WASHINGTON Barack Obama s campaign says a satirical New Yorker magazine cover showing the Democratic presidential candidate dressed as a Muslim and his wife as a terrorist is tasteless and offensive.
The illustration on the issue that hits newsstands Monday, titled The Politics of Fear and drawn by Barry Blitt, depicts Barack Obama wearing traditional Muslim garb sandals, robe and turban and his wife, Michelle dressed in camouflage, combat boots and an assault rifle strapped over her shoulder standing in the Oval Office.
The couple is doing a fist tap in front of a fireplace in which an American flag is burning. Over the mantle hangs a portrait of Osama bin Laden.
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, said Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton. But most readers will see it as tasteless and offensive. And we agree.
A spokeswoman for The New Yorker did not immediately return a call to The Associated Press.
The magazine s editor, David Remnick, said in a statement to the Daily News in New York that he was surprised by the reaction.
The cover combines a number of fantastical images about the Obamas and shows them (the images) for the obvious distortions they are, he said.
Satire is part of what we do, and it is meant to bring things out into the open, to hold up a mirror to the absurd, Remnick said.
Republican John McCain s campaign spokesman, Tucker Bonds, agreed that the cover was tasteless and offensive.
Already the cover was generating controversy on the Internet.
The Huffington Post, a left-leaning blog, said: Anyone who s tried to paint Obama as a Muslim, anyone who s tried to portray Michelle as angry or a secret revolutionary out to get Whitey, anyone who has questioned their patriotism well, here s your image.