On Wednesday, CBS published a doctored picture (dually attributed to itself and the Associated Press) showing Barack Obama as half black and half white, with a line clearly visible down the center of his face. And just in case that wasn’t controversial enough, the photo also pictures Democrats leaning over his “black” side while Republicans look over his “white” side. Via NewsBusters:

What Does CBSs Controversial Obama Picture Mean?

The picture, naturally, is causing quite the stir.

Creative Minority Report asks, “Are they saying that Obama will have to act white with Republicans?” and adds, “The idiocy of this is only heightened by the fact that Obama’s heritage is mixed.”

Noel Sheppard over at NewsBusters wonders: “Are CBS and AP not so subtly implying the GOP are all white?”

And I’m thinking: Is CBS serious?

What are you thinking?

UPDATE:

CBS has responded to Mediaite with the following statement:

Our intention with the “ripped paper” overlay effect down the middle was to convey a divided Congress and nothing more.

That is is the extend of the reported explanation. However it does add this:

Lost in all of this is the fact that the photo also diminishes the tangerine hue of presumptive House Speaker John Boehner. Is CBS prejudiced against badly-tanned people?