Vanity Fair has stepped into the fray over a controversial New Yorker magazine cover featuring a cartoon Barack Obama as a terrorist by issuing their own faked John McCain parody cover this week.

The Vanity Fair McCain cover cartoon features the presumptive Republican Presidential nominee hunched over a walker with wife Cindy McCain cradling an armful of prescription pill bottles.

As part of what the magazine calls an “affectionate rivalry” with the New Yorker, Vanity Fair published a faked cartoon cover of a geriatric McCain on its web site this week.

The spoof Vanity Fair cover mocks a cover published by the New Yorker earlier this month showing Barack Obama as a turban-wearing terrorist figure.

Presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Obama bumps fists with his wife Michelle Obama, drawn as an afro-wielding, gun-toting guerilla fighter.

The Obama campaign responded to the New Yorker magazine cover with accusations the cartoon image was “tasteless and offensive,” but the illustrator of the cover, Barry Blitt, said it was simply political satire of the purist kind.

A statement issued to the press by the New Yorker said the cover was simply meant to satirise “the use of scare tactics and misinformation in the presidential election to derail Barack Obama’s campaign.”

Just as the furore over the New Yorker cover seems to be dying down a bit, Vanity Fair decided to revisit the issue with its own ‘fake’ magazine cover featuring presumptive Republican Presidential nominee John McCain and his wife, created by illustrator Tim Bower.

It portrays 72-year-old McCain as an ancient oldster with a walker in one hand, fist-bumping wife Cindy McCain with the other.

She, meanwhile, stands primly with legs crossed, cradling an armful of prescription pill bottles like an infant.

Bandages on McCain’s head reference scars from skin cancer, while the pill bottles echo Cindy McCain’s past history with prescription pain killer addiction.

The post on the Vanity Fair website accompanying the parody cover cartoon says the McCain cover was created “in a selfless act of solidarity” with rival New Yorker magazine.

In a tongue-in-cheek tone, Vanity Fair proclaims they have always had “a kind of affectionate rivalry with our downstairs neighbours at the New Yorker” and has been “watching the kerfuffle over last week’s New Yorker cover with a mixture of empathy and better-you-than-us relief.”

Acknowledging their own past controversy-provoking coverage, including the recent media furore over near-nude photos of teenage Disney star Miley Cyrus, Vanity Fair said “heaven knows we’ve published our share of scandalous images, on the cover and otherwise.”

© 2008 GayWired.com; All Rights Reserved.