Tea Party billboard sets Obama between Hitler and Lenin

A billboard erected in Iowa has “crossed the line”, some local activists have said.

A billboard, erected in Mason City, Iowa and funded by the North Iowa Tea Party, which depicts Barack Obama between Hitler and Lenin, has "crossed the line", according to other Tea Party activists in the state.

The billboard shows Hitler with the slogan "National Socialism" and Lenin with the legend "Marxist Socialism", and Obama in between the two under the phrase "Democratic Socialism". Each photograph carries the word "Change".

John White, co-ordinator of the Iowa Tea Party movement, said that his organisation had previously asked members to stop using similar posters.

"At our last rally we saw some people with these kinds of signs and asked people to put them down," he said, going on to call the erection of the billboard "a borderline hate crime".

So far, the North Iowa Tea Party has declined to comment on the erection of the billboard or its contents.

Caroline Crampton is assistant editor of the New Statesman.

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New Digital Editor: Serena Kutchinsky

The New Statesman appoints Serena Kutchinsky as Digital Editor.

Serena Kutchinsky is to join the New Statesman as digital editor in September. She will lead the expansion of the New Statesman across a variety of digital platforms.

Serena has over a decade of experience working in digital media and is currently the digital editor of Newsweek Europe. Since she joined the title, traffic to the website has increased by almost 250 per cent. Previously, Serena was the digital editor of Prospect magazine and also the assistant digital editor of the Sunday Times - part of the team which launched the Sunday Times website and tablet editions.

Jason Cowley, New Statesman editor, said: “Serena joins us at a great time for the New Statesman, and, building on the excellent work of recent years, she has just the skills and experience we need to help lead the next stage of our expansion as a print-digital hybrid.”

Serena Kutchinsky said: “I am delighted to be joining the New Statesman team and to have the opportunity to drive forward its digital strategy. The website is already established as the home of free-thinking journalism online in the UK and I look forward to leading our expansion and growing the global readership of this historic title.

In June, the New Statesman website recorded record traffic figures when more than four million unique users read more than 27 million pages. The circulation of the weekly magazine is growing steadily and now stands at 33,400, the highest it has been since the early 1980s.