FEBRUARY 18, 2009 5:15PM

Page Six monkey business (updated)

Rate: 47 Flag

Like a lot of New Yorkers -- liberal, conservative, chimeric -- the New York Post is a frequent impulse buy for me. Some of the city coverage is exemplary, and its overt conservatism aside, it can capture the romantic, rough-and-tumble underbelly of the city (murder, mafia, midlist celebrities) in a way that makes for a tittilating, 10-minute entertainment.

But they also are prone to running doozies like this cartoon, by Sean Delonas, in today's Page Six. I caught it late,  early afternoon, while catching up on Open posts in a cafe. I see others are all over it. How,  really, can the Post rationalize this? Can any of our own talented artists on Open think of a plausible defense?

Updated: Here's Post Editor-in-Chief Col Allen's statement on the issues: "The cartoon is a clear parody of a current news event, to wit the shooting of a violent chimpanzee in Connecticut. It broadly mocks Washington's efforts to revive the economy. Again, Al Sharpton reveals himself as nothing more than a publicity opportunist." It's the Travis defense

Also: Please read Gmgaston, who beat me to the punch!  

 

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I am appalled at this cartoon. The NY Post would say that you shouldn't make this connection between the president and the shot chipanzee but it's unmistakable. That horrible event just happened and the officers are referring to the president, originator of the stimulus package, in the cartoon. Also, comparing the president to a chipanzee is very racist and the fact that the officers have shot the animal is worse still.

Newspapers have a responsibility not to incite the crazies in the world. I hope New Yorkers will stop buying this newspaper based on this cartoon.
It is disgusting, but all too typical of what comes out of Murdoch's media empire.
Kerry,this is standard operating procedure for The New York Post to publish something totally depraved like this and added circulation from the predicted national discussion and outrage entered their minds, I'll bet.
[Jaw hits pavement: Shatters. Continues downward trajectory]

Holee.

You have got to be...

No, you aren't.

(Kerry, speaking of stimulus, I just put up something about the COBRA subsidy. I know we have some freshly unemployed OSers here, and I don't particularly want to BW it, but please stop by.)
Rupert Murdoch's citizenship should be revoked. Murdoch is suborning assassination. Whether it be Congress or the President, this is an assassination.
The Post are "sore losers," their team didn't win the election. This cartoon is so over the top, so insulting in every way to the President that there are no words to describe how I feel about the "artist" and the editors who published this abomination.

A case could be made that this cartoon is inciting assassination of our President. Is that treason?
Yeesh...tasteless isn't the word...
this physically hurt me. it's appalling
OK, it's chimpanzee, the correct spelling.
Great minds think alike Kerry - great post
Weird. I guess I just took the cartoon to be a variation on the “million monkeys with typewriters” theme, where if you had a million of them and waited long enough, just raw banging on the keys would theoretically eventually (ok, well, millions of years later maybe) come up with something. But if you had fewer you'd come up with something incoherent, like maybe what is suggested here. I had to read the text of the comments here to see what else you were suggesting they might infer, and while I agree that's a possible interpretation, I'd like to say it's not that much stretch to say that the monkey here is no more than the personification of a thoughtless or inarticulate agent, a metaphor for all of Congress. Note the other thing that troubles me about the alleged Obama interpretation is that the analogy parallel is not right; Congress writes the legislation, not the President, as far as I know. Have I missed something and did Obama ghostwrite it? I thought he just was telling Congress what he wanted in it...
In extremely poor taste. Not cool.
Designanator: Even the Post relies on skittish advertisers -- and I bet E! isn't thrilled about adjacency for an ad for "Chelsea Lately" next to something like that . . .

ariana.paz: Exactly. Seeing something like that in a public place is really surreal -- I wanted to grab the guy sitting next to me, who calmly read his novel, and make him look at it so he could share my outrage. It felt like a kick in the head.
This is just wrong in so many ways.

You guys gave Murdoch citizenship?
I agree, by the way, that the gun thing is kind of weird and has no metaphorical analog, so in that sense is troubling.

As for inciting action, the normal test as I understand is that it doesn't allow for an intervening opportunity for reflection. I'm not a lawyer, but what I've heard suggests that things written down are rarely taken to incite exactly because the act of reading creates a thoughtful step. It requires interpretation. Inciting happens more if someone was already holding the gun, which is hard to do if your newspaper is open to an inner page. So I think on the basis of traditional case law, no such charge would stick. But maybe someone with more law background could double-check my belief there.
Inciting and suborning are two different things. Suborning does not require immediacy. Second, when it comes to either a coup, or a attempt to manipulate government by intimidating legislators, there is a serious situation here.
Utterly tasteless and offensive. Of course, they ran it deliberately to incite controversy and pump up readership. Mission accomplished, I guess.
Blog commentor Kent Pittman is on track here. Read his position and then ask yourself why you so quickly assumed it to be racist. Our current President would likely not be so quick to say he was depicted as the chimp. The million monkeys with a typewriter representing Congress analogy Pittman speaks of makes more sense. Still, Murdoch's stranglehold on information and the fact that this cartoon is repugnant and not funny on any level is not in question.
Kerry, it IS vile. However, isn't posting it here a copyright offense? I don't think our collective outrage satisfies the immediacy clause in copyright law. I also let gmgaston know that. It's not that I don't want people to see how vile this is, but a link to it is probably more legally acceptable?
How about a cartoon of the post (with that odious cartoon almost visible) being placed in the bottom of a bird cage (or a 100 or a 1000 bird cages), or maybe used to wrap fish or garbage, and the caption being... "We'll have to find another NY paper that can competently critique the stimulus bill?"

...or something like that.
If any of our noted artists/cartoonists wants to tackle my idea, please feel free. I haven't spent enough time on my drawing skills.
If the cartoonist intended to represent Congress, or a million monkeys banging keys on a typewriter, why did his cartoon show only one monkey?
If it's not appropriate in the Post, what does reproducing it on OS say?
I saw this on HuffPo as it happened.... I thought about posting it here but frankly didn't want to give it even more play. Also, I really don't get it and I consider myself very, well (sorry Emma Peel) intelligent. WHAT exactly was the cartoonist going for? It's very obtuse, weird and just plain fucked up.....
Catamite -- no, I'm confident the way I've used it here would be protected under Fair Use. But that's actually a really good subject for another blog post, maybe tomorrow. . .

Kent raises the right defenses of the cartoon -- and maybe that's what Delonas thought, the chimp as stand-in for Congress -- but I don't understand how anyone could see this and not anticipate that many, if not most, readers would interpret this another way after Obama's recent campaign stumping for the stimulus bill. And, yes, because Obama's black. Also -- just one page before this is a photo of Obama signing the stimulus package.
Not funny, and I'm sure that Delonas and the Post were cravenly counting on the controversy to spike sales. No doubt, this was a calculated move. Now these creeps will sit back and say, "oh, no, you misinterpreted the cartoon..." The next thing you know, Limbaugh and Hannity and those other turds will be debating how liberals are trying to squelch free speech, we're no better than those who tried to quash the Danish cartoons, and blah blah blah. Get ready for the backlash to to backlash.

What would have been funny is a cartoon of a bunch of chimps jumping around and flinging poo at each other with the caption: "Congress debates the stimulus package"
I think the cartoon is in horrible taste on so many levels. It is offensive, and it's stupid.

My only question, to play devil's advocate: If this had been a year ago, and GW was still president, would we be having this conversation? I would have taken it as an attack on GW's intelligence, that he hired a monkey to write his economic policy, instead of saying that HE was the monkey.

Is it only because Obama is black that we're interpreting it differently? Are we being hyper-sensitive about making sure we don't appear racist? (And yes, I know the historical reference of equating black men with monkeys. That alone makes the cartoon in poor taste.)

Don't attack me--I'm just curious. I like Obama, I want people to get off his back and give him a chance to succeed or fail, and stop rooting against him. I can't remember people rooting against GW this way, and he had a much narrower election.
America, the beautiful???????? Say it ain't so Joe, say it ain't so...
Such vileness has suddenly become comedy.
For anyone who questions that the intent of the cartoon was racist, it was just pointed out by Baratunde Thurston of JackandJillPolitics that there was a picture of Barack Obama signing the stimulus bill on the page immediately preceding the cartoon.

In addition, you might recall that during the election there were people who carried stuffed monkeys to McCain/Palin campaign rallies.

Ask yourself, what is it that links the stimulus bill to the shooting of that unfortunate animal? The fact that they are current events is not a reasonable explanation.

During the Bush Administration there were many illustrations of George Bush as Dumbya the Chimp. However, if anyone had dared publish a cartoon of a bullet ridden Dumbya they would have been arrested for treason. Why shouldn't this cartoonist and members of the Post's editorial board.
dogmom: The point is: It wouldn't matter if GW was in office. If he were, it wouldn't be offensive. It is now for too many reasons to list. No we aren't being overly sensitive.

And to whoever suggested that the "chimp stood for congress": in this case we need an arrow with a label.

We are the country we are, with the history we have. There is no excuse for this.

Hi Kerry.

Denese
I don't like the cartoon, I don't like the fact it's on the cover of OS, only because it bring more publicity to Murdoch and Post. I think the cartoon is despicable.

However, I feel that this is free speech, not shouting "fire in a crowded theatre." What is Glenn Greenwald's take on the 1st amendment's rights of the artist and the Post to publish it, Kerry?

I'd hate to see everyone's rights to free speech infringed by a reaction to a despicable cartoon.

I realize this is a contrary point of view to many commenters here who I read and respect.
Kerry, a possible irony of the issue could turn out to be that those most colorblind among us have the hardest time seeing the connection. I, for example, don't associate monkeys with black people. I can intellectually grok what you're saying once you raise it, but the association just isn't there in my mind, which is probably why I didn't see it in this case. I do see monkeys as quasi-intelligent but lacking basic social and linguistic skills because that's what the research says is true of them. So is that just me? Is it a signal everyone else can see and I have to be prompted to see? Maybe. What about the cartoonist? It's possible a cartoonist drew something else not even making the association. I know when you get an idea and start focusing on it, that's a very easy thing to do and you get so caught up in what you want someone to see that you just don't see the other things. So maybe the cartoonist is like me, or maybe like someone from the—I dunno how to name the group so I'll say racist as shorthand—from the racist sector? Even so, maybe it's the job of an Editor to catch this. Maybe for the Editor it's not an issue of racism but incompetence to not have done basic cross-checking against possible misinterpretations and to say “Houston, we've got a problem.” before the thing hit the presses. Of course, and here's a place Open Salon Editors should feel sympathy, sometimes you're just in a hurry and have nothing else to offer... I have to believe that's how some things make it to Editor's Pick when I see better stuff elsewhere around. So there are a complicated set of issues to consider. But if you want a benefit of the doubt, it would be around these issues that it would be structured.

Curiously, I bet if someone did mean the bad interpretation, they won't suddenly cling to one of my suggestions—they'll want people to know what they meant, and they'll just defend themselves with “so what?” So I bet you'll get the real answer in due time. I bet they will not be able to stand for someone saying they meant something else. If it has the interpretation many feel it does, then it's the work of someone saying “this is a time that calls for patriotism and this is what patriots look like.” No one with that intent is going to hide.

By the way, no one has really addressed the issue that in the bad interpretation, the implication is (probably) that officers of the law should do the deed. That's also a weird spin and hard to understand. Usually you'd expect someone off the street doing that and then defending himself to the officers by saying that. I don't know what to make of that part, actually. (The parenthetical word “probably” earlier in this paragraph is meant to leave room for the possibility that there's another shooter off-screen who did the shooting and the officers are just sorting it out, perhaps shooting after him as he goes. That's an unlikely read, but is possible. Usually when you've just shot someone and still have your weapon drawn, I'd expect it to be pointed vaguely at the person you shot, not away, but who knows what the artist was thinking. The blood spatter is wrong unless the monkey was shot when he was already down, too, and so the artist presumably wasn't going for ultra-realism.)
OEsheepdog wrote: "I feel that this is free speech, not shouting 'fire in a crowded theatre.' "

I agree. But I would love anyone with legal bona fides to weigh in.
Wow... this is on the cover. That's so sad (I was going to say disgusting, but am trying to remain calm about this). By what rationale does this warrant that special attention and placement?
There's been speculation about who the monkey represents, but what about the cops who are doing the shooting? Who do they represent?
Apparently, the cartoonist believes that the authors of the stimulus bill are as dumb as monkeys. Oh, and hey! Cops just shot a monkey! It was on the news.

I get the joke. I don't think it's particularly funny, and it's in poor taste, but I see what they're going for here.

What I don't see here is racism. I think you have to *choose* to see racism here.
bunglermoose, please read this link to see why the cartoon is blatantly racist
http://legalsoapbox.wordpress.com/2008/01/11/monkey-business-no-laughing-matter/
Kent wrote: "Maybe for the Editor it's not an issue of racism but incompetence to not have done basic cross-checking against possible misinterpretations and to say 'Houston, we've got a problem' before the thing hit the presses." That is, actually, a very good explanation of an editor's job. And "here's a place Open Salon Editors should feel sympathy... I have to believe that's how some things make it to Editor's Pick when I see better stuff elsewhere around." Aw, you just couldn't help yourself, could you?

On your question about the role the cops played: I updated the post to include the Post editor's explanation, which says the cartoon is take-off on the tragedy of Travis.
Like Kent, I did not immediately connect this to the black men as monkeys meme, more that the stimulus package was so backwards it must have been authored by a monkey. Sure, after a second look I got the monkey interpretation, and the editor probably should have also. It’s not sufficiently funny to run as it is.

And like like OE, it strikes me as permissible free speech. Ooh, Kerry wants bona fides. Um, a poli sci class on civil rights liberties will have to suffice from me. The links are too remote between a shot chimp and the President for this to amount to an incitement to violence because nothing clearly identifies the chimp as being Obama. The chimp does not have Obama written across his forehead, nor does he bear any resemblance to Obama. By now we’ve seen plenty of monkey depictions made to look like both him and Dubya. The cartoon is stupid, and apparently offensive, but not hate speech. (And I doubt that the cartoonist could have anticipated placement so close to a photo of Obama signing the package.)
I think it is clear that the chimp is meant to be Obama. That is what I immediately thought. Col Allan's explanation -- remember, he's been a full-time apologist for Murdoch for years -- makes me believe it was intentional even more. I doubt that even one person who sees this made the link to the Travis story. It's bullshit, pure and simple.

It's OK, Lisa, you ARE wicked smart. :)
Okay, here's my question: how does this compare to a cartoon of Muhammad with a bomb-shaped turban?
Given the prevalence of stuffed monkeys standing in for Obama during the campaign, and even beyond... it does seem probable that the story of Travis provides cover for making the assasination connection. Anyone who doubts that those feelings are out there, should read the interview with Alexandra Pelosi's about making her documentary on the GOP.
Don't even get me started. Awful, awful, awful...
Murdoch is cruising for a bruising ( would say if I were in a certain movie which I will be writing about shortly). Ditto what Bill Beck says.
I'm with Kent Pitman, I took it as a variation on the 100 monkeys with typewriters metaphor...also because B.O. didn't write the stimulus bill...and to me Washington is acting like the monkeys with the typewriters....
In newsrooms, Sean Delonas is not popular with anyone (and is famous for insensitive cartoons about gays). I can bet you he is least popular in the Post newsroom. TimeOut and The Village Voice editors used to constantly egg me on to attack him but I maybe did just two retorts to his pieces. Delonas is not from our country (and some say our planet), and so his sensitivities and values are off-the-chart different from ours (USA), making his statements shocking. In another country he may actually get away with this more.

I don't believe he was making a connection to Obama (I can't believe he or anyone would be so crude) but it's his responsible to make sure whatever stupid joke he was going for would not be misunderstood (like the New Yorker cover. Ugh.).

All in all, the cartoon is offensive on many levels.
Can any of our own talented artists on Open think of a plausible defense?

When I first read that sentence, I thought you were asking for some kind of "reply." Thus, my lame suggestion earlier on.
Kerry wrote, Aw, you just couldn't help yourself, could you?

Heh. My daughter often thinks I'm taking jabs when I do similar things with her. But I think empathy is best achieved when people see a little of themselves, or the potential of themselves, in others they are criticizing or questioning. I really wasn't trying to take the easy jab, Kerry, and I apologize if it seemed I was. I'll take those jabs in another forum if they need taking. :) More I thought maybe if it struck a chord and you found yourself saying, “Hey, that's right. People do criticize me for that and it's unfair when they do,” then maybe it would give you a new angle to analyze this from.
Say the word (and i mean word, not name, I would not dignify it)
"MURDOCK"= neanderthal......enough said....
The timing of this is very telling: Kerry, you have to take into consideration the historic fact that Lincoln's detractors called him "the Gorilla" and the historic 200th anniversary of Lincoln and Darwin's birth, Darwin's 150th anniversary of "The origin of the Species"...Obama is astutely aware of this history.........
We cannot ignore the historic significance of our times! I truly respect Bob, but I have to say I believe this to be malicious. It lacks any modicum of taste and he should be reprimanded harshly, along with the insensitive editors who allowed this aberrant racism.
Gary, I believe you're giving too much credit to Delonas (and Murdoch who also is from another country with a different set of values and (in) sensitivities). As a matter of fact, I'm sure of it.

Full disclosure; some of my observations are based on having just worked there (I recently dealt with an editor there doing an editorial).
I'm glad to read that some of the posters here did not immediately associate the chimp to Obama, but merely to lower intelligence.

I don't know how old the cartoonist is, and for some reason could not find a reference to his age, but I'm sure there are plenty of old farts at the Post who, like me, grew up in an era when a drawing of a chimp=African or African-American, unless it was about Tarzan or specifically labeled "evolution."

Disney cartoons in the 50s, shown during the Mickey Mouse Club, depicted African people as strictly monkeys or chimps with spears and jewelry. These cartoons are not included in Mickey Mouse boxed sets , but they certainly existed. The image was also used in comic books.

The Post and the artist knew exactly how this cartoon would be interpreted by many people and just didn't care since its free publicity.

I, too, would like to see if Chelsey Handler mentions this on her show.
This is the first time that I've seen the actual cartoon. Yep. Racist.

But then again, I laughed at the portrayals of Bush as a cowboy boot wearing little monkey.

What's the difference?

1. This isn't funny.
2. Nobody published cartoons of Bush with bullet holes in his chest.
3. We just had days of rioting in Oakland as a result of a cold-blooded murder of a young Black man by Bart Cops.
4. Did I mention that this isn't funny?
I read about the chimp shooting on the AP, but this is taking it way too far. Shouldn't they retract it? I thought cartoons like this went out in the 60's.
This is a new low in reprehensible media.
I think it is racist and it perpetuates a stereotype about Blacks. Nevertheless, I am not too surprised by something like this. It is just another ugly reminder about the ills of America. Racism is still alive and kicking.
I can believe the cartoonist did not intend for his lousy cartoon to have a racist connotation. However, it shows not only the insensitivity of the cartoonist, but also the editors who reviewed it before publication. At any other newspaper, someone would have said, "hey, we can't print this. A lot of people will see this as a racist statement." But, it did not happen. What a dense bunch who run the Post.

Then to compound the error, the editors didn't have the gonads or self respect to say they screwed up and apologize for their insensitivity. Again, a very dense bunch of jerks.
Just forced myself to click on this because I so didn't want to see it.

It's awful. And racist. And depressing as hell. Such a violent awful image.

Yuck.
Sickening. This artist should be banned from the Cartoonist's Guild, and this paper, along with all of its editors, should be shredded.
SERIOUSLY !!! NO ONE SHOULD BY ANOTHER NY POST. Ever.
The excuse for this? The Post know its audience -- think BillO, Rush, Manatee and Coulter.
I was curious what Bob Eckstein's take would be, and I have to say that I kind of feel the same way. It's easy for me--someone who lives halfway across the country--to feel a bit detached from the outrage. But for Eckstein to feel like it's both offensive AND blown out of proportion (I hope I'm not reading to much into your comments there)--when he's recently been working within the belly of the beast (for lack of a better term)--makes me feel better about this unfortunate deal.

Yes, it's bad. Yes, it's offensive. Yes, it's the New York Post. It is what it is. Will it really make anyone feel any better to have Delonas and a couple of editors lose their jobs over this? Maybe, but it's still gonna be the New York Post. That tiger's not gonna change it's stripes anytime soon; that much is obvious.
I didn't read all the comments so someone may have already said this....My take on the cartoon was that the chimp is a metaphor for a wild, out of control government. You probably have to be a conservative who views big government as a threat to see it this way. Since most at OS are liberal, it is obvious why the race interpretation is the one most seen.

The coincidence of this controversy with Eric Holder's speech on race today prompted me to write a post.

http://open.salon.com/content.php?cid=117163
I don't have time to read all the comments but to the cartoon itself:

appalling
egregious
fomenting
hateful
ridiculous
race-baiting

just plain wrong

I hate this segment of society. Kerry, please make it go way.
OMG, you people really ARE bleeding heart liberals aren't you? The chimp CAN'T be Obama because HE didn't write the Stimulus Bill. Congress did. This a way to poke fun at the absolute circus that has become our Congress these days. The lowest approval rating....ever and they just don't get it. The majority of the American people DO NOT want this bill. They see it for what it is and they know if is going to send us deeper into the recession. Really, get over yourselves.
this is in the "dead Democrats good, fire bad" school of Kartoon Komedy.

The first sin it commits is: it isn't funny.

The second sin is the one that results in what annoys the crap out of us and shocks us with its blatent racism. And that's the "ooh, liberals'll hate it" yardstick for humor.

funny is funny. this isn't funny.
The POST brings a new low to American journalism and has for years. I think of it an as alien attempt to take over the planet by making the citizens so dumb they destroy themselves.
Is it common for conservatives to believe that their way is the only way to see the world? Two examples:

Conservative view: The majority of the American people DO NOT want this bill.

Meanwhile, back in reality: "In a separate poll released Monday [February 9] by CNN/Opinion Research Corp., , 76 percent of those questioned approve of Obama is performing his duties, while 23 percent disapproved. In the same poll, a slight majority, 54 percent, favors the stimulus bill while 45 percent are opposed."

Conservative view: The cartoon is a clear parody of a current news event, to wit the shooting of a violent chimpanzee in Connecticut. It broadly mocks Washington's efforts to revive the economy. Again, Al Sharpton reveals himself as nothing more than a publicity opportunist.

My translation: If you see a racist message in this cartoon, you're wrong. It's as simple as that. Further, you're an opportunist just trying to stir up trouble.

Personally, I think it's worth recognizing that everyone is not just like me.
It's NOT just the chimp - it's the chimp AND the murder.
The excuse for this? The Post know its audience -- think BillO, Rush, Manatee and Coulter.
Unfortunately, the undercurrent of racism will always be there and exercised by the power elite. Whether it's tongue in cheek, double entondre, or visual comments. Way too much coverage on this garbage cartoon.
well if the intent of the cartoon was to get us talking it succeeded. but talking about what i'm not sure. these things make us look at ourselves. if the woman who owned the chimp that was shot had a bear as a pet, and the bear was shot, and the cartoon had dead bear with the same caption, would we even be discussing this. i think the question it raises is how is the media going to treat our first black president? do we change all the rules now? if we portray the president as a monkey is that racist or part and parcel of the job. isn't he the comedic target. if lisa lamponelli incorporated president obama into her act, wouldn't you laugh. do we say these things are racist to make ourselves feel better,or do we need to get over ourselves. if there was one of those little desk paper weights with the heads of reid, pelosi, and obama on the three monkeys ...hearing, seeing, and speaking no evil is it funny or is it racist.? if a zoo named a new baby chimp/primate barak or obama is that being racist? i'm sure president obama has been called worse than a monkey. i'm not saying it's right or wrong. i suppose there will soon be a call to ban all primates from print and media outlets.
on a lighter note, i always enjoyed the aamco transmission commercial of the chimp beating on the transmission with a stick.
Take a look at this link. It was much better than my suggestions:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lee-camp/how-the-new-york-post-mon_b_168199.html
Someone as opinionated as myself has to throw in his two cents worth. Is it a easily "misinterperated piece? Absolutely. Do I think that the intent was to directly demean the president? Absolutely. Do I support it or it's vaarious intrperations? No. Is it free speech? Unfortunately, yes.
We can read into most anything what we wish. If I am to be allowed to speak out I must allow everyone the same right. I don't care for the sentiment and I am pretty sure that artist and editor knew that the cartoon would be taken in this way. The legal folks likely told them that the issue was sufficiently cloudy to get it out there without danger of lawsuit or criminal action.
The right way to deal with this to me is to not give it more exposure by promoting it. Just one more thing, it is no different than the Mohammed cartoon in theory, but even Mohammed wasn't portrayed as being killed by his own.
Wow every one sure has their shorts in a bunch over this cartoon. Is it offensive? Yeah, probably. Is it funny? No. Is it worth all the time, energy and anger? No. Will I waste any more time thinking about this cartoon? No, I'm done.
after reading all the responses...i thought about sarah palin. do you remember the i think it was the california couple that had a halloween display of her hanging by a noose? how is this different? what are you going to do when other countries start burning the president in effigy?
and what if we find out that a monkey really did write the stimulus package, you're going to look awfully silly.
I try to put myself in the place of the cartoonist. Well, actually I wouldn't want to be there but if I was I would have considered it a failure. For there to be this many interpretations means it was not executed (no pun intended) very well.
$Everything Rupert Murdoch touches turns into a cancerous growth that eventually needs to be excised...

Such is patriotism in the Bushist world.

The ironic thing is that Murdoch isn't even a 'native American' and got so much suckling off American politicians that you would think that he'd not want to risk pissing off Obama... Well, but that would assume that a thug like Murdoch had a heart, and more than a brain stem...

And he fights the 'Fairness Doctrine' like it's the Antichrist. I look at it more as disinfectant...
Kalvin, without Google and Wikipedia you couldn't write a note get yourself out of gym class kid.
xoxoxoxoxxoxoxoxoox...
Kalvin
Michael Woolf on Olbermann just now said he found out that Murdoch is livid and that the cartoon will be out and the editor has to take responsibility.
I really don't think they thought about it that way. Sometimes people just draw things because it seems funny at the time and they have one meaning in their head, and then someone else looks at it and sees something completely different. That's the trouble with art, it's open to interpretation. Case in point the statue of David, work of art, or just a nude guy standing there? Depends on who you ask.
I've always heard the saying if you give x amount of monkey, x amount of typewriters they'd write the works of Shakespeare. (can't recall the right number of each) I'm wondering if that's what they were going for here?
I sometimes wonder if it's the people who look at the monkey and see it as a racial slur that are prejudice to think that way first thing and not look to see another meaning in it?
I think what we should be looking at is the fact that even though morally to most people to be racist is wrong, this is still America and there is still freedom of speech and freedom of the press, or at least there was the last time I looked.
I am not a racist, but I find it scary that what used to be just a racist comment is now considered treason or a threat against the president. This to me is something to think about more then the just the meaning of this cartoon.
Outrageous! Deplorable bigotry at its finest. Responsibility accompanies free speach, something the media empires seem to have forgotten (or purposely shoved aside for their profits).

Not the best of images, but probably the best he can do.

Should I say it? Hell yes! Looks rather like a wrinkle-faced primate himself (URLs for you to compare for your own gratifcation).

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.gawker.com/assets/images/gawker/2008/01/knMURDOCH_narrowweb__300x412,0.jpg&imgrefurl=http://gawker.com/5002325/&usg=__D_gaZgyKhRLtiDIbSfZmO9ortr0=&h=412&w=300&sz=23&hl=en&start=14&um=1&tbnid=gJ6dS33gPb5ciM:&tbnh=125&tbnw=91&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dmurdoch%2Bmedia%2Bempire%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN

http://images.paraorkut.com/img/pics/images/m/monkey-844.bmp

Sorry Mr. Orangutan. It would piss me off too, to be compared to such an asshole.

Rated for its ugliness