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Post to N.Y.: Sorry, sort of (about the dead monkey cartoon)

February 19, 2009 |  9:32 pm

The New York Post, a feisty voice of tabloid conservatism owned by ex-Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch, apologized, halfway, late tonight for a controversial monkey cartoon that it published Wednesday.

The cartoon, by longtime Post artist Sean Delonas, played off the shooting this week of a pet chimp in Connecticut named Travis that attacked a female friend of the female owner, who gave the monkey wine to drink. (Hey, it's Connecticut!) For a non-political update on that case -- it seems the 200-pound Travis got irritated at least once before -- scroll down for a new video report.

The cartoon showed two cops with a smoking gun who were, well, you can see Sean Delonas cartoon in N.Y.Post 2-18-09for yourself right here on the left. The Ticket wrote about the cartoon argument, which some NYC activists said played off an aging racial stereotype of blacks as monkeys, claiming it depicted President Obama as a monkey, and an assassinated one at that.

Although neither his name nor image is anywhere in the drawing.

Others pointed out that Obama did not compose the stimulus bill -- that was allegedly written by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- so how could the president be the monkey?

But the outrage got some familiar faces back on cable TV, if only briefly.

Tonight, in a brief editorial headlined "That Cartoon," the Post repeated its denial of any racial intent and called the day's protesters "opportunists" taking advantage of long-standing grudges against the publication. "To them," the paper's latest editorial said, "no apology is due."

The paper said the cartoon was intended to "mock an ineptly written federal stimulus bill. Period." Adding: "To those who were offended by the image, we apologize."

"Sometimes a cartoon is just a cartoon," the paper said, "even as the opportunists seek to make it something else."

Ironically, protesters picketing the Post on Thursday carried large billboards depicting Murdoch wearing one of those lopsided Australian cowboy hats sitting in a kangaroo pouch with a koala bear eating a Vegemite sandwich. (Just kidding. There were protesters. But we made up the rest because we can't draw.)

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Credit: Sean Delonas / N.Y. Post

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