The New Yorker’s new cover is a cartoon showing Barack Obama “in one-piece Muslim garb and headdress fist-bumping his booted, Afro-wearing wife Michelle in camo clothes with an AK-47 and ammo-belt,” said Andrew Malcolm in the Los Angeles Times’ Top of the Ticket blog, among other incendiary images drawn from persistent rumors dogging Obama. It’s clearly “way over-the-top” satire, but Obama’s campaign and John McCain’s both criticized it as “tasteless and offensive.”

That’s because despite the satirical intentions of “the sophisticates at The New Yorker,” said Jake Tapper in ABC News’ Political Punch blog, this cartoon will end up “a recruitment poster for the right-wing.” Stripped of the context of its “Upper East Side liberal” audience, this parody will “feed into the same beast” that is un-ironically peddling lies about Obama.

“So Republicans must be thrilled,” right? said Ed Morrissey in the blog Hot Air. “Not exactly.” By creating a caricature of what liberals believe conservatives think of Obama, The New Yorker has managed to offend both Obama and “conservatives who have a number of substantial issues" with him as a candidate.

Well, “privately, some McCain types admit they find the cover funny,” said Byron York in National Review Online’s The Corner blog. And it will probably help their candidate. The “defensive outrage” from the Obama camp will just subtly reinforce the rumors. “Maybe it’s funny, and maybe it’s tasteless and offensive—maybe all three—but it will be noticed.”