The NEW Illustrated Guide to Mendacity and Folly in the 21st Century.
Posted on | February 23, 2009 | 3 Comments
There’s an saying in New York: “The Daily News is for people who can’t read, the Post is for people who can’t think…” (and the Times is for people who think they can read). If you haven’t been living in a cave for the past week, you’ve probably heard of the latest demonstration of total thoughtlessness on the part of the New York Post. Thoughtlessness at best. Rabidly racist and possibly treasonous at worst. Seems there was this pet chimpanzee that suddenly went bonkers and attacked its owner’s neighbor and well-nigh tore her face off before the boys in blue shot it down. That’s part one. Part two is that President Obama signed his stimulus bill–a bill which he was one of the principal architects of. There was a photo of this on page 11 of the Post. Turn the page. On page 12 is a cartoon. A dead chimpanzee shot by two policemen and one says to the other, “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.”
Now the Post says that this was really an innocent cartoon. It OBVIOUSLY referred to the chimp in Connecticut that got shot down. And they were kinda sorta sorry if anyone misinterpreted it, meaning any member of a racial minority who gets a bit bent out of shape when subjected to a racial slur. Like calling them apes. You remember apes–chimpanzees are one of them. Why would this be so “misinterpreted”? Because the stimulus plan–you remember, the thing that President Obama just signed on page 11–had been put forward–by a BLACK person. You know, one of THOSE people (to use one of the euphemisms by which bigots often refer to African-Americans) that racists have called apes.
That’s only the half of it. By portraying the author of the stimulus plan as a crazed, out of control beast that needed to be shot before it caused any more harm, the Post came VERY CLOSE–too close–to suggesting that the President of the United States deserves to be shot down like a wild animal. That sounds extraordinarily like a call for assassination to me. And to a lot of other people. Some of whom think it’s a good idea. I am appalled by the thought that a major American newspaper can suggest a heinous crime and then just get away with it. I don’t just blame the Post. I blame the Republican Party and all its hacks on right-wing radio for creating an environment of hatred. Yes, there are good Republicans. Many of them. But I ask–when are they going to stand up and abjure the politics of division and hatred that is poisoning the land they claim to love? Think about it–racism is the neo-conservative patriotism.
As for the Post’s non-apology. You’ve all run into them–the verbal bully. The man/woman who makes jokes at everyone else’s expense. And if you complain–they make it your fault–what’s the matter, no sense of humor? You’re just too sensitive. Somehow they make the fact that you took offense at an insult winds up being your fault and everyone around agrees–mainly because they don’t want to be the butt of the NEXT slur. Well, re-read the Post’s apology. If that isn’t an attempt to deflect the criticism back onto the offended (in the person of the Rev. Al Sharpton), I don’t know what is.
(DailyNews) New York Post offers half-hearted apology for chimpanzee cartoon has an excellent summary and a deservedly small reproduction of the cartoon.