Posted by Brad @ 7:21 pm on February 18th 2009

Ginned Up Political Controversy of the Day

You know what one of my biggest political pet peeves is? The pretend-outrage. When something happens, the plain meaning of which is pretty clear and inoffensive, but which, for whatever reason, it suits everybody to feign outrage at for one reason or another. Actually, half of the time people can’t even be arsed to feign outrage, they just start asking “is this offensive?”, as if it had been brought to their attention by a great unwashed mass of outraged folks and they’re just innocently asking the question, keeping their pulse on the opinions of regular folk (and not, in fact, that some political operative forwarded it to them and precisely nobody, outside of the “is this offensive?” crowd could give a flying hoot about it).

Today’s example: New York Post cartoonist Sean Delonas’ entry for today:

Now, the plain meaning: the stimulus bill was so dumb, it could have been written by chimps.

Ginned up meaning: Barack Obama, being black, is like a monkey. Also, somebody should shoot him.

“How could the Post let this cartoon pass as satire?” said Barbara Ciara, president of the National Association of Black Journalists. “To compare the nation’s first African-American commander in chief to a dead chimpanzee is nothing short of racist drivel.”

State Sen. Eric Adams called it a “throwback to the days” when black men were lynched.

The Rev. Al Sharpton called the cartoon “troubling at best given the historic racist attacks of African-Americans as being synonymous with monkeys.”

Yes. CLEARLY that’s what the artist in question was going for, and also that’s clearly how your Joe Sixpack reader is going to take it.

N.B. Barack Obama did not write the stimulus bill. David Obey did, though why let that get in the way of a good faux-outrage?

P.P.S. David Obey does, in fact, kind of look like a chimp.


  1. On Crossfire just now, much agreement that it was a Bad Thing and that Al Sharpton made some good points.

    I was thinking there should have been a typewriter in the cartoon, myself.

    Comment by Adam — 2/18/2009 @ 9:20 pm

  2. Crossfire? Does the Tucker Carlson Show follow?

    Comment by Brad — 2/18/2009 @ 9:23 pm

  3. Hmmm, not sure why I called it Crossfire. I meant ‘Hardball’.

    Not that I miss Crossfire. Not like I miss Tucker’s MSNBC show. Where is Tucker? :(

    Comment by Adam — 2/18/2009 @ 9:28 pm

  4. Agreed: no racism here. I’m pretty sure the reference in the cartoon was to the weird news item yesterday in which a chimpanzee nearly killed its owner and had to be shot by police.

    Pretty feeble cartoon, though. If you’re going to fire the guy, fire him for being bad at his job, not for being racist.

    Comment by Rojas — 2/18/2009 @ 10:41 pm

  5. Get used to it.

    Comment by James — 2/18/2009 @ 11:56 pm

  6. The record should reflect that Delonas has a prior record on similar matters:

    Comment by KipEsquire — 2/18/2009 @ 11:57 pm

  7. His “prior record” is opposition to gay marriage? And support for the weak, but hardly unheard of, “slippery slope to bestiality” argument?

    If the guy’s guilty of anything, it’s an utter absence of wit (and I mean that, this is feeble cartooning). But if this sort of thing is going to violate our threshhold of offense, then we’re going to spend a whole damn lot of our lives offended.

    Save it for Ann Coulter.

    Comment by Rojas — 2/19/2009 @ 12:37 am

  8. We are talking about monkey cartoons? Cartoons?

    Dear Crazy Muslims,

    I apologize for all the swear words I used when referring to you when you went nuts over cartoons.



    Ok, any thoughts on America jumping on the fast track to socialism from you big bad Libertarians?

    Comment by James — 2/19/2009 @ 12:38 am

  9. I’m against it.

    Comment by Rojas — 2/19/2009 @ 12:43 am

  10. The record should reflect that Delonas has a prior record on similar matters:

    Noted, but irrelevant.

    Besides Rojas’ response, that doesn’t really have any bearing on the cartoon in question. Does ANYBODY want to argue that his intent was to equate black people with monkeys? Does anybody guess that parallel even crossed his mind at all?

    Comment by Brad — 2/19/2009 @ 12:46 am

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