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WASHINGTON (CAP) - After agreeing that this month's controversial New Yorker cover was "tasteless and offensive," presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain have reached another consensus, this time on the cover of the latest Cosmopolitan magazine.
"I mean, is it really necessary to have a 72-point headline on Getting To Know Your Va-Jay-Jay?," asked McCain on Larry King Live last night. "And the piece on The 30-Day Orgasm - I don't think that's even possible, frankly."
The cover - which features such headlines as The Sex He Has - Alone! and His No. 1 Sex Fantasy: No Woman Has Had The Nerve To Try This On Him - And He'll Go Ga-Ga When You Do! - drew criticism from Obama as well.
While careful to point out the magazine's First Amendment rights, Obama noted that "we are facing some serious issues in this country, and I don't think headlines like these help us grapple with them any better."
He did add, however, that "the 30-day orgasm? Possible."
The controversy comes on the heels of the now-infamous New Yorker cover, which featured Obama in traditional Muslim garb and wife Michelle dressed as a terrorist. Like Obama, McCain was quick to condemn the magazine.
"The magazine's actions were completely unacceptable," said McCain. "First of all, I have it on good authority when the Obamas posed for it were told they were going to airbrush all of that stuff out."
Some have accused both candidates of overreacting, but according to Sal Farley of the Center for Media and Democracy, both the New Yorker and Cosmo covers could be part of a larger and more disturbing trend of magazines misleading their subjects.
"First there was Miley Cyrus in Vanity Fair, where she posed topless but was unaware that she'd be portrayed in a topless kind of way, and now this," said Farley. "And with Cosmo, it's worth asking: Did Jessica Alba know that the pictures of her in that bikini would make her look like some kind of oily tramp? Particularly the way the words Are You an Oily Tramp? are positioned across her crotch."
For its part, Cosmopolitan editors say that their cover was not in any way fraudulent or misleading, and as for satire, they weren't entirely sure what the word meant.
"We have no idea where this is coming from," said Cosmo editor-in-chief Kate White, author of How To Set His Thighs On Fire: 86 Red-Hot Lessons On Love, Life, Men And (Especially) SETTING A MAN'S THIGHS ON FIRE. "We're mostly just trying to use the word 'sex' as many times as possible and still have room for the picture of the oily tramp."
Meanwhile, other publications that have drawn fire from either McCain or Obama in recent weeks include Popular Mechanics (Pool Filters: Just Tubes And Some Sand), Men's Health (Six-Pack Abs, Viagra & You), Highlights (25 Crafts You Can Do While Being Polite) and Essence, which featured the headline Barack: From the Waist Down, He's ALL BLACK!
"Actually, I have no problem with that one," Obama told Larry King.
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