This image was lost some time after publication.

New York's cover story this week takes a look at Caroline Kennedy's disastrous foray into politics, and provides some excellent insight into what derailed her quasi-campaign for governor. What may be more striking, though, is the cover of the magazine, which features a black and white photo of Caroline with a red tear that appears to have been hastily drawn on top of the picture. Seem a bit familiar? Indeed it does!

We couldn't help but think it was a tactic out of gossip blogger Perez Hilton's playbook, albeit much more tasteful considering New York didn't add cocaine-like white dots to her nostrils or sketch semen stains below her mouth.

The photo wasn't taken by New York for the cover of the issue. It's a few years old; photographer Joseph Moran took the portrait for Kennedy's publisher, Hyperion. (You can see the tear-less version here.) We're guessing New York's decision to doodle on top of Moran's photo wasn't motivated by the same legal issues that led to Perez's, uh, signature style. (Perez has used his "embellishments" as a defense against charges of copyright infringement.)

But if were hoping for a bitchy war of words between Perez (real name: Mario Lavandeira) and New York editor-in-chief Adam Moss, well, you ain't getting it. Perez is fine with it, actually!

"I think the cover is great!" he tells us. Not that he would have handled the doodling quite the same way if he'd been in design director Chris Dixon's shoes. "I would have drawn a little love on her lips!"

Update: A reader tells us he thinks the cover was "a lazy homage to Esquire's June 1964 issue." See here.