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sábado, febrero 21, 2009

I Will Miss The New York Post And Governor Paterson

I will miss the Post because I am finished. I will never buy it again. Never. I confess that the New York Post was my favorite reading material after I had tried a case and the jury was out deliberating. It was perfect for that. It was perfect for long term waiting. And I will miss Governor Paterson, because he's demonstrated again that he's just another glad handing political hack.

I wasn't alone in being offended by the recent cartoon showing policemen shooting the Chimpanzee author of the stimulus bill. Far from it. I thought Al Sharpton was particularly on point about it:
Al Sharpton, the Baptist minister and civil rights activist, called the cartoon "troubling at best, given the historic racist attacks [on] African-Americans as being synonymous with monkeys".

He added: "Being that the stimulus bill has been the first legislative victory of President Barack Obama ... and has become synonymous with him, it is not a reach to wonder: are they inferring that a monkey wrote the last bill?... The Post should at best clarify what point they were trying to make, or in fact reprimand their cartoonist."
In fact, Governor Paterson himself told a local television station that it was "very important for the New York Post to explain what the cartoon was intended to portray".

And I wasn't alone in thinking that the Post's bizarre non-apology apology was inadequate and that its reaching out even in its "apology" to take another poke at Al Sharpton showed a serious lack of sensitivity to the issue at hand. What kind of apology concludes with this?
there are some in the media and in public life who have had differences with The Post in the past - and they see the incident as an opportunity for payback.

To them, no apology is due.

Sometimes a cartoon is just a cartoon - even as the opportunists seek to make it something else.

Today, I read that Governor Paterson accepts the Post's non-apology apology, and that he's called for
a discussion about satire of public officials.

"It might be a time to open up a dialogue on just where that line is, where good clean fun and degradation are," Paterson told reporters in Manhattan.

He was responding to a Post editorial cartoon Wednesday that many saw as portraying President Barack Obama as a chimpanzee. The Rev. Al Sharpton, state senators and other African-American leaders have called for boycotting the newspaper.

Paterson disagreed, calling the Post apology "very honorable ... At this time when tensions are running high, with the economy down and also even the media outlets having to lay off people, it is an act of sensitivity."

A discussion of satire and the line between fun and degradation? How about a discussion of insensitivity and racism in the press? Oh no, not that.

So, Governor, we should continue to support a Newscorp paper that at best has zero sensitivity to issues of race in America, and at worst is blatantly racist, because to do otherwise would lead directly and inexorably to the loss of jobs?

What about the 47 other steps that can be taken before a first job is lost, Governor, like asking Rupert Murdoch to save some jobs by issuing a real apology, like asking Rupert Murdoch to save some jobs by disciplining the management people and cartoonist responsible for this cartoon, like directly speaking out about the inadequacy of the non-apology apology rather than giving us this "very honorable" nonsense. And what about taking a position about this that doesn't allude to your own "victimhood" at the hands of comedians and cartoonists?

I note in passing that this is another Paterson reverse of position. First the Post has to explain; then its inadequate non-explanation is just fine. Have we seen this before from the Governor?

One had to wonder, in the wake of the Caroline Kennedy/Kirsten Gillibrand fiasco, whether the Governor could do anything more to hurt himself. And now we have our answer. He's intent on rendering himself unelectable. And he doesn't need my help to do that. I will miss him.

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Blogger Cathy said...

Thank you thank you thank you. Your comments were right on time. I'm not even black and that cartoon has me very angry and upset. This foolishness could just be considered an insensitive (albeit racist) misstep and maybe forgiven to a point given an appropriate amount of misgiving. But those responsible for this cartoon have seemingly decided that they are the majority and that their actions are justifiable - not by a long shot. Apparently, they think they can stay in business after this - too bad for them. I won't miss any of them. Thanks for your excellent comments.

10:20 p.m.  

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