“It was meant to mock an ineptly written federal stimulus bill. Period,” reads the Post’s editorial apology. “But it has been taken as something else – as a depiction of President [Barack] Obama, as a thinly veiled expression of racism. This most certainly was not its intent; to those who were offended by the image, we apologize.” Read more »
Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network (NAN) is planning more protests and public actions condemning the New York Post after the newspaper, a property of News Corp., ran an editorial cartoon widely considered to be racist.
The cartoon, playing off the of a chimp put down by Stamford, CT police officers after nearly killing a woman, features a gunned-down primate with the caption, “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.” Critics of the drawing have said cartoonist Sean Delonas is representing President Barack Obama with the animal, while the Post has said the drawing is a satirical play on a current event.
Sharpton called for a boycott of the newspaper on February 19 during a protest outside the Post’s Midtown headquarters. Another demonstration, this one leveraging an appearance by director Spike Lee, is planned for February 20, said Rachel Noerdlinger, VP of communications at the NAN. Sharpton has appeared on more than 15 TV programs and conducted numerous print interviews in the day since the cartoon ran, said Noerdlinger, who has organized media outreach for the effort. Future action, including a possible boycott of Post advertisers, will be determined after a February 19 planning meeting, she told PRWeek.
For its part, the Post has had no comment beyond its original statement.
Meanwhile, in other reaction to the cartoon, Ted Rall, president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, said the drawing isn’t racist but a “cheap form of editorial cartooning.” Michael Wolff, biographer of News Corp. Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch, bets that Post editor Col Allen will be fired shortly.
Here’s a Google News of coverage of the controversy.
The New York Post has issued only a defensive statement in response to accusations that a February 18 editorial cartoon, which depicts two police officers firing on a monkey with the caption, “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill,” is blatantly racist.
The cartoon references reports that Stamford, CT police officers shot a monkey to death on February 16 after it severely mauled a friend of its owner. Critics, including Rev. Al Sharpton, have said that the cartoon chimpanzee may mock President Barack Obama, who his stimulus plan into law on February 17 after lengthy negotiations with Congress.
The statement, attributed to Col Allen, Post editor-in-chief, contends that “the cartoon is a clear parody of a current news event, to wit the shooting of a violent chimpanzee in Connecticut.” Post rep Suzanne Halpin, an EVP at Rubenstein Communications, said the newspaper is conducting no other outreach regarding the cartoon.
“It broadly mocks Washington’s efforts to revive the economy,” Allen said in the statement. “Again, Al Sharpton reveals himself as nothing more than a publicity opportunist.”
Sharpton, referencing the long-time use of primates as racist caricatures of black Americans, said in a statement on February 18 that the newspaper should “at least clarify what point they were trying to make”.
New York Gov. David Paterson also said that the Post should explain the cartoon.
Today’s Page Six column in the New York Post has a nugget that alleges John Thain’s post-ouster interview with Maria Bartiromo was arranged by Ken Sunshine, who reps both Thain and Bartiromo. Sunshine wouldn’t confirm whether he had a hand in making the arrangement. The Post goes on to question Bartiromo’s ethics (!) for not revealing the connection on air. Transcript of the interview here.
Satirists claim some ‘Times’ staffers - who they won’t identify - worked on anti-’Times’ prank
More details emerged November 13 about the phony issue of The New York Times distributed to commuters this week by an alliance of liberal activist groups and volunteers.
Andy Bichlbaum, co-founder of Yes Men, a group partially responsible for the prank, told the New York Post that small donations funded the bulk of the event’s $100,000 cost.
New York Magazine reports that while activist organizations got most of the credit for the stunt, many of the individuals who authored the paper are media members, including a few from the derided newspaper itself. “There were a few people from the Times – we can’t tell you who they are,” Steve Lambert, an organizer, told New York. “They’re respectable journalists.”
The Times, which gave the prank coverage on page C7, whether the groups inflated the number of distributed copies. “The statement said that 1.2 million copies were printed, more than the weekday circulation nationwide for real issues of the Times,” reported Richard Perez-Pena and Brian Stelter. “That number is suspect, if only because of the printing costs that would be involved.”
If consumers are truly upset about the of The New Yorker – you know, the one depicting, satirically, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and his wife Michelle as radicals – they aren’t showing their displeasure with their wallets.
Parent company Conde Nast can barely keep copies of the issue on newsstands, according to the New York Post’s Keith J. Kelly, who reports that preliminary estimates show single-copy sales are up 80% to 75,000 copies, over the average of 43,000.
It’s all in the timing
New Yorkers woke up this morning to the news that the New York Mets had fired its coach Willie Randolph. This wasn’t a surprise; after the team’s historic collapse last fall and disappointing start this season, New York media have had a field day putting Randolph on death watch. What was surprising was the timing; the team had just made a trip to the West Coast and Randolph, along with pitching coach Rick Peterson and first base coach Tom Nieto, were fired after the Mets actually won a game against the Anaheim Angels. But with the news release being sent out after 3am ET, it was way too late for it to make the back page of The New York Post or Daily News. And while Web sites, radio hosts, and TV sportscasters will be dissecting this decision ad nauseum today, the back pages of those two papers still carry significant weight among New Yorkers. So, one has to wonder if the timing of this firing was more of a media strategy than anything else.
I planned to write a media analysis on the obvious single-copy newsstand sales bump papers receive when the local team wins. However, no one had finalized figures by the time I wanted to file. So, instead, I’m writing specifically about the Record (Bergen County), which had the foresight to send fake covers to the Giants to hold up to the cameras when they won. Which they did!
I hate wasting prose, so here are some excerpts from the media analysis that never would be. Read more »