New York, Jul 14: A New Yorker magazine cover page depicting US Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama as a traditionally dressed Muslim and his wife Michelle as a gun-totting terrorist has stirred a controversy with Obama's campaign slamming it "tasteless and offensive".
The latest issue of th magazine shows Obama, 47, in the Oval Office donning a white turban like Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and Michelle with an 'Afro' hairstyle carrying a machine gun. An American flag can also be seen burning in the fire place and a picture of Laden hangs on the wall.
"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 a to create," Obama spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement.
"But most readers will see it as tasteless and offensive. And we agree," CNN quoted Burton as saying.
Republican presidential nominee John McCain's campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds said he agreed with Burton's views.
Obama, who hopes to be the first African-American president, has refused to comment on the illustration.
The Obama campaign has had to fight an intensive e-mail spam campaign that claims Obama is secretly a Muslim, and his wife is an African-American radical.
Meanwhile, the editor of The New Yorker David Remnick said he wouldn't have run a cover just to get attention.
"I ran the cover because I thought it had something to say. What I think it does is hold up a mirror to the prejudice and dark imaginings about the Obama's and politics," Remnick was quoted as saying by The Huffington Post.
Barry Blitt, the artist behind the controversial New Yorker cover, said, "Depicting the concept would show it as the fear-mongering ridiculousness that it is."