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Obama to cartoon: 'I've seen and heard worse'
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Barack Obama addressed the New Yorker's cover depicting him in Muslim garb and his wife as an armed militant, saying it is an unsuccessful attempt at satire, according to media report Wednesday.

This July 14, 2008 handout image courtesy of The New Yorker magazine shows the cover of the July 21st issue, entitled "The Politics of Fear," in which artist Barry Blitt satirizes the use of scare tactics and misinformation in the Presidential election to derail Barack Obama's campaign. [Agencies]

Obama said that the satire will likely fuel misconceptions he has long battled over the course of his presidential campaign.

But he downplayed the impact of the magazine's illustration.

"It's a cartoon ... and that's why we've got the First Amendment," Obama said. "And I think the American people are probably spending a little more time worrying about what's happening with the banking system and the housing market, and what's happening in Iraq and Afghanistan, than a cartoon. So I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about it."

"I've seen and heard worse," he added. "I do think that in attempting to satirize something, they probably fueled some misconceptions about me instead. But that was their editorial judgment." The cover, which also depicts a US flag burning in the fireplace and a picture of bin Laden on the wall, drew heavy criticism from both political parties after it circulated on the Internet over the weekend. Both presidential campaigns immediately condemned the magazine, calling the illustration "tasteless and offensive."

David Remnick, the longtime editor of the publication, said he believes the ironic intent of the illustration -- to satirize misconceptions about Obama -- will be clear to most Americans.

(Chinadaily.com.cn via agencies July 17, 2008)

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