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Interpretation Depends on the Receiver - Not the Intent of the Sender

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Rowan Wolf       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   17 comments

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opednews.com Headlined to H3 2/19/09

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We all learn that the message depends on what is received and not just what is sent. Our intent does not take away the harm of the message. This is the case with the Delonas cartoon in the 2/18/2009 New York Post. The cartoon depicts to police having just shot dead a chimpanzee (lying in blood on the sidewalk). The bubble reads "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill." The article is unabashedly racist - protests to the contrary aside.

The Post, and Delonas, can argue all they want that the dead chimpanzee refers to articles the Post has been running as coverage of the Travis the chimp. However, if that was the case, then why the bubble regarding the stimulus bill? That takes a tasteless "cartoon" and turns it into a political critique. One might even argue that the cartoon promotes assassination as the appropriate response to voice political opposition.

Regardless, the Post is treading on very thin ice with multiple issues.

While I think that Delonas' cartoon is offensive in the extreme, the ultimate responsibility does not lie with him. Rather, it lies with the editors and managers of the New York Post. It is the their responsibility to decide what is (and is not) published. Further, it is their responsibility to determine the context, as well as the content, of what they publish. According to someone reading the Post, the cartoon was placed directly on the facing page of an article (and picture) of President Obama signing the stimulus bill.

Despite attacks on Al Sharpton for bringing national attention to the cartoon, Sharpton was exactly right in doing so.

While it is unlikely that the Post is going to issue an apology (at the very least) for publishing the extremely offensive cartoon, perhaps their advertisers might take a different view. Therefore, here is a partial list of the companies advertising in the New York Post. If you have the time, you might want to contact them with your opinion.
By Rowan Wolf

We all learn that the message depends on what is received and not just what is sent. Our intent does not take away the harm of the message. This is the case with the Delonas cartoon in the 2/18/2009 New York Post. The cartoon depicts to police having just shot dead a chimpanzee (lying in blood on the sidewalk). The bubble reads "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill." The article is unabashedly racist - protests to the contrary aside.
Verizon 1-888-591-0875 8AM - 12AM(ET) seven days a week.
Ford
Live Strong
Sprint Gizmodo Comments@gizmodo.com
Jet Blue
Dunkin Donut
Advertising Educational Foundation: Paula Alex CEO pa@aef.com

 

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Rowan Wolf is an activist and sociologist living in Oregon. She is the founder and principle author of Uncommon Thought Journal, and Editor in Chief of Cyrano's Journal Today.

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