White House Dodges Question on Obama’s Controversial Newsweek Cover

Newsweek’s cover calling President Obama “the first gay president.”

In a gaggle with reporters aboard Air Force One this morning, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked about the controversial Newsweek cover depicting President Barack Obama with a rainbow halo and identifying him as the “First Gay President.” Mr. Carney said he wasn’t sure whether the president was aware of the cover.

“I don’t know if he’s seen it and I haven’t spoken to him about it,” he said.

Mr. Carney also claimed not to have read the story by Andrew Sullivan that accompanied the “First Gay President” cover, though he encouraged reporters to read a different blog post Mr. Sullivan wrote last week in which he said the president’s announcement in support of same sex marriage “reaffirms for me the integrity of this man we are immensely lucky to have in the White House.”

“I haven’t read the story yet but I certainly saw his powerful and incredibly moving blog post last week in the wake of the president’s interview with Robin Roberts,” Mr. Carney said. “His firm commitment to the rights of all Americans and rights of gay and lesbian Americans are reflected in the support he has in the community. That committmnets has been incredibly strong since day one when he became President.”

Newsweek editor-in-chief Tina Brown has a history of crafting controversial covers to drum up magazine sales and publicity. Ms. Brown defended the cover in an interview with Politico today.

“If President Clinton was the ‘first black president’ then Obama earns every stripe in that ‘gaylo’ with last week’s gay marriage proclamation,” she said. “Newsweek’s cover pays tribute to his newly ordained place in history.”

White House Dodges Question on Obama’s Controversial Newsweek Cover