Sen. Obama has had to deal with a number of controversies after
people in his camp said or did something offensive to some. And he set
up an anti-smear website dedicated to squashing rumors about him and
his family.

Now, along comes this New Yorker magazine cover story with a cartoon depiction of Barack and Michelle Obama that’s just over the top.

The illustration, appearing on this week’s issue, is
titled “The Politics of Fear” and shows Obama in the Oval Office in
sandals, robe and turban giving a “fist bump” to his wife, Michelle,
who is outfitted in combat boots and an assault rifle. A painting of
Osama bin Laden hangs above the fireplace in which an American flag is
burning..

“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,” said
Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton. “But most readers will see it as
tasteless and offensive. And we agree.”

In a rare instance of solidarity, so did both Democrats and Republicans, including Sen. John McCain.

What were they thinking?! New Yorker editor David Remnick said the drawing…

“combines a number of images that have been propagated,
not by everyone on the right but by some, about Obama’s supposed ‘lack
of patriotism’ or his being ’soft on terrorism’ or the idiotic notion
that somehow Michelle Obama is the second coming of the Weathermen or
most violent Black Panthers.”

And they illustrated that by doing something idiotic.

One thing remains constant in these elections, and that’s the
dignity of the office of the presidency of the United States. When
anyone in partisan politics denigrates the president, the office, or
candidates who are seeking election to it…it says more about the source
of the insult than its target.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....