I'm not 100% sure who is directly responsible for the "satirical" cover on the New Yorker, but I'm pretty sure that by the end of the week they'll be unemployed and standing in line counting change - hoping they have enough to cover a Burrito and Coke on the Taco Bell Value Menu.
I don't care that you're a "highbrow" magazine, and that your readers are intelligent enough to get the joke. The average, Fox News-Nascar-watching American isn't going to understand.
I'm not even American, and although I don't find the cover offensive (I understand what they are trying to poke fun at), I still think it's a bad idea. Sure you'll get publicity, but you're also causing a shitstorm of unbelievable proportions.
It's like having a commercial of Ronald McDonald slapping a fat kid. Sure, everyone will watch it, but in the end they'll just think Ronald's a dick.
Just like the guys at the New Yorker.