As we move into the "mea culpa" phase of the New York Post controversy, its political cartoonist Sean Delonas might want to ring up Don Imus's attorney for a little advice. Then again, throwing himself on the mercy of the court of public opinion -- with Al Sharpton as witness -- didn't exactly aid Imus's cause or career.
Imus's attempts at public apologia after using a racist slur in 2007 were delivered so ineptly that they only seemed to add high-octane fuel to the fire. Now the New York Post has issued a "partial apology" to those who were "offended by the image." The Post, though, qualified its statements, offering no apology to those "in the media and in public life who have had differences with The Post in the past."
Ultimately, will this approach to public apology, whether warranted or no, prove inept, if not ineffective? Already, in response, the NAACP -- saying it is "half of an apology, without elaboration" -- has called for the firings of Delonas and his editor. And New York City Councilman John Liu wants the Secret Service to investigate the cartoon as a possible threat.
Here's an AP video that describes the Post's "partial apology" and the protest outside the N.Y. Post's building:
The NAACP, among others, has spoken this weekend. Now, it's your turn to grab a bullhorn and step on the soapbox. The Burning Question of the Day for followers of this cartoon kerfuffle is this:
NOTED AND QUOTED...
Elsewhere, "Comic Riffs" was quoted for THIS new Associated Press story about how political cartoonists wrestle with satirizing President Obama -- and whether they're treading lightly. This, of course, has been an ongoing discussion (at least since last summer) among those in cartooning circles. In the wake of the Delonas cartoon, though, these ideas are being aired anew -- and circulated widely -- to an audience whose interest is now piqued.
And lastly, lest we fail to realize: The ultimate irony in all of this is that the point behind Delonas's editorial ire was that he believed a public work put to paper had been poorly written. Talk about your profound twists of fate.
As the ol' saying goes: Take care not to become the very thing you attack.