Should the/will the NY Post boycott end?

Latest update: The NAACP, Al Sharpton, Spike Lee and others have determined that an apology is not enough. The boycott continues. The goal is to have new policies on diversity at the Post, and also for the government to reconsider the waiver Rupert Murdoch has to own more than one major media outlet within the same city, etc.

Previous update: It seems that the boycott of the NY Post is still on. And, that the recent half-hearted apology of the Post will be deliberated on at the rally this evening, Friday, February 20, 2009.

Some timeline, including a rehash:

The NY Post (A Rupert Murdoch “news” outlet) ran a cartoon which appeared to symbolize President Obama through a chimpanzee which, in the cartoon, was killed by police.

The reaction of the community, black people, and other activists was outrage.

The NY Post issued a statement that offered no explanation, and claimed the reference was “vague.”

I heard the story on WBAI, where it was noted that such a piece of violent art could possibly inspire hate and/or copying. WBAI news, interestingly enough, called the Secret Service for a comment (though, their call was not returned.) If you are a peace activist, you may recall what happened to your friends under the Bush administration, if there could be any hint they protested too strongly near or about President Bush.

Many organizations and news outlets called for a boycott of the NY Post. (Which is a conservative rag, anyway.)Reverend Al Sharpton called for a boycott and demonstrations, and took it a step further that Rupert Murdoch should be jailed. (I guess on the principle that the cartoon seemed to depict an Assassination of the President, at the same time demeaning the President. If you see the cartoon, and think about it for two minutes, it is difficult to come to any other conclusion.) In the 1980’s Rupert Murdoch – born in Australia – became a US citizen, in a way that was clear to everyone was simply to align himself with the rule that only a US citizen could own a television station. Rupert Murdoch went on to monopolize the American media market with his conservative outlets.

With the international coverage, the threat of boycott, and the rally planned for today, and the suggestions that Rupert Murdoch himself be held accountable, finally, last night, the NY Post did an about-face and issued a half-hearted apology. The apology tried to keep some higher moral ground by saying that SOME PEOPLE (not identified) were merely detractors of the Post who were just trying to use the situation to their advantage. (Um. Yes, when you do something really, boldly wrong, both your friends and enemies might call you out on it.)

At the National Action Network, there is a statement (see below) that the boycott will remain in place until the people and groups calling it have time to confer and/or decide at tonight’s rally.

We will try to keep you posted here at onthewilderside.com, where we have strong concerns with the Rupert Murdoch media empire, anyway. But, you could also stay tuned at National Action Network, where they are usually very good at updates.

From National Action Network:

Statement by Reverend Al Sharpton regarding New York Post apology

“The New York Post statement will be discussed by all of the leadership of the various groups that have mobilized and we will respond to it at the rally at 5:00 p.m. tomorrow outside of the New York Post. At this point there will be no cancellation of the rally and though we think it is the right thing for them to apologize to those they offended, they seem to want to want to blame the offense on those who raised the issue, rather than take responsibility for what the Post did. However, rather than engage, as they are in name calling back and forth, we will make a collective decision on how to proceed. All of us can only wish the New York Post had taken a more mature position when the issue was first raised rather than belatedly coming up with a conditional statement after people began mobilizing and preparing to challenge the waiver of News Corp in the City where they own several television stations and newspapers.”

8 Responses

  1. “The reaction of the community, black people, and other activists was outrage.”

    These same people would not have any problem with this cartoon if it was run during GW Bush administration!

    After viewing this cartoon I see no personal reference President Obama but rather to his administrations ill conceived 780 billion bailout plan.

    These people need to get a job, get a hobby, stop their raciest comments, get over this. IT’s a political cartoon!!

    • Dear pobept,

      Well, when I first heard about the situation (without seeing the cartoon), it did come to my mind that people had portrayed George Bush, Jr. as a monkey at times.

      Though, after seeing the cartoon, and noting the caption about the stimulus bill President Obama has been promoting, it is difficult to believe it was anything less than an overt allusion to President Obama.

      (P.S. It is laughable to tell people to get a job. Nobody can get a job, least of all black people who always have more economic hurdles in the country. Yeah, if the mostly white men who ran this country provided all of us with more justice and economic stability and promise, maybe we wouldn’t notice so much when their entertainers pumped out racist propaganda. This cartoonist has been known for hate-speech before, though, it has usually been about gay people and transgender people. Guess he is branching out.)

    • If blacks tried to learn to read and write, MAYBE there would be less unemployment among this group

  2. I think the apology was very vague and unacceptable. When you mess up like this the best thing to do is to fess up, admit you were wrong and hope people accept your apology. You don’t publish a vague half-hearted apology … only makes people more mad.

    Watched a video the other day and found something interesting, “65 percent (of poll) participants … voted yes–the cartoon is racist, while 35 percent say it is not” Here’s the link: http://www.newsy.com/videos/firestorm_over_editorial_cartoon/

  3. No keep the Boycott up….Put The POST out of business for all the insults from Tawana Brawley….Central Park Jogging Case …. to all the other insults too many to mention…..
    Let them know there is a cost to RACISM and the pocketbook is the best place to show them.
    ITS About time folks are waking up!!!!

  4. Boycott his empire! I have a post up this weekend about Rupert Murdoch that may interest you. When I found the information, my eyes popped out.

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