National News

Backlash against NY Post cartoon felt in Durham

Posted February 26, 2009 4:35 p.m. EST

— The NAACP organized a protest at five North Carolina Fox stations Thursday over a cartoon that ran in the New York Post. Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation owns both the Post and the Fox network.

About a dozen people showed up to protest at WRAZ Fox 50 in Durham. Management there agreed to forward a letter from the NAACP to the Fox network. While WRAZ is a Fox affiliate, the station is locally owned by Capitol Broadcasting and has no ties to the New York Post.

Critics say the newspaper cartoon, which showed police officers shooting a chimpanzee and saying "they'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill," was racially insensitive.

The national NAACP has urged readers to boycott the New York Post, calling a cartoon that the newspaper published an invitation to assassinate President Barack Obama.

Benjamin Todd Jealous, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, called on the tabloid to remove editor-in-chief Col Allan, as well as longtime cartoonist Sean Delonas.

Earlier this week, the newspaper apologized to anyone who might have been offended by the image printed Wednesday.

On Thursday, after protests by notable figures including director Spike Lee, the paper posted an editorial on its Web site saying the cartoon was meant to mock the federal economic stimulus bill, but "to those who were offended by the image, we apologize."

NAACP officials said that if the Post does not take "serious disciplinary action," they would reach out to organizations across the country to join them in their efforts against the tabloid.

NAACP Chairman Julian Bond called the publication of the cartoon "thoughtlessness taken to the extreme. ... Anyone who is not offended by it does not have any sensitivity."