“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.