Blame sagging magazine sales and a crowded marketplace, some analysts suspect, but the current New Yorker magazine cover likening Barack Obama to a turban-wearing terrorist while he fist-bumps his gun toting wife is getting raked over the coals by Obama supporters.

The Obama campaign has called the caricature “tasteless and offensive,” but the artist is standing by his work.

Barry Blitt, who’s behind the controversial cover, says it’s pure satire.

But some, including John McCain’s campaign, fail to see the humour.

“We completely agree with the Obama campaign, it’s tasteless and offensive,” McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds e-mailed CBS News.

Obama’s camp elaborated”

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

According to a news release sent out by the magazine previewing the issue, the purpose of the cover is to satirise “the use of scare tactics and misinformation in the Presidential election to derail Barack Obama’s campaign.”

According to reports, the article manages to paint Obama in a positive light, despite what some feel is a misleading cover (an American flag burns in the fireplace behind the political power couple).

Obama was first made aware of the cover at a press conference in San Diego by a reporter for the local CBS affiliate.

“The upcoming issue of The New Yorker, the July 21 issue, has a picture of you, depicting you and your wife on the cover,” the reporter said. “Have you seen it? If not, I can show it to you on my computer.”

At the conference, Obama declined to comment.

Several political analysts have said that while the cover is controversial, it’s nothing out of line with covers The New Yorker has delivered in the past. Writer Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune argued that the cover is “quite within the normal realms of journalism,” adding “it’s just lampooning all the crazy ignorance out there.”

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