The magazine says its cover is a joke-but not everyone is laughing.
The current issue of The New Yorker is stirring up rage and controversy.
The July 21 cover, labeled, "The Politics of Fear," depicts Obama wearing Muslim-style clothing and doing a fist bump with wife Michelle, who is dressed for combat with a rifle slung over her back. A portrait of Osama bin Laden hangs over the fireplace, which has an American flag burning in it.
The magazine's cover artist, Barry Blitt, insists the image is intended to be a spoof to show how rumors and scare tactics are being used to destroy Obama's campaign efforts.
Britt writes in an email to the Huffington Post: "I think the idea that the Obamas are branded as unpatriotic [let alone as terrorists] in certain sectors is preposterous. It seemed to me that depicting the concept would show it as the fear-mongering ridiculousness that it is."
An Obama spokesperson Bill Burton says the magazine crossed the line, saying "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-winged critics have tried to create, but most readers will see it as tasteless and offensive. And we agree."
Senator John McCain also showed his support by calling the cover "tasteless and offensive."
In its defense, the magazine's editor David Remnick told the New York Daily News that he was surprised by the public 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."
Is the cover offensive or just artistic expression misinterpreted?