The cover of this week’s New Yorker magazine has created a political furore. It depicts Barack Obama, who barring any last minute upset is expected to be the Democratic Party’s candidate for the American Presidency, standing in the Oval Office of the White House wearing a white turban and a Muslim style robe.
Next to him stands his wife Michelle, sporting a Afro haircut and carrying an AK-47 machine gun and a bandolier of ammunition. On the wall behind them hangs a picture of Osama Bin Laden, and in the fireplace an American flag is burning.
The magazine claims the cartoon cover is a satire – that highlights some of the scare stories that have been running since Obama became the almost certain Democratic candidate. But not everyone sees it that way.
Many readers regard it as tasteless – and hundreds have already announced they are canceling their subscription to the magazine.
Many politicians – even political rivals – have condemned the cover. Many have labelled it offensive and tasteless. Among them Obama’s Republican rival Senator John McCain.
The editor of The New Yorker, David Remmick, defending its publication, claims the cover, which is captioned The Poltics of Fear, is merely a satire. But admitted that it seemed to have set the pot boiling.
Obama himself merely shrugged and declined to comment when asked his reaction. But some of his staff condemned the cartoon
Many Americans, asked their opinion, felt the cover was tasteless – or at the least heavy-handed. Quite a few said they thought it was tacky.