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Manhattan, NY - Court: NY Post Editor Forced to Answer Rupert Murdoch 'Chimp Cartoon' Questions

Published on: July 4, 2012 11:32 PM
By: Read full article at The Independent
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File Photo of New York State Sen. Eric Adams standing in front of the New York Post building holding a cartoon that ran in the Post. The 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. </p>

<p>By Craig Ruttle, APFile Photo of New York State Sen. Eric Adams standing in front of the New York Post building holding a cartoon that ran in the Post. The 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.

By Craig Ruttle, AP

Manhattan, NY - The editor-in-chief of the New York Post, Col Allan, can no longer invoke so-called “editorial privilege” to avoid revealing details of conversations between himself and the newspaper’s owner, Rupert Murdoch, after it published a cartoon in early 2009 that appeared to liken President Barack Obama to a chimpanzee, a New York judge has ruled.

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Delivered by Judge Ronald Ellis, the ruling threatens potential embarrassment to Mr Murdoch in a long-running employment discrimination and harassment lawsuit filed against the tabloid and Mr Allan by former associate editor, Sandra Guzman, who is black and from Puerto Rico. She sued in late 2009 after being fired.

Ms Guzman, who was originally hired to boost Latino readership, alleges that she was let go because she complained about being harassed at the paper on the basis of race and gender. Her suit also suggests that she was being punished because she also spoke up about the cartoon.

Inspired by an actual incident, the caricature showed two policemen shooting a rabid chimpanzee. It sparked outrage and Mr Murdoch was forced to apologise because of the apparent reference to Mr Obama and his $787bn stimulus package. Holding a smoking gun, one cop said: “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.”


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1

 Jul 05, 2012 at 03:09 AM Anonymous Says:

C'mon, editorial privilege! If they can't make jokes or say what they want in comics, then what is the point of a newspaper! If you don't like it, stop reading it! Enough people do that and they will stop making those comments/comics. Easy enough without bringing the court into it!

2

 Jul 05, 2012 at 06:20 AM Anonymous Says:

The New York Post is an embarrassment to Democracy.

3

 Jul 05, 2012 at 06:51 AM Shlomo Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

C'mon, editorial privilege! If they can't make jokes or say what they want in comics, then what is the point of a newspaper! If you don't like it, stop reading it! Enough people do that and they will stop making those comments/comics. Easy enough without bringing the court into it!

The issue here is whether the Post has a discriminatory and hostile workplace. This is in the context of a discrimination lawsuit, not a right to publish issue.
[as for the joke itself, they may have a right to publish but people do have a right to complain about racist publications. Imagine the outrage of it had been a comic with a racist caricature of a Jew?]

4

 Jul 05, 2012 at 07:26 AM BaruchGershom Says:

The testimny about the cartoon is relevant to show whether there was a climate of racial bigotry at the paper that affected the reporter. There is no suggestion that the paper could not publish the cartoon.

5

 Jul 05, 2012 at 08:03 AM Aron1 Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

C'mon, editorial privilege! If they can't make jokes or say what they want in comics, then what is the point of a newspaper! If you don't like it, stop reading it! Enough people do that and they will stop making those comments/comics. Easy enough without bringing the court into it!

"Editorial Privilege" must be excersized responsibly. You can't just pooh-pooh the offensive ones as mere "jokes". Look at the pre- World War 2 editorial pages and cartoons in the German newspapers. They basically helped facilitate the feeling amongst the German populace that it was "okay" to do what they ended up doing.

6

 Jul 05, 2012 at 08:40 AM rationalman Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

The New York Post is an embarrassment to Democracy.

why is that.....democracy allows one to express themselves....it allows a point of view you don't like...it even allows someone to make a fool of themselves....the fact that people do make fools of themselves is not and embarrassment to democracy - the opposite is true...it show how great democracy is .....what you want is censorship...that is bad....democracy even allowed you to make a fool of yourself thinking that democracy is pro censorship ....

7

 Jul 05, 2012 at 08:42 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
Aron1 Says:

"Editorial Privilege" must be excersized responsibly. You can't just pooh-pooh the offensive ones as mere "jokes". Look at the pre- World War 2 editorial pages and cartoons in the German newspapers. They basically helped facilitate the feeling amongst the German populace that it was "okay" to do what they ended up doing.

true...but there are times where someone really can be naive or innocent and made a picture of the monkey....

8

 Jul 05, 2012 at 10:19 AM PMOinFL Says:

Look.... there is no doubt that the cartoon was in VERY poor taste and was designed to express a racist idea.

However, half this country is made of up stupid people. They love to watch train-wrecks, they bathe in the tears of celebrities when they fall from grace, they hold tight to their "beliefs" regardless of the FACTS, and they buy into the most ridiculous propaganda and spin. They idolize people like Howard Stern and Rush Limbaugh who are in both in the same business: saying ANYTHING (true, false, vulgar) to keep the idiot masses listening long enough to hear the next batch of advertisements (because that's how they get paid).

This cartoon falls into the same category. Clearly SOME people were offended. Clearly SOME people understood the clear racist tone of it. BUT, most people either don't care, are numb to it, or actually agree with racist stereotyping.

I believe in the free market. If everyone found racism offensive, we would stop buying the paper and they would make changes to win us back as customers. Since there was no hit to their sales, they will ratchet up the rhetoric next time in order to get more publicity. Next time, it could be US who gets hit.

9

 Jul 05, 2012 at 10:30 AM yankele Says:

President Bush was mocked way out of proportion compared to obama. Monkeys and all. You name it.

And the AP, liberal leaders, civil babblemouths would not tweet.

What has changed?!

10

 Jul 05, 2012 at 10:54 AM PMOinFL Says:

Reply to #9  
yankele Says:

President Bush was mocked way out of proportion compared to obama. Monkeys and all. You name it.

And the AP, liberal leaders, civil babblemouths would not tweet.

What has changed?!

You are making it political. That's not the issue here. There is nothing wrong with using animals to portray ideas or to even represent people. HOWEVER, for centuries racist literature has referred to a depicted Blacks as monkeys. We all know it and we all know what the implication is here.

Nobody complains when they use a black donkey to portray Obama as has been done. This was specifically done to generate this kind publicity.

As they say: "ANY publicity is GOOD publicity".

11

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