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Rupert Murdoch apologizes for cartoon

In what I hope will be the last news story about this item, New York Post chairman and all-around media mogul Rupert Murdoch apologized for the recent editorial cartoon by Sean Delonas, which conflated two recent news events: the shooting of a loose chimpanzee and the recent passing of the stimulus bill.

"Today I want to personally apologize to any reader who felt offended, and even insulted," said the statement from Murdoch, who is also chairman and chief executive of News Corporation, which owns the paper.

"I can assure you -- without a doubt -- that the only intent of that cartoon was to mock a badly written piece of legislation.

"It was not meant to be racist, but unfortunately, it was interpreted by many as such. We all hold the readers of the New York Post in high regard, and I promise you that we will seek to be more attuned to the sensitivities of our community."

Many felt the cartoon was a condemnation of President Obama's backing of the stimulus plan, and thus carried distasteful connotations of racism, as African-Americans have been portrayed as monkeys or worse in the pre-Civil Rights past. The NAACP, among other groups, is calling for Delonas' removal.

For his part, Delonas called the controversy "absolutely friggin' ridiculous."

"Do you really think I'm saying Obama should be shot? I didn't see that in the cartoon," he told CNN. "It's about the economic stimulus bill. If you're going to make that about anybody, it would be [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi, which it's not."

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