Quick Hit: Murdoch apologizes for racist NY Post comic

Yeah, that cartoon that was run in the NY Post last week that was so obviously racist. Well, Murdoch says the Post didn’t mean it that way, but sorry if that is how you took it.
But is that good enough?
Related video:
Baratunde’s take
Jay’s take.

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  1. jstein
    Posted February 24, 2009 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    I guess it’s true what we heard about Murdoch, that he was pretty pissed about this comic coming out.
    The NYP is still a terrible publication, and I still won’t read it, but at least someone in the building was upset by the comic.

  2. Caro
    Posted February 24, 2009 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    I’m very tired of people essentially saying, “Well, I didn’t mean to be offensive, but sorry if you overly sensitive minority/women/etc. were upset because you just don’t get me!” Particularly in this case where it seems to me that if you don’t look at the cartoon using the racially-charged interpretation, it doesn’t even really make any sense or have a joke in it at all, it’s just mashing two current events together into a cartoon. Now, clearly this cartoonist guy isn’t very good, but is he bad enough to draw a cartoon that doesn’t make any sense unless you interpret it in an offensive way that he “didn’t mean”?

  3. blue
    Posted February 24, 2009 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Do you mean Rupert Murdoch?

  4. EFouasnon
    Posted February 24, 2009 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    I don’t understand. If it’s not supposed to be blatantly racist, what is the comic -supposed- to say? Does -anyone- know?

  5. EFouasnon
    Posted February 24, 2009 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    whoa, checked the link of the original post. quite the discussion.

  6. secretmojo
    Posted February 24, 2009 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    I always thought that if what you MEAN to say is different from what you communicate, then you aren’t qualified to run a major newspaper.

  7. Liza
    Posted February 24, 2009 at 3:31 pm | Permalink


  8. jill b
    Posted February 24, 2009 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    I still say where is the apology for sexist cartoons? Women didn’t get one because they didn’t demand one, plain and simple.
    women are too busy infighting over perceived slights than to say yeah, sexism must trump racism in our fight for equality.
    Black groups have not cried out in outrage over sexist cartoons, so why do “feminists” get more worked up over racist cartoons than sexist ones?
    Here is a site that has been displaying sexist cartoons in outrage well before the chimp wrote the stimulus bill uproar.
    And remember before you all throw your shoes at me, remember, not one single apology from the Times for calling us White Bitches or from any newspaper for runnign sexist cartoons or from any online outlets (salon or slate) that talked about Palin’s “massive rack”.

  9. alixana
    Posted February 24, 2009 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Since you didn’t seem to get it before, it’s not a fucking competition.

  10. jill b
    Posted February 24, 2009 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    Yes, no competion, women are losing and losing big.
    your anger is wasted on me, put it to work to show that sexism must go the way of racsim.
    tonight count the number of slag, whore and bit$h you hear on TV, then count the # of racict terms. When you see that TV has rooted out racism and that sexism still exists in massive quantity, then perhaps you can say: well, i wonder what they did right? Ths cartoon uproar has shown what right thing can be done, and women can learn from that. Yes, women are always competing with men; it IS a competition and women are on the losing end of it.

  11. Stephanie1989
    Posted February 24, 2009 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    Yeah I’d love to spend my whole life tallying up slights against every possible oppressed group but the thing is, I have a life and I’d much rather spend that time trying to make everyone’s life better and more equal rather than competing in the oppression olympics.

  12. jill b
    Posted February 24, 2009 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    focus is the means to getting things done. If you want to help everyone you will likely end up helping no one. I may want to cure cancer, but the devil is in the details, that is i have to compare and contrast and decide what is the best way to wipe out one bug at a time. I may want to kill all bugs but that is not the way to a cure. That is the essence of the problem that feminists have so clearly run into. women want to help everyone, nice thought but that just don’t cut it. focus gets the job done. Gina was passed by some very focused studies that u would call Opression Olympics, but hello lady…such studies got the job done. I wont’ go on but, women need to focus on women’s oppression as that is clearly! the largest problem (clear winner of ur oppression olmypics)women of all colors face now.

    Posted February 24, 2009 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    Totally lame “apology”.
    Murdoch is worried.
    About the FCC waiver that lets him own 2 TV stations and a newspaper in New York City.
    About losing his access to the Obama Administration and not being able to cash in on his newly minted support for the Democratic Party.
    About curbing a revolt by some of the hardcore racists on the Fox payroll (starting with the Australian crew at the New York Post – from Col Allen on down)
    He’s backed into a corner, so Murdoch had to give a lame “apology” where he didn’t even admit the fact that the cartoon was in-your-face racist, and advocated the assassination of the President.
    Murdoch’s New York Post is just as racist as it ever was – lame “apology” notwithstanding!

    Posted February 24, 2009 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    Jill, I hate to be the one to tell you, but this is NOT the Oppression Olympics…and NO, you do NOT get the Gold Medal (or your face on a box of Wheaties!)
    I’m opposed to ALL forms of oppression, not just the kind that hurts me.
    I’ve marched in pro choice marches, and I’m not female.
    I’ve marched against Proposition 8 and for marriage equality, and I’m not gay.
    I’ve supported amnesty for immigrants, and I’m a US Citizen by birth.
    And I still get to oppose oppression of African Americans.
    Do you see where I’m coming from here?

  15. Ariel
    Posted February 24, 2009 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know whether to report you for your bigotry, or keep watching for what you saw next. Really, the stupidity is staggering. If you did any sort of critical thinking at all, you would see that oppressed groups aren’t oppressed unto themselves. They are interconnected. The oppression of one group is connected to the oppression of another. Racism and sexism are related to each other. Just ask any Womanist. Sexism and capitalism are related, just ask any Marxist. My goodness, you can Google these things.
    Also, lay off the periods. Your sentence structure is as disconnect as your thought process.

  16. Stephanie1989
    Posted February 24, 2009 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    Yes, you would do well to check your grammar before you post.

  17. Attorney at LOL
    Posted February 25, 2009 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    I thought Murdoch’s apology was a nice gesture. Coming from anyone else, I think it would’ve sounded pretty respectful of the dissenting opinions, and genuinely contrite. We can credit him a point or two without making his numerous transgressions against common decency count any less.

  18. Lewisranja
    Posted February 25, 2009 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Those of you are offended by this cartoon need to take a step back and recollect your thoughts. For as long as there have been political cartoons, chimpanzees have been used as a visual depiction of inept human beings who have no clue what they are doing. How many Chimp-in-chief pictures did we see of George Bush? During his eight years in the White House, how many comparisons of this kind were made?
    But there are different rules for Obama, aren’t there? Wasn’t this the prediction that many people made regarding how things would work with a black president? That some criticisms would be taboo? That certain criticisms would be immediately attacked as racist?
    This cartoon wasn’t very funny, but it wasn’t racist. It was indicating that the people who wrote the stimulus plan were a bunch of morons. As Ted Rall pointed out in his defense of the cartoon, those people were all a “bunch of white guys”.
    The only tragedy here is that there has yet to be a counter-protest to tell Al Sharpton that his kind aren’t wanted in America. (And to stop any attacks before they are made – when I say “his kind”, I mean people who wish to divide the nation simply so that they can make money and appear on Larry King.

  19. Ariel
    Posted February 25, 2009 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Wow. Do some research. African-American’s have been referred to as monkeys ever since White men first saw them. There is a history of this being used as a slur. There is no equivalent slur for white people. Furthermore, Bush’s ape-like caricature was just that–a caricature. It still resembled his facial features, etc. There was no resemblance between the chimp that was shot and Obama. It’s an animal reference and it is dehumanizing. Bush’s caricature on the other hand (since there is no equivalent slur for white people) could been seen as a sort of pun or satire. This cartoon is what it is: racist.

  20. Lewisranja
    Posted February 25, 2009 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Oh yes, I’m sure it would have gone over VERY WELL if the chimpanzee had the characteristics of President Obama. There would have NO criticism over that one. Such a shame that the cartoonist hadn’t come up with that idea.
    You are correct that black people have been depicted as apes for quite some time. BUT inept politicians and incompetent people in general have ALSO been depicted as chimpanzees for quite some time. Here we have a cartoon in which a chimpanzee is POSSIBLY compared to a black politician (possibly because this stimulus bill was actually crafted by many more people than just Obama) and you simply go with the idea that it’s a racist depiction and not a depiction of incompetence. I know taking this path makes you feel better about yourself as a human being, but it’s not necessarily the correct path.

  21. aleks
    Posted February 25, 2009 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Murdoch has culture shock. He’s from Australia, where they haven’t reached our august level of civilization and aren’t nearly as accustomed to hiding their racism as we are ours.

  22. aleks
    Posted February 25, 2009 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    You’re right Lewisranja, it is so racist that a white person can be depicted as chimps and blacks can’t, just because of centuries of comparing blacks to monkeys, often in all seriousness and with the pseudo-science of the day in agreement, with catastrophic results. When I saw cartoons depicting Bush as a monkey I had to consider whether the cartoonist thought that all white people were monkeys.

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