Latest New Yorker cover is tame compared to these magazines 

A Matter of Tastelessness

Suppertime at the Bill Burton house must be a pretty grim affair, a real no-yuks-allowed bitch-and-moaner that makes the feed on C-SPAN look like a daylong George Carlin marathon on Comedy Central.

Oh. You don't know who Burton is? Well, he's a spokesman for the Obama campaign, and apparently, he can take a joke about as well as Jamie Lynn Spears can take a birth control pill once a day.

See, a few days back, Burton was all in a tizzy about the latest issue of The New Yorker, the one featuring an illustration of Barack Obama wearing traditional Muslim garb and his wife Michelle dressed as a gun-toting terrorist. Shrill Bill didn't find the image funny, not in the slightest. So, he issued this statement: "The New Yorker may think, as one of their staff explained to us, that their cover is a satirical lampoon of the caricature Sen. Obama's right-wing critics have tried to create. But most readers will see it as tasteless and offensive. And we agree."

Oddly enough, so does the McCain camp. Tucker Bounds, spokesman for McCain, had this to say: "We completely agree with the Obama campaign. It's tasteless and offensive."

Actually, Mr. Bounds, what's truly "tasteless and offensive" is repeating your opponent's overly sensitive sound bite.

Fortunately, Bounds, Burton, and all the other folks who are apparently genetically predisposed to feign outrage haven't been told about the other, far more offensive covers hitting stands this week. Improbably, each one of them focuses on a Lowcountry VIP. Imagine that. (Actually, that's exactly what you'll have to do since, well, these magazines don't exist.)

The first comes to us courtesy of Soused Carolina Today, and it features a cartoon image of Charleston City Councilman Tim Mallard on the cover, bleary eyed and behind the wheel — with a trail of broken stop signs, belching fire hydrants and bewildered crossing guards in his wake. The reason for the honor? The editors of Soused Carolina named Mallard its elected official of the year, narrowly beating out state Sen. Randy Scott. Congrats, Timmy. You deserve it.

Also getting the cover-girl treatment this week: Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen, who appears on the front page of Temperance Beat, the official magazine of the Preteen Teetotalers Union and Abstinence Guild. Underneath the headline, "OMG!! Like frisk me already!!," Chief Mullen sheepishly grins behind a kiss-covered face. Inside Mullenettes can enter a contest to win a date with Greggie-poo himself. Fingers crossed. Fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, Gov. Mark Sanford lands on the cover of Contenders, the bi-monthly pub for political lightweights and the pundits who love them. It's not a pretty sight. The cover depicts Sanford in a navy blue-and-khaki evening gown, a pair of high-heeled boat shoes, and a tiara made out of pig poop as he fails to answer a question from Wolf Blitzer about John McCain's economic policy during the Q&A portion of the Miss Blank Stare Beauty Pageant. You won't see a more dazed expression on a human being until later this fall when Brett Favre suffers his next concussion.

Then there's the latest issue of Drummer Boy, a neo-Confederate rag featuring photo spreads of emaciated Civil War reenactors — in dressings and out. This month's Boy features the NAACP's Dot Scott on the cover, sporting nothing but Confederate flag pasties and a matching bikini bottom. Talk about whistlin' Dixie.

And Drummer Boy's treats don't stop there, either. Flip on over to the centerfold and you'll see Sen. Glenn McConnell in all of his birthday-suit glory. Johnny come marching home indeed.


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