Thursday, February 19, 2009

Rupert Murdoch-owned NY Post prints racist cartoon


Editor-in-chief Col Allan recently defended the cartoon with the following statement:
"The cartoon is a clear parody of a current news event, to wit the shooting of a violent chimpanzee in Connecticut. It broadly mocks Washington's efforts to revive the economy. Again, Al Sharpton reveals himself as nothing more than a publicity opportunist."
It broadly mocks Washington's efforts? By comparing the President to a dead monkey? What the fuck?

I found the tone of Sharpton's comment unhelpful:
"Being that the stimulus bill has been the first legislative victory of President Barack Obama (the first African American president) and has become synonymous with him it is not a reach to wonder are they inferring that a monkey wrote the last bill?"
Why all of the tip-toeing? I don't think there's any reason to use all of this "is it not a reach to wonder" language. The cartoon is brutally clear: the bullet-riddled monkey is supposed to represent Obama. Short of putting a nametag on the corpse of the animal, I'm not sure how much more clear it could be. The Editor-in-chief openly admits this ('the cartoon broadly mocks Washington's stimulus efforts').

This wasn't a 'mistake' that some editor made. This wasn't a 'slip-up' that someone should apologize for. This is a warning shot, so to speak. This is pushing the limits at the same time that it is a disgusting attempt to seize the worst sort of publicity. Tip-toeing, giving the NYPost the benefit of the doubt (they hardly deserve it at this point) and insinuating that perhaps the cartoon might not be racist is preposterous. Worse yet, it plays into the NYPost's stupid game. I don't care what the cartoonist thought he was doing, nor do I care what the intentions of the editors were (stated or otherwise). The cartoon speaks for itself... and the punchline is the that a dead monkey shot by white police officers is Obama. I'm not the one to ask about what the best tactics are (boycott, protest, demanding public apologies, etc). But its beyond me why the NYPost deserves anything except straight-forward, totally uncompromising condemnation.

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