The headline on the Huffington Post says it all: "NY POST RUNS CARTOON ASSOCIATING OBAMA'S STIMULUS WITH CRAZED CHIMP." The cartoon by Sean Delonas - who has been the subject of GLAAD Action Alerts and has made the "Worst" on the "Best and Worst" list on several occasions (even making the year-end "Worst Defamation of 2008" list) - has raised ire from readers and community leaders alike.
As Sam Stein notes in the Huffington Post:
"At its most benign, the cartoon suggests that the stimulus bill was so bad, monkeys may as well have written it. Others believe it compares the president to a rabid chimp. Either way, the incorporation of violence and (on a darker level) race into politics is bound to be controversial. Perhaps that's what Delonas wanted."
Since then, The New York Times CityRoom blog has picked up concerns expressed by both New York Governor David A. Patterson and the Rev. Al Sharpton, while also addressing GLAAD's response to previous Delonas cartoons. The Post also released a statement defending the cartoon.
The cartoon - and the response to it - raises serious questions about how the Post chooses to editorialize about important issues facing Americans today. They're certainly not afraid of controversy, but the degree to which Delonas has repeatedly made these kind of ugly, offensive - and unfunny - jabs at different communities begs the question of why the Post continues to provide him with such a large media platform.