New York A satirical New Yorker magazine cover cartoon depicting Barack Obama and his wife as flag-burning, fist-bumping radicals drew outrage from the Democratic presidential candidate's campaign as it appeared on newsstands Monday.
The illustration, titled "The Politics of Fear" and drawn by Barry Blitt, depicts Obama wearing traditional Muslim clothing - sandals, robe and turban - while his wife, Michelle, has an assault rifle slung over one shoulder and is dressed in camouflage and combat boots with her hair in an Afro.
A flag burns in a fireplace behind them as they exchange a fist bump, the affectionate greeting they used onstage the night Obama clinched the Democratic nomination. A Fox News anchor later referred to it as a possible "terrorist fist jab." A portrait of Osama bin Laden hangs above the fireplace.
The cartoon, which Obama's campaign said was "tasteless and offensive," is not explained inside the magazine. The issue, dated July 21, also contains a 15,000-word story about Obama's political education and early years in Chicago.
The cartoonist's previous covers include a drawing of President Bush and his inner circle floating up to their elbows in water inside the Oval Office, for an issue published just after Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans.
In a statement, the magazine said the cover combines "fantastical images about the Obamas and shows them for the obvious distortions they are."
"The burning flag, the nationalist-radical and Islamic outfits, the fist-bump, the portrait on the wall? All of them echo one attack or another," it said.
Obama, who is Christian, has long fought rumors that he is secretly a Muslim. His wife has endured her own attacks, including ones that claimed there was videotape of her criticizing "whitey" from a church pulpit. The Obama campaign says there is no such tape because she never spoke at a church.
The magazine said satire is part of what it does "to hold up a mirror to prejudice, the hateful, and the absurd. And that's the spirit of this cover."