New York Post Apologized?
NEW YORK – After two days of protests, the New York Post finally apologized Thursday for a cartoon that has been interpreted as comparing or stereotyping the President, Barack Obama to a violent chimpanzee gunned down by police.
The so called qualified apology didn't mollify at least some of the cartoon's critics, who said they might continue protesting. The newspaper posted an editorial on its Web site Thursday evening saying the cartoon was meant to mock the federal economic stimulus bill, but "to those who were offended by the image, we apologize."
The apology was posted after hundreds of picketers chanting "Boycott the Post! Shut it down!" marched in front of the paper's office, saying the cartoon echoed racist stereotypes of blacks as monkeys and was seen as calling for the killing of the president of the United States?.
The editorial said that "most certainly was not its intent," adding that some media and public figures who have long-standing differences with the paper saw the cartoon "as an opportunity for payback."
The Post calling them "opportunists," the editorial said: "To them, no apology is due."
The Rev. Al Sharpton, who helped lead the outcry over the cartoon, criticized what he called the paper's "conditional statement" of regret.
"Though we think it is the right thing for them to apologize to those they offended, they seem to want to blame the offense on those (who) raised the issue, rather than take responsibility for what they did," he said in a statement.
This tabloid news paper, owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., is known for its feisty attitude, provocative headlines and conservative outlook, but also criticism over the years.
The New York Post newspaper had stood by the cartoon, which its editor called "a clear parody" about the death of Travis, the chimp that Connecticut police killed Monday after it mauled a friend of its owner. Editor-in-chief Col Allan had said the intent was to ridicule Washington's efforts to revive the economy.
The cartoon criticized as racist was drawn by longtime Post cartoonist Sean Delonas, published Wednesday, shows a dead chimp and two white police officers, one with a smoking gun. The caption reads, "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill." The Post was picketed and deluged with angry e-mail and calls, with some of Thursday's marchers carrying signs that said "Jail Billionaire N.Y. Post Owner Rupert Murdoch."
One protester said "We make them and we break them with our money, and we should shut it down," said protester Angela Brown, who carried a glossy photo of Obama.
Some protesters said the cartoon not only underscored racist tropes but even suggested that Obama should be shot.