Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post today ran this cartoon marrying the Travis the Chimp saga with the debate over President Obama’s economic recovery plan. Take a look:
Mm-hm. In case you’re having trouble reading it, the cop behind the one who just shot the Travis stand-in is saying, “they’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.” One presumes that the Post, whose editorial stance is reflively, Fox-ily, anti-Obama (and who clearly don’t have enough black people on staff in the editorial department, since surely if they did, one of them would have warned them…) wouldn’t have been able to figure out in advance that anyone might take offense…
Okay. Well whether or not you are offended probably depends on who you think wrote the stim in the first place (Democrats in Congress or Obama,) since the cartoon seems to be sending the message that it was so bad it seems to have been written by a crazy monkey hopped up on Xanax.
So if you think Congressional Democrats are that crazy monkey, your outrage level is probably at about level 5 (if you’re a Dem, zero if you’re a Republican.) If you think Obama was responsible for the bill (and you’re not one of those inevitable nuts on the Internet who compare every monkey on Youtube to a black person … scroll down to the comments, you’ll see what I mean…) then let’s just put you down for 10. … or maybe 12.
The National Association of Black Journalists? They’re a 12:
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 18, 2009 – While the New York Post has long held a reputation for eye-catching headlines and startling exposes, it has now resorted to the lowest common denominator of taste and class.
How could The Post let this cartoon pass as satire? To compare the nation’s first African American Commander in Chief to a dead chimpanzee is nothing short of racist drivel.
The publisher and editors of The New York Post owe its readers an explanation.
I question the judgment of the editorial editors to move this to print as well as the diversity of its staff that would let them think this passes as comedy.
While I believe editorials questioning yesterday’s signing of the record economic stimulus should exist, there is a line that should never be crossed. Top among them is the assassination of a U.S. President.
Barbara Ciara, president
Rev. Al? (apparently out of hiding after being sidelined by Bar during the campaign) 12:
The cartoon in today’s New York Post is troubling at best given the historic racist attacks of African-Americans as being synonymous with monkeys. One has to question whether the cartoonist is making a less than casual reference to this when in the cartoon they have police saying after shooting a chimpanzee that “Now they will have to find someone else to write the stimulus bill.”
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?
Although the Guardian’s Daniel Nawaw notes:
We at the Guardian America office in Washington don’t get the humor, and I find the cartoon rather inane. It is worth noting that congressional Democrats wrote the bill, not Obama or anyone in the White House. If the conservative New York Post is calling Harry Reid, Max Baucus and Nancy Pelosi a bunch of monkeys, is that worth Sharpton getting worked up about?
The AP headline will work even more people up:
NY Post cartoon seems to link Obama to dead chimp
NEW YORK (AP) — A New York Post cartoon that some have interpreted as comparing President Barack Obama to a violent chimpanzee gunned down by police drew outrage Wednesday from civil rights leaders and elected officials who said it echoed racist stereotypes of blacks as monkeys.
And now… the wingers:
Is the monkey Obama? That may be what Sean Delonas intended but the beauty of good editorial cartoons is you do not get a road-map. The Post subsequently attempted to clarify by stating that the primate merely represents the Washington Democrats collectively who produced the flawed Obama bill.
The next question is should the left by so vehemently outragedby the identification of our president as a chimpanzee. One suspects there are short memories at work here and tiresome partisan shouting. A frequent pastime of our liberal friends was to call Bush “chimp.” What is the difference? None. the New York Post cartoon racist?
I dunno, you tell me … Smirking Chimp? What say you? Of course, they’re not the only ones to have made a sport of comparing Dubya to a chimp, (and Powerline and other rightie bloggers are making a lot of hay out of the cartoon archives…) but see, here’s the thing: there’s no more widespread smear against African people than the monkey reference. Anyone who draws cartoons for a living ought to have a bit more historical perspective and cultural acumen, don’t ya think? Media Matters meanwhile, responds to Powerline:
Here’s the thing, the Post cartoon in question depicted the chimp shot through the chest and dying on the sidewalk. When Power Line finds a cartoon published in a major metro American newspaper that associated Bush with a chimp dead on the sidewalk and his body riddled with bullets, than Power Line might have a point. Right now, it’s just defending the indefensible.