it will create. And the New Yorker bears the responsibility for that.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  95. Marcus

    I think the cover is brilliant!!!! Just what many of us think and how we see the obamas! His propaganda war room spinners will be on this writing here and everywhere to curtail it but that is too bad. He and his wife are seen by millions as Anti- American and their words and actions have proven us correct! I dare you to print my letter. I bet a million you liberal cowards won't.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  96. Susan - Thunder Bay, ON

    First and foremost – the New Yorker owes Sen. & Mrs. Obama an apology. How hurtful and offensive can you be before it's not ok anymore? This cover answers that question. This isn't funny on any level.
    As well, I am surprised how many people have NOT commented on the American flag burning in the fireplace! That alone is about as offensive as you can get!

    July 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  97. Laurel Jones

    Satire or tasteless? Actually they're not mutually exclusive. It is tasteless and rather offensive satire. I think I might be ashamed to live in New York at this point, if that magazine is supposed to represent me.

    They would have done better to facetiously represent the people who have such images in their minds rather than the image itself.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  98. Meral Palmer

    Do you or New Yorker think the Rush Limbaugh crowd will get the satire. I defend their right to print what they want on their cover, However poor taste is poor taste no matter how you try to spin it. I expected better from the editorial staff. Disappointed again.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  99. J.S.

    This is satire. Public officials or those running for public office are "open season" for jokes, cartoons, satire, etc. Will the American public have to apologize for everything that Obama might find offensive if he becomes President? Freedom of speech...

    July 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  100. Kris

    Wait, hold on, people actually read The New Yorker?

    July 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  101. Karen Porter

    This cover, like the incendiary and fallacious e-mails circulating, just makes our campaigning for Obama out here in the grassroots world much, much harder. And it's hard to believe that the "intelligent" New Yorker staff couldn't figure that out. We all know what satire is, and we all know what's appropriate and inappropriate. This cartoon is totally inappropriate, just increasing so many folks' misconceptions about Barack and Michelle Obama. We are working like crazy for Obama in America's towns and neighborhoods, often trying to dispute scurrilous, lying e-mails circulating every day – and for a magazine to publish something like this is just so disappointing – and, again, multiplies the work we have to do exponentially. I was sickened when I saw this. I'm a 50-year New Yorker reader who will never read that magazine again.–Karen Porter, Team Leader, Chester County (Central Region) Obama campaign, ccobama@aol.com

    July 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  102. Kathryn Davis

    Jack,
    The cover of the New Yorker is not satire, it is repulsive. We already know what feeding peoples fear's will lead them to do, as we have seen over the past 7 years. I am ashamed to say there are too many ignorant people in this country, and this cover will solidify their fears and hate. If I were Barack and Michelle, I would immediately sue the New Yorker for slander!
    Kathy from FL

    July 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  103. Linda

    AND, if you have to work this hard to explain the joke, then it wasn't funny in the first place.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  104. Sandy

    Tasteless and offensive are the only word to describe it.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  105. James

    It's brilliant really, the funniest New Yorker cover since the New York-istan cover that followed 9/11. In the same way, this turns people's absurdly exaggerated fear into something so funny that they would be laughing at themselves, if they had any sense of humor. That goes for you too Obama, and I say that as a supporter.

    NYC

    July 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  106. John

    Charlie 6-pack will look at the cover and say to himself: "Great Art - its clear about its message, and I don't like the message."

    July 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  107. Joel Spray

    Hey Jack! What do you think about President Bush being depicted as a housewife to VP Cheney on the cover of a prior issue of New Yorker magazine or Barack Obama saying to a crowd at one of his campaign rallies earlier this year that he is ashamed of his familial linkage to VP Cheney? Why do you routinely make disgusting and disparaging personal attack comments against our President and members of his administration? Why don't you display objectivity and integrity?

    July 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  108. Christin

    I understand the goal of saitre, but I did think this went a little too far. I am usually not a knee-jerk overly sensitive part of the PC crowd, but I don't understand how this is fair to either party. Senator Obama deserves better and so does the Republican party. To suggest that those of us are not voting for him are all being prejudiced by some stereotypical fear-mongering instead of just his political views is kind of insulting.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  109. Ralph, Long Island, NY

    It means the elite snobs at the New Yorker are fully capable of being not too bright morons (and I apologize to every other moron on the planet). How is that cover satire if there are millions of idiots in this country who would look at that cover and think it's about a serious, factual article inside.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  110. SteveF

    The problem with the cover is that while it may be satire, far more people casually look at the cover of the New Yorker than actually read the magazine. They probably miss the point at best and take it as reporting at worst.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  111. Tex

    The comment to this topic shows the problem... satire or “tasteless & offensive”? It's not one or the other, it's both. There are certain things in America that we consider too sensitive to satire in any manner and have it be in good taste, but on the same note those that refuse admit it's satire are intentionally letting themselves be blinded by their emotions. More importantly, how can any editor that can get a job at the New Yorker not know immediately that even if it was the greatest satirical masterpiece of the century it would still create enough controversy that it should not be printed in good taste.... well, I suppose all press is good press.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  112. Rita Seiber

    I don't believe Barry Blitt's explanation that he's pointing out the biases of some people toward the Obamas. I 'd check his bank account, there must be a deposit worth at least five figures from the Swift Boat camp. Blitt is probably smoking a lot of pots and needs extra doughs.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  113. Matthew

    This cover would have been horrible on any other magazine. But with The New Yorker, the satire becomes obvious. However, the cover does fall short on a few account. First, while the cover declares the "Politics of Fear," it does not blame or place a point of view on the creators and upholders of those politics. Therefore, the poignancy of the satire is lost; in its place is a muddled message that reads like a collage of stereotypes and media spins. Second, the cover exists on the premise that it will interest people enough to open the magazine and read (what I assume will be) intelligently thought out articles that further explain the concepts at play in the cover. In other words, the cover is banking on the majority of America being interested in reading and substantial thinking. In a world of talking heads, spin, and sound clips, there is no way these writings will reach the masses. Instead, we are left with a media abuzz and consumed with discussion of the images – but once again, lacking the conversations that address the politics of fear which inspired the images.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  114. Jacob

    Jack are you kidding me. Stevie Wonder could see the tasteless and offensiveness of this cover! We are at a pivotal stage in the election and somewhere had to know this would only add fuel to the speculation that Obama is something other than what he says. For the white person who maybe not be college educated and who lives in Appalacia this cover is the last nail in the coffin.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  115. Lynne S

    If this happened to Mccain would we be saying the same thing. I don't think so. Unfortunately in this country we have reverse discrimination. Let's not forgot how how Mrs Obama got into Harvard.

    It's so sad –

    July 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  116. Fred

    Jack; I found the cover to be totally offensive. It shows to me that, (with all the other tasteless remarks about Sen. Obama), Americans do not want to see a blackman in the position of President of the United States. I beieve in Sen Obamas message, and I hope others are willing to look beyond what the New Yorkes has don. I am also glad that Sen McCain also came out about the cover. It shows to me that Sen McCain wants to fight Sen Obama on the issues, and not on petty issues.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  117. Chris (CT)

    Great PR for The New Yorker and another chance to sell more magazines.

    The people who are outraged and offended should remember our first ammendment rights regardless of support of disgust. It's like Howard Stern: if you don't like it don't buy it.

    Finally, just another example of Obama being the Great Divider.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  118. Katelyn

    This IS satire. It is not offensive, it's thought provoking. That's what it is supposed to be. And why is it okay for whomever to say whatever they want about McCain, but the second someone says something about Obama they're a racist or a biggot? If he or his wife represent themselves in a way that can be distorted into something they may not have intended then, while it is surely an annoyance, that is how the media works and he along with his army of supporters need to realize that.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  119. Lee

    This cartoon makes me proud to be an American. Our country allows the neocons to promote the baseless characterizatons that are satirically depicted on this cover. Likewise, the New Yorker is allowed to take a less than successful shot at satirizing those comments. I think Americans understand the reality of the Obama Presidential Nomination and very few actually think he is a secret terrorist muslim with a gun toting radicalized spouse. Give the average American some credit their grasp of reality and appreciation of exageration. Even Rosie gets this one.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  120. Bob Peters (Illinois)

    The cover is tasteless and insulting in the extreme!

    July 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  121. Jim

    The cover is accurate. Search and watch the old speeches and interviews from Obama on youtube and you'll see where he really stands.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  122. Roger

    What kind of message is The New Yorker portraying to the Arab world Jack?. The cartoonist seems to undermine all the progress made by Mr OBAMA.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  123. elizabeth Gaylynn Baker

    Shameful. They should close their doors, and that's no joke.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  124. Chris Williams

    Satirize ignorance and what you get? Well, a long freak parade of the offended ignorant, who will today fill up the empty space that is cable news. In short, not New Yorker subscirbers.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  125. kate

    Dumbed nation. The end of an era. Welcome China!

    July 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  126. KAY JONES

    Dear Jack– I will make many mistakes on this e-mail-just a warning. I

    July 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  127. Harold - CT

    Has nobody yet noticed that Michelle Obama is being portrayed as Angela Davis? Then again, one has to be as old as Jack or me to pick up on that.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  128. Richard - Kansas City

    I get it. Everyone who's posted a note get's it. Its those people who dont get the cover is what worries me.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  129. Jonathan, New York, New York

    Sorry...meant to end mine with "believe to be real."

    July 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  130. Nicholas Galitzine

    Most people will not read the story, they will only remember the pcture which will re-inforce whatever misinformation about Obama supposedly being a Muslim they had already heard and stored in the back of their minds.
    Satire is lost on a nation of poorly educated people who receive their information from a mass media that gears it stories for the lowest common denomination amongst the population. If CNN make this a big story without constantly stating that the image paints a false picture of ther Obamas CNN will fuel the fire.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  131. Brad

    Jack, tasteless is tasteless ... even satire should display a bit of taste. Will they also show one of, say, McCain being wheeled around a nursing home in a wheelchair, sound asleep, with an American Flag thrown over him like a lap blanket? I doubt it. I certainly hope not. I found this cover disgusting, not satirical, for the same reason.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  132. Lilia from MD

    To me it is tasteless; because, if you don't offend the candidate, you offend another segment of the world population "The Muslim people"

    I know most of you will say, we don't care about them. but we should treat with respect to all the relgious groups. Remember our freedom of speach ends when we offend others. this cartoon is defining all Muslims as terrorist. would we like if other people defined us Americas as Dum or Stupied. We wouldn't right? There is my point.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  133. Marie

    Maybe it is meant to be satire, and maybe avid New Yorker readers will understand that. But the average person walking by on the street will see this cover and assume it's meant to reinforce all the hateful lies that it illustrates. These average people will not buy the magazine and will not have an intellectual pro- and con- discussion with their highly educated friends, and they will not come to the conclusion that it must be satire. These average people will run to their friends and tell them "The New Yorker has an article about Obama – he really is an America-hating terrorist!" Because these average people do not know what The New Yorker is. Isn't that one of the main draws: elitism? They should have known better.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  134. David Mashburn

    One word: idiotic. Whether you agree with Obama's politics or not is beside the point. He did not deserve to be depicted this way. But then it's the NEW YORKER magazine. What else would you expect??

    July 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  135. Ken

    They say with satire there is always a thread of truth and I'm affraid there is truth in that cover. Barrack Hussain Obama is a known believer in the teachings of Islam and therfor should not be trusted asa true patriot so the depiction is true to some extent and we sould wakeup to the cold hard facts that this person does not and should not hold the nations highest office. If he is a fundamentalist believer it makes this more dangerous for our country. He has already on numerous occasions completed disrespected our American flag by not placing his hand over his heart and not wearing the pin.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  136. Ron

    Everyone, it's satire, GET OVER IT!

    It relates to the article inside. If you don't like the cover, don't read it. Why must everything/ everyone be responsible for your inability not to deal with something you don't like. It's like a TV show that you don't like. If you don't like it, don't watch it.

    Mind yourself!

    July 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  137. Jay, Dallas TX

    I think it is offensive and plays to the fear, hate and prejudice against Islam and Muslims in the West. This country was founded for freedom, and especially, freedom of religion. It is insulting, and contrary to the principles of the Constitution, to single out one religion and its followers for hate and prejudice, mainyl due to Middle East policies and appeasement of Zionists and right wing Christian conservatives.

    I support Obama and his candidacy but I am disappionted at how he has also distanced himself from Muslims. Note to US politicians: there are more than 10 million Muslims now in the US, and their numbers will increase going forward. Whereas there should be no bigotry or hate against Jews either, it is shameful at how the administration and media shove the Zionist agenda down the American people's throats, and harming US interests in the process.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  138. Stacy in Newark

    Jack

    The point of satire is to exxagerate the truth. None of the satirical references in this cover are true. It was satire when they showed Abe Lincoln in a longish dangly stature. It was satire when they overemphasized Bush's small eyes and large ears. This is not satire, it is stupid. I am sure their membership suscription will lose a few customers over this (NOW that is a saitre).

    I don't think it will have much an impact on voters, those who thought any of these caricatures were plausible, were not going to vote for him anyway. Thank God, the majority of new voters are not as easily swayed.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  139. Chris

    Complete satire. Presidents and other political figures have long been lampooned in political cartoons. Plus, consider the source...the New Yorker has never been shy about using "controversial", unfunny cartoons.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  140. Jack L. Crain

    Tasteless satire.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  141. Bob from Baltimore

    Since there is no footnote title on the cover that suggests "satire" rather than "editorial" it will simply re-enforce each person's perspective, not open-minded discussion. Just have the New Yorker print a cover of McCain next month... this one reprising the infamous vietnamese handgun execution photo, but have the victim be a US soldier serving in Iraq with McCain on the trigger.

    Satire is never an excuse for tasteless journalism - just look at your competitors, Jack.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  142. Melissa in Florida

    The cover of The New Yorker shows extremely poor judgement on the part of the magazine. Satire is one thing but one must acknowledge that many Americans believe the lies spread through e-mails and the pundits on Faux News. The cover of The New Yorker will just reinforce the falsehoods.

    Equal time is called for. Let's have some satire on John and Cindy McBush whom the media seem to love!

    July 14, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  143. David C from N. Atlanta

    This is absolutely a satire, which is defined as "the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.".

    I think the real reason most people are so upset, as they should be, is due to the fact that there are ignorant Americans that will view the cover, adopt the image as fact, and not even read the article.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  144. Aziz Jackson

    The cover of the New Yorker is offensive. They say it is satire but the New Yorker knows what they are doing. They are trying to put the fear out there to the american people to try and scare them from voting for an African American for president.These are the tactics many will be putting out there because they do not want to see Barack Obama as the President. The racists that they are at the New Yorker and any other magazines that follow this trend are going to be in for the shock of there life. Using these tactics will backfire and the more hateful these people are to Senator Obama the more righteous people will stand up and come in droves to support this great man.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  145. Mariam Ahmed, Esq.

    As a woman, a liberal, a Muslim, a Democrat, a lawyer, and most of all, as an American, I am disgusted and horrified on every level by this cover. Shame on you New Yorker!

    July 14, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  146. GMC from Columbus, Ohio

    This is horribly disgusting! Who came up with that smear tactic? Karl Rove?

    July 14, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  147. reddragon

    Honestly, are we going to get as bad as those who refuse to allow images of Mohammed? They feel it is satire and I believe that is the intent. If you do not care for it, do not buy their product. Simple as that.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  148. mel

    Someone at the New Yorker will either get fired or a raise...

    July 14, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  149. Will

    To qoute jody Foster's character in the movie Contact: ....."Words cannot describe......they should have sent... a poet.."
    Right winged manure of the highest degree!!!!!

    July 14, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  150. LeKisha Ward

    As usual, the Obama's are yet again singled out. We never see such 'satire' towards McCain and his wife. If this is indeed not about race, religion, or patriotism, I await what 'satire' will be presented for the McCain's.

    LeKisha Ward
    Richmond, VA

    July 14, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  151. Mark K. in Kalamazoo MI

    It's what you get New Yorker for trying to tell a joke that is obviously a little bit above everyone's heads. Obama realizes this, and has to bring his own level of humor down to ol' Cletus and Daisy out in the sticks to say it's tasteless and offensive.

    Hey idiots--do you GET the joke? Seriously? Do you GET it? It's a PRO-OBAMA CARTOON, STUPID.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  152. M. Joffe

    I have enjoyed reading the New Yorker for years and am very sad to say that I am ashamed of them. Satire is one thing but this is just bad taste and another example of how todays media becomes the instigator of misleading information.

    Charlotte, NC

    July 14, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  153. John in Tampa

    I agree with those who write that the New Yorker is living in a dreamland, where they think responsible and intelligent people will read the words that go with their cartoon. Not so. This is a barely literate society where even the percentage who read can't find time to read everything. And even some with brains will see instant vindication for their existing mindset and just settle in more smugly.

    So the picture will remain without the words, and ignorant people will let it sway their votes. That is not good.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  154. sharons

    Yes, the picture is offensive. The New Yorker is obviously going to get a lot of mileage out of it. The thing to ask yourselves is this: Would there still be some Americans who think Obama is a muslim ( which for some stupid reason is always equated in a derrogatory manner with the word terrorist) even if this picture wasn't published? The answer is undoubtedly, albeit very sadly, yes. Some people want to believe what they want to believe.

    What bothers me so much is this: if America is a free country, what difference does it make if he actually were a Muslim? Isn't the US a democracy? Doesnt' that mean all Americans regardless of religious afiliation have the right to run for President? Apparently not.

    Guess if you're Jewish, Bahaii, Buddhist or any other type of religious American, you might as well tell your children to hang it up and settle for, at best, Governor.

    I am pleased that Obama has come so far. It would be nice if he were to win the Presidency just because of the major breakthrough it would be for persons of colour in general.

    What should matter more to us is not whether Obama is a Christian or a Muslim, but whether or not he has the poise and intelligence to do a good job. I'm think, so far, the answer is probably 'yes'.

    If people are going to vote against anyone based on a New Yorker cover, then they deserve whatever they get.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  155. David Hammond

    A significant percentage of misinformed Americans believe Obama is a Muslim; those same folks will see this cartoon not as satire but as realistic representation. I've subscribed to the New Yorker for many years; I have admired this magazine; what an error in judgement! This venerable publication is reinforcing the most venal prejudices.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  156. Alexia Cameron

    How much time have Americans spent reading about the "Satire" cartoon in the New Yorker today? How many americans will be sure to read the accompanying article that will follow? Now, how many of us have read an article in the New Yorker in the past week, month or even year? Not as many... At the end of the day, the New Yorker is still a for profit corporation that sells news. Someone there figured out Satire news sells faster. The person who approved the article will probably get a promotion for increasing the number of readers. Personally I think the cartoon is disgusting, however I don't own stock at the New Yorker.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  157. William

    Satire

    As for the people looking for equal treatment. Bush as Nero on the cover of Jan 22, 2007 New Yorker. The point being drawn there is a ruthless tyrant who took perverse pleasure in watching his country burn to the ground. As opposed to this cover which would seem to indicate the very same thing, just with a Muslim theme as opposed to a roman one.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  158. Charles (Texas)

    As the saying goes, a picture is worth a 1000 words. This is wrong on so many levels. The New Yorker is feeding into the fears of many of Americans, who are undecided and really seeking a change in the politics as usual from Washington. At this point its hard for me as late 30 something black male to find many things to be proud of about my so-called country (The UNITED States of America) in my life time.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  159. Dan St. Petersburg, FL

    My first reaction to this cover was laughter. It is clearly satire making fun of the ignorant and rampant rumors about Obama and the people who believe them. The image is ridiculous just like the stories. Unfortunately many of the reactions to this image make me sad since they show that satire is something beyond the grasp of too many people in our society. Critical thought is the other national deficit. The cover was meant to provoke reaction and thought but likely will cause a lot of thoughtless reactions.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  160. Libby of Illinois

    I agree with Rosalynd and Pietro.......VERY POOR TASTE!! Unless of course the magazine is goingt to do the same for John McCain.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  161. Joan

    This was obviously meant to be a satire and to draw attention to the lies and misconceptions that have been spread about Barack Obama. Unfortunately, many people might not get this and will only see the cover on a news stand and think that this magazine condones and believes these untruths. It's similar to the covers of the celebrity tabloids that we see at grocery store check-outs and tend to read and possibly believe what we see. It's unfortunate to see the path this election is starting to take.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  162. Rick from Bowie

    The cover was TASTELESS. The editor gambled, lost, and should be escorted out. This was premeditated and the implications and ramifications are known upfront. Set the tone of intolerance and get an editor who can be more responsible in his/her decision making.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  163. JWN from SC

    Satire, my foot!!!

    July 14, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  164. Alasdair Mackenzie

    When did Rupert Murdoch purchase the New Yorker?

    July 14, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  165. Michael Ebert

    The New Yorker cover cartoon misses its supposed satirical intent completely. Instead, it will prod the fears and doubts of Jews and non-Jews who continue to believe that Obama and Michelle are Muslim terrorists or pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel. This cover is inflammatory, tasteless, and just plain stupid.

    Michael Ebert
    Rico, Co

    July 14, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  166. Jason

    It is satire. But I would love to see a McCain cover with the Senator sitting in a wheel chair with wearing soiled Depends. Now that would be funny!

    July 14, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  167. Ellis

    The problem is that, although the New Yorker's intent is satirical, that intent is not obvious from the cover. If the cover were on a conservative magazine, it would not be interpreted as satire, but as a conservative (and offensive) view of the Obamas. The New Yorker may have given its readership the benefit of the doubt that the cover would be interpreted "correctly", but that's an awful lot of trust the New Yorker is placing in its readership on such a sensative topic. I'm a pretty educated person and I did not "get it" the first time I saw the cover. It took me a while to see it from the view point of the New Yorker magazine. The New Yorker took a gamble and lost big time. The inherent point being made by the cover has now gotten lost in the contraversy sourrounding it.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  168. Rick NC

    Sometimes people are so insensitive to their own prejudice they can't recognize the blatant racism that they themselves are guilty of.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  169. Frances Jahmelik, Rialto, CA

    Satire it is-so America has come along ways in race and religious freedoms.

    Bill and Hillary Clinton, Russ Limbough and the other right-wing minister were correct–is that what the magazine based its satire on?

    God bless and keep America because after all these years, no t much has changed in the thought process of the so called ancestors of the founding fathers.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  170. Joseph Migyanka

    Jack

    The NYer forgot to add the portraits of Rev. Wright and Mr. Ayers on the wall; and a Koran to round out the satire.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  171. Chancie

    Satire is an exaggeration of the truth. This is an exaggeration of a lie and false rumors. Does the magazine have to stoop this low to get good ratings? Ouch… Journalism at it's worst...

    July 14, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  172. Karen

    I find the article disrespectful, tacky and in poor taste, no matter who or what the subject.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  173. K

    It is tastless because Americans are not yet mature enough to KNOW that it was meant as satire (and the New Yorker staff is WELL aware of it!). If Americans were more mature, they (The New Yorker) wouldnt even bother with creating what they KNEW would spark unnecessary, hurtful, rhetoric.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  174. Steve Green

    This is more than tasteless! I am not even an Obama supporter ,but an extremely offended by this outrageous "cartoon". There should be some form of boycott against this magazine.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  175. Theresa

    If they really wanted to be that stupid, another cover picture of Angelina and Brad and babies would have sufficed and nobody would be upset.

    Des Moines, Iowa

    July 14, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  176. Chuck

    I think the cover is hillarious!! People need to relax!!

    July 14, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  177. Martin Milgrim

    I am a liberal ex-New Yorker who has subscribed to "The New Yorker"
    for many years and will continue to do so. Nevertheless I must protest at the apparent stupidity that allowed the latest Barry Blitt cover to be published. Readers of the New Yorker get satire. Most people who pass newsstands or who watch Fox News have difficulty
    even defining the word, much like their President's incapacity to understand "nuance". For a magazine that features such journalists and writers as Sy Hersh and Hendrik Hertzberg, I am appalled at this horrifying lack of judgment. We are trying to start anew from the worst two Presidential terms I've seen in my lifetime and magaine covers like this latest one do not help one bit. For shame.

    Martin Milgrim
    Boynton Beach, FL

    July 14, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  178. Maya - Charlotte, NC

    This is above and beyond satire. Even if you aren't voting Obama, you should still be outraged that a national magazine could portray and perpetuate lies and stereotypes that has hampered our country for several centuries.

    The cover is insinuating that being too Black and a Muslim are bad things....So being different from mainstream is a crime in America now? How far have we really moved the bar for equality and justice?

    I am personally offended because these images not only send a false message to those who know little to nothing about what's truly important, but they depict the Obama's as anti-American. Again, this is another example of how this is all a matrix and how the media is controling this election. Let's stick to the real issues.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  179. grant, boston

    it's tastelss satire.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  180. Greg

    Nobody reads we are a country of , images, soundbytes etc. So when someone with an already negative view of obama walks past a newstand they don't stop and read....all they are going to do is glance at this picture and say wow I guess its true. The american people aren't as savy as the press would like to believe. All it takes is the right image and people are off to the races. What you call satire is what I call amunition and a ready made flag for anyone who doesn't know any better to begin with. This cover is irresponsible and actually helps the republicans promote more fear. So good job idiots way to not make your point. But you want to sell magazines and I'm sure you already expected the fallout which is why you did it in the first place.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  181. eileen

    Obama should sue the magazine. The perpetrators of this crime deserve a public hanging.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  182. David Desjardins

    Satire? Sure – if it was John McCain and his wife dressed exactly the same way. Then the viewer wouldn't be confused, and it would still be a biting jab at the media. Somewhere in New York, a highly detached editor is wondering what all the fuss is about, and the accountants are looking forward to their highest selling edition in years.

    I am disgusted.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  183. Nick

    has it occured to anyone out there that the new yorker only published a cover like this because they want the publicity and the increased sales? the fact that anyone is responding so adamantly on either side of the "satire"/"offensive" argument is just generating the hype that the editors at the new yorker wanted in the first place. the new yorker magazine is complete irrelevent and should just as well be ignored completely, no matter what you may think of their cartoon cover.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  184. Lars from Denmark

    It's undoubtedly satire, and quite clever, to boot. However, the US is not exactly a nation of intellectuals, so while most liberals will be gasping idiotically, the conservatives will be yelling "I told you so!!" at the top of their lungs. No one benefits from this cover.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  185. Jann in Denver

    This is tasteless and as a black person I find it offensive.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  186. James

    You know something is wrong when both parties have said this cartoon is offensive. I understand the intent, to make a mockery of the accusations against Obama, but the way it was executed was tasteless and disgusting. But in the end I'm sure it will sell magazines and that's the real intent, right?

    July 14, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  187. Scottimus

    I think it's accurate.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  188. Rachel

    Ok, everyone just take a deep breath and relax....

    With all that is going on and wrong with the world today the New Yorker cover is what we have to discuss?

    By next week it will be lining bird cages everywhere.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  189. John

    That a middle of the road weekly like the New Yorker can inspire outrage is more worrying that any cover. Nothing is satire for those who don't get it; sadly, it seems far too many are in this camp.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  190. Tom Turpie

    I adore satire, but the operative word is 'Cover'. This is a right wing covert attack on Obama, all under the cover of satire.
    The motives are so obvious, its pitiful.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  191. Bob in Mesa, Az

    Damn tasteless

    July 14, 2008 at 6:32 pm |
  192. Dr. Townes, Ph.D.

    When did Michelle Obama start wearing an Afro? Does she even have military service record? Does Barack Obama own a pair of sandals? What the intent of the New Yorker cover to scare the hell out of White people? Since when are stereotypes considered satire? Why not add to the picture, Jackie Chan as Secretary of Defense, Chris Rock as Secretary of State, Cheech Martin as Secretary of Labor, and Napolean Dynomite as Secretary of Education. Otherwise, it looks very stereotypical. When mass media promotes stereotypes, it becomes more than just a stereotype. It is cultural racism.

    July 14, 2008 at 6:34 pm |