Noam and I both blogged earlier about Ryan Lizza's terrific New Yorker piece on Barack Obama's Chicago days, but now it seems like Ryan's story (and every other article with actual reporting) is going to have to compete for headlines with the brouhaha that has arisen over the magazine's new cover. Eve has the story here, and The Page and The Politico are both making a big deal about it. Expect the morning shows to hotly debate whether the magazine's editors went over the line by running Barry Blitt's drawing.

What I do not understand, however, is why the Obama campaign has chosen to pick a fight with the magazine, thereby assuring that the story will have legs. Obama spokesman Bill Burton has stated that:

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."

Okay, but why make a stink at all? As a colleague put it to me in an email:

"No one would have even noticed it--certainly no one in the right-wing nut-o-sphere--if they'd just kept their mouths shut. Now we're going to get all this protest-too-much commentary..."

Indeed.

--Isaac Chotiner