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Pundits go ape over NY Post cartoon

The New York Post’s editorial cartoon published in their 18 February edition┬áhas left a few in the media and blogosphere a little miffed. See if you can guess why:

If you guessed “unfortunate undertones of Antebellum-era racism”, come and take a gold star.

Here’s a snapshot of how the media and web reacted:

Post in racism row. At first glance, the main editorial cartoon in today’s New York Post seemed like just another lurid reference to the story that the tabloid had been covering with breathless abandon for two days running — the shooting by Conneticut police on Monday of a pet chimpanzee that viciously attacked his owner’s friend. But the caption cast the cartoon in a more sinister light. — Guardian

Obama photo preceded cartoon of gunned down chimp. In the page preceding a New York Post cartoon that depicts drafters of the stimulus legislation as a gun-downed chimpanzee, the paper published a large photo of Barack Obama signing that very piece of legislation. The succession of the story and cartoon creates a rather jarring visualization for some readers. One person who pointed out the layout to the Huffington Post expressed bewilderment that anyone “would think that this is okay.” — Huffington Post

NY Post is racist and careless. Ignorant leaders of the New York Post and others may think everything is fair game, and certainly criticizing the president of the United States is just fine. Yet while everyone seems to be caught up in the delusion of a post-racial America, we cannot forget the reality of the racial America, where African-Americans were treated and portrayed as inferior and less than others. — CNN

Beserk chimp = stimulus author. It doesn’t take a poll to know that many black people are going to be offended by this cartoon even if Delonas meant no offense by connecting the bizarre story of Travis, the berserk chimpanzee who ran amok in Stamford, Conneticut until a policeman shot him, to the economic stimulus program. As an African American, I must admit the cartoon made my bile rise somewhat when I contemplated it. — The Swamp

Racist cartoon makes for a rough day at Page Six. The New York Post has been getting angry phone calls all day because of Sean Delonas’ dead monkey cartoon. Especially the people of Page Six, where the cartoon ran. It’s not their fault, angry people! Call the freakin’ news desk, crazy people! Aim your complaints in the right direction. — Gawker

Sometimes a monkey is just a monkey. Obviously the point is that the stimulus bill could have been written by a monkey. The monkey doesn’t look like Obama and is in no way supposed to represent him. And it incorporated violence because the monkey in the news story was, in fact, shot — and the punchline depends on the monkey being dead and thus unavailable to write further legislation. — The New Republic

Who’s a chimp? Obama didn’t write the “stimulus” bill. If anyone is being called a chimp, it is Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. — Power Line

4
  • 1
    Kermit
    Posted Thursday, 19 February 2009 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Precious

  • 2
    steve martin
    Posted Thursday, 19 February 2009 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    The cartoon was probably meant as the New Republic says, but it should have been obvious to the cartoonist that it would be taken the wrong way. Particularly by those who are always looking for something to take offense at.
    I would have thought it was a reference, though a little obscure, to the saying that a monkey with a typewriter given time could by chance type the works of Shakespeare. i.e. a shot at the stimulus package.
    Of course I may be wrong, and it is just a piece of racism,but I doubt it.

  • 3
    Marie
    Posted Friday, 20 February 2009 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Boy are we Americans sick of Al Sharpton and all the race baiting, (This has made him rich by the way)
    It’s all about getting people all shook up so he can get donations and ride around in limos all day.
    How sad that blacks were once slaves, but this is 2009. Blacks have more opportunities than whites do now in many instances, all they have to do is take advantage of free education, preferential treatment for government jobs, preferencial treatment for minorities in business, etc.
    This cartoon is very thought provoking, it’s deeper than it looks, it has nothing to do with race.
    However, everyone seems to be missing the point here.
    THIS IS AMERICA! WE DON’T WANT SOCIALISM HERE. THAT’S WHY WE DON’T LIKE THE “STIMULUS”
    we also have something called freedom of the press, and freedom of speach.
    America is sick of the whining cry babies that have nothing better to do than complain.
    If they don’t like the cartoon they need to read a different paper.
    Our very liberty is threatened by these whining bleeding hearts.

  • 4
    Dave Liberts
    Posted Thursday, 19 February 2009 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Kermit is right, the key word here is precious. Just as the Republican morons who wanted to claim that Obama’s reference to lipstick on a pig was a dig at Sarah Palin were being far too precious, anyone who wants to automatically presume that a piss-poor cartoon which has something black in it must be about Obama is guilty of similar stupidity here.

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