Or, as Mike Allen's Politico Playbook puts it: Satire or Stupid?
TOP TALKER -- THE OBAMA AND McCAIN CAMPAIGNS BOTH ISSUED STATEMENTS LAST NIGHT CALLING THE NEW YORKER'S COVER 'TASTELESS AND OFFENSIVE.' N.Y. Daily News cover – 'NOT SO FUNNY – Team Obama: Mag's cover cartoon 'tasteless' – Inside: 'TERROR-ABLE TOON'
The cover shows Barack and Michelle Obama fist-bumping in the Oval Office, he in a turban and she wearing jungle-camo pants and slinging an automatic weapon. A portrait of Osama bin Laden hangs over the mantle, with an American flag crackling in the fireplace.
Here's the description from the magazine's press release: 'On the cover of the July 21, 2008, issue of The New Yorker, in 'The Politics of Fear,' artist Barry Blitt satirizes the use of scare tactics and misinformation in the presidential election to derail Barack Obama's campaign.'
Here's the description from ABC's Jake Tapper says on his 'Political Punch' blog: 'Michelle is in full revolutionary garb, an enormous afro making her look like a millennial Angela Davis.'
Obama chief strategist David Axelrod said on MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' that it was 'poorly executed' but not the focus of the campaign's attention.
On CNN's 'Reliable Sources,' Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune defended it as 'quite within the normal realms of journalism': 'It's just lampooning all the crazy ignorance out there.'
HUFFINGTON POST interviews New Yorker Editor David Remnick, who says: 'Obviously I wouldn't have run a cover just to get attention - I ran the cover because I thought it had something to say. What I think it does is hold up a mirror to the prejudice and dark imaginings about Barack Obama's - both Obamas' - past, and their politics. ... We've run many many satirical political covers. Ask the Bush administration how many.'