Wednesday, February 18, 2009

New York Post Gone Ape

This is why we need diversity in newsrooms. The NY Post published a cartoon this morning in response to Pres. Obama's stimulus bill. Judging by the cartoon, they didn't like it. The cartoon depicts a monkey being killed by the police. The police say in the cartoon, "We have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill. " Let's see here....hmmm, a monkey is a derogatory symbol of black people. Our president is black and drafted the stimulus bill. Police and black folks have a strained history, unlawful killings is one of the reasons behind the tension. So what is the NY Post trying to get at?

Rev. Al Sharpton called the cartoon "offensive and divisive." According to Reuters, Rev. Sharpton and other activists are going to make a visit to the Post's office tomorrow and protest. The New York Post Editor-in-Chief Col Allan says the cartoon was a " clear parody" that "mocks Washington's efforts to revive the economy. " The cartoon also parodies the recent shooting of a 200-pound chimp by Connecticut police. The chimp almost killed its owner's friend.

I'm with Rev. Al on this one. The cartoon is racially offensive, violent and disrespectful to our president. I don't have a problem with political satire or expressing disappointment with the president's policies. But when you throw in racist and violent undertones to your argument, it's going too far. Poking fun at a near-fatal animal attack was also in poor taste. The Post says their intentions were not to be racist. I know the Post doesn't carry the same journalistic standards like the AP or New York Times. Still, an editor should've had the sense to know the historical, racial context behind the images in the cartoon and pointed out why this would cause such a stir. Either the Post didn't know or didn't care what message they were sending. That's the problem with the lack of diversity in news media. Now the Post has to deal with Rev. Al.

2 comments:

  1. Yeah, I don't get the Post's point of view. How is this not racial? What else would the monkey be representing but Obama, and why would you choose to use a monkey? I kind of wonder whether they were intentionally trying to be controversial in order to get some publicity.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good point Erika.
    I questioned if it was a publicity stunt too b/c newspapers are suffering.

    ReplyDelete

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