In an article, conservative news organization, The Blaze criticized New Republic's photo illustration depicting New Jersey Governor Chris Christie as a "Tony Soprano-like" mob character - saying it overshadowed the content of the article.
The piece asked if the "Sopranos"-like photo illustration of Chris Christie was racial?
"The illustration shows Christie retrieving a newspaper outside an impressive home wearing boxers, an open bathrobe and a gold chain around his neck.
There is something overtly Italian-American stereotypical about it, markedly a reference to fictional crime boss Tony Soprano.
“Christie is half Sicilian,” remarked one person on Twitter who saw the image. “If someone portrayed a black politician as a gangsta I know exactly how The New Republic would react.”
The New Republic's Senior editor Alec MacGillis defended the photograph.
"The picture for us was powerful," MacGillis said. "It captures two things: It captures New Jersey in a way that evokes New Jersey, in a way that almost nothing else can. It evokes the pathos of the current moment for Chris Christie, and the sudden falling of his standing."
He went on to say that Tony Soprano is a lot like rocker Bruce Springsteen - an "ultimate New Jersey pop cultural icon."