The New Yorker has traditionally been a publication associated with enlightenend thought, literary excellence and an interesting take on contemporary events. The magazine has some of the best writers and illustrators in the world, and they have millions of readers that span the globe. But they won't have this reader anymore.
The Barack Obama cover was a cheap, sideshow carnival act of a trick to generate controversy for its own sake to sell ink, or perhaps weigh on the presidential campaign in some high-brow, look-down-their-nose way. Any way it goes, writing excellence is in the writing, not in the strutting about with their pants down -- which is what they've done.
In catering to the lowest common denominator on their cover, maybe the magazine will bring in a new demographic and join such fine publications as Guns and Ammo and American Fisherman on coffee tables around the country.