So I guess the big political controversy during my brief break from blogging was this:
First of all, this is supposed to be SATIRE. Apparently the article within the magazine examines the numerous wacko rumors and smears that have been circulating about Obama, and they are certainly not trying to promote them.
However...I do see a big problem with this cover, and the Obama campaign is right to take issue with it. Many people will see the cover but not read the article. Depicting Obama in such a way, whatever the intent, will help perpetuate the toxic meme that Obama is somehow linked to Islamic terrorists and/or is anti-American, simply through subliminal means. The more people see Obama+turban, or Obama+Bin Laden, or Obama+AK47, or Obama+burning American flag, the more they will associate him with those things, consciously or not. If the New Yorker's intention was to defend him against these silly rumors, they should have known better than to use such an inflammatory and potentially harmful cover image.