When The New Yorker magazine published a cartoonish depiction of Barack Obama and his disengaged wife on the cover of its July 21, 2008, issue, it let loose a storm of angry criticism. Was it satire, as editor David Remnick insisted, or monumental bad taste and poor judgment, as critics howled?
Undoubtedly, Advance Publications, publishers of The New Yorker, felt the massive wave of anger the cover provoked, not to mention the avalanche of canceled subscriptions that followed.
By a curious coincidence, the August 2008 issue of Vanity Fair, a monthly publication in the vast Advance Publications empire, appeared with an equally uncomplimentary cartoonish depiction of John McCain and his omnipresent wife.
Whether it achieved the hoped-for political balance and calmed the roiled waters full of unhappy subscribers we leave for readers to decide.
For whatever reason, the McCain cover elicited much less attention from critics, perhaps, as some suggested, because it was closer to reality. Readers can judge the relative merits of each cover.