Wednesday, February 18, 2009

WHAT THE FUCK?! - NY Post Editorial Cartoon Way Off Mark


Rupert Murdoch's New York Post strikes again. Sean Delonas and whoever the editor was that thought this editorial cartoon was worthy of printing should be fired immediately.

There is absolutely no way that this racist cartoon can be explained away. If your first instinct was that cartoonist Delonas was comparing President Obama to a chimp, and a dead chimp shot by police no less, then no other explanation is necessary. I'm all for free speech, but this is beyond tasteless.

Sam Stein has more.

UPDATE (2:05pm):

From Fraulein in the comments:

I keep thinking that our illustrious media can't shock me anymore, but somehow they manage to keep doing it.

Jumping on this soapbox will make me sound 100 years old, but I'm going to do it anyway. In my day as a newspaper reporter (early/mid-1990s) we approached our jobs with a certain sense of ethics. We tried to air all sides of a story, to the extent that this is ever possible, and one rule we most certainly never broke, at least at the unremarkable suburban newspaper where I worked, was the one about not gratuitously insulting your readership. I would argue that by running such a viciously racist cartoon, the Post has attacked not only Obama, but most of its readership. It's attacked not only blacks, not only Obama supporters, but every one of its readers who don't consider themselves violent racists. Which one would hope is most of them (even though this is the Post we're talking about...)

Firings are the least of what's required to address this kind of systemic disregard for the principles of journalism. Unfortunately, I think the very issue is that it IS systemic. Across the board, from major newspapers to the execrable news weeklies (I'm looking at you, Newsweek) to the sewer of cable news, the ideals of a true free press died out long ago.

As news consumers, it's our job to call out the media on this kind of bullshit every time it happens. It's the only way they're ever going to learn how intolerable this kind of thing is.

9 comments:

Annette said...

Disgusting, foul, filth. Should be them laying on the ground as far as I am concerned. Geeze.. just no reason for this at all except they are trying to stir up something.. can't tell me they aren't.

Fraulein said...

I keep thinking that our illustrious media can't shock me anymore, but somehow they manage to keep doing it.

Jumping on this soapbox will make me sound 100 years old, but I'm going to do it anyway. In my day as a newspaper reporter (early/mid-1990s) we approached our jobs with a certain sense of ethics. We tried to air all sides of a story, to the extent that this is ever possible, and one rule we most certainly never broke, at least at the unremarkable suburban newspaper where I worked, was the one about not gratuitously insulting your readership. I would argue that by running such a viciously racist cartoon, the Post has attacked not only Obama, but most of its readership. It's attacked not only blacks, not only Obama supporters, but every one of its readers who don't consider themselves violent racists. Which one would hope is most of them (even though this is the Post we're talking about...)

Firings are the least of what's required to address this kind of systemic disregard for the principles of journalism. Unfortunately, I think the very issue is that it IS systemic. Across the board, from major newspapers to the execrable news weeklies (I'm looking at you, Newsweek) to the sewer of cable news, the ideals of a true free press died out long ago.

As news consumers, it's our job to call out the media on this kind of bullshit every time it happens. It's the only way they're ever going to learn how intolerable this kind of thing is.

Annette said...

I agree.. I have been trying.. The newspapers claim they are dying..well maybe this is why. They have no respectability anymore.

There was a blurb in the KC Star yesterday about the cost of the new Marine Ones that Pres. Obama is getting. NO WHERE did it ever state those were ordered by shrub over 6 years ago, or that the price had gone up or anything like that. Just that Obama had to decide what to do about buying them and how much they were going to cost, inferring that he had ordered them. I was livid. Just lazy journalism.

Fraulein said...

Annette, I think this is absolutely why newspapers are dying out. For so many years they've been taking their cues from the TV media that what passes for "news" is really that bastard stepchild "infotainment." After a certain point, what they provide isn't remotely useful to anyone. I think this every time I go to the gym and I'm forced to watch CNN Headline news on the TV screens -- what use is it to me to know about fires and highway pileups in Utah? They cover this bullshit because they have video of it, so therefore it's easy. The newspapers do much the same thing when, in lieu of analysis, they give you "provocative" violently racist cartoons. How does this help you, as a news consumer, better understand your world? It doesn't.

I need to do a full post on this, I think.

Broadway Carl said...

Fraulein - please do. And post it here as well. I started doing something like this but I'm stuck. A little writer's block after a weekend of wine I suppose.

Fraulein said...

Will do -- hope you and the Mrs. enjoyed your wine weekend! Sounds like it was nice and relaxing.

Meanwhile, when you get a chance, you can cross-post your "Political Suicide" post. The hypocricy never ceases to amaze!

johnson1522 said...

Stop whining and recognize what the cartoon is about. It's mocking the congress who passed a 'stimulus' bill containing considerable wasteful spending of *your* money without even providing time for members to read the bill. The cartoon is not about Obama like you want it to be. The cartoon also plays on the real NY area shooting of a chimp in CT earlier in the week.

Broadway Carl said...

Sure it is, Johnson. It's plain to see that the artist clearly intended the chimp to symbolize Congress. (He might have done better if he'd drawn a "Congress" sticker or button on the chimp.) There's absolutely no way this could have been interpreted as something else, considering we have an African-American president who pretty much owns this stimulus bill, and considering that racists have derogatorily used a symbol of a chimp in reference to blacks. I guess millions of people, including editors of the NY Post are wrong and you are right. I suppose the Post's pathetic attempt at an apology in its editorial page the next day was an admission of nothing but an explanation of practically everyone's misinterpretation of the cartoon.

If that was truly the artist's intent, then he failed miserably. Even you have to acknowledge that, unless your myopic view will only allow you to see what you are told to see and not what's really on the page. So maybe you can fool yourself into believing this was a faux outrage, but I'm going to stick to what I believe the cartoon depicted whether it was the intention or not, and not what I "want it to be."

steve said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
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