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Delanos’ Chimp cartoon goes viral

We’re a tightly connected world. Sean Delano’s cartoon that was published Wednesday was echoed throughout many “spheres” (blogosphere, twittersphere, etc.)

A Google News search results in over a thousand stories published on the cartoon, a Google Blog Search results in over 3,000 blog posts on the topic.

It’s a bit harder to get a hard number for the number of “tweets” in the Twitterverse, but here’s a chart showing the spikes in the conversations.

NPR has produced a segment about it. You can listen to the piece.

A PIX news story mentions that today at noon there will be a demonstration outside the NY Post’s offices in Manhattan. Yesterday civil rights leaders gathered to voice their displeasure with the printing of the cartoon.

Ted Rall will join Eric Deggans, media critic for St. Petersburg Times for an online chat to discuss the cartoon and its ensuing reaction.

Community Comments

#1 Beth Cravens
February/19/2009
@ 12:42 pm

Does this bru-ha-ha sound familiar to anyone else? hmmmm

#2 Wiley Miller
February/19/2009
@ 1:33 pm

Just saw this update about the reaction within the paper:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/02/19/new-york-post-employees-u_n_168267.html

#3 P.S. Mueller
February/19/2009
@ 2:20 pm

The main reason for that cartoon story’s presence all over the news is that it’s easy run with, as easy to show and tell about as the ghastly audio from the 911 call made by that poor old lady who owned the murderous chimp, though I can’t think of any legitimate need for the public to hear it.

The beauty of cartooning is that we can draw any damn thing that comes into our heads. The job of a daily newspaper editor, however, is to ensure that hideous racist content never finds its way to Page One. But with a Murdoch paper you must always consider the micro-managing Dr. Evil at the top of that food chain. The cartoonist may be a hack or the equivalent of a Nazi collaborator, but the blame for publication goes further up.

But I digress. in our highly consolidated media pool, a story about a controversial cartoon goes a long way toward keeping stories such as the news about skyrocketing civilian casualties in Afghanistan from being properly reported. And again, the overhead on naughty cartoon stories is low while the opportunity for self-sanctification is high, thus eliminating all risk while at the same time allowing everyone to get in there and flap like chickens.

I just caught myself using the word “thus.” Sorry about that.

Will there be a deeper, more comprehensive look into the racist propaganda generated by various Murdoch holdings? I doubt it. But you can almost guarantee that Wolf will Blitzer us endlessly tonight with fearful tales about murderous chimps and nasty cartoons.

#4 John Auchter
February/19/2009
@ 3:23 pm

Further evidence of viral: I (!) got quoted on a related story on CNN.com.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/02/19/chimp.cartoon.react/index.html

I attribute this largely to having a last name beginning with an “A” on the AAEC site. I think I come off as a guy who’s worried his cell phone is about to die and rushes to use as many words possible, which would be accurate….

#5 Joseph Watts
February/19/2009
@ 3:46 pm

The people feigning outrage over this cartoon have officially gone “full retard”. Bush, who I’m no fan of, was portrayed as a murdered, a nazi, a jester, as Bushitler, as world’s greatest terrorist, etc. Condi Rice was published as a big-lipped sycophantic harpy with Michael Strahan mouth. Yet this cartoon, obviously borrowing from a current event, and obviously too directed at congress, draws the artist’s ire. What a bunch of disingenuous tools. And cowards, really, It’s embarrassing how obsessed YOU folks are by race.

#6 Jason Nocera
February/19/2009
@ 3:57 pm

They mentioned it on our local FOX news last night.

#7 Thomas Martin
February/19/2009
@ 5:51 pm

Sean did a GREAT cartoon!!! I applaud him!!! Let me point out that the REAL reason this story is all over the SECULAR LIBERAL media is that the Leftist Media & Hollywood, etc. CREATED OBAMA. He is a PRODUCT of them. They are trying to “PROTECT” Obama (the one they created) & trying to send the message that if anyone DARE voice their opposition to their “Messiah” that they will be dealt with severely by being humiliated & picketed, etc. (in order to keep their Messiah in power to do the secular media’s & Hollywood’s, etc.bidding). I CANNOT BELIEVE the SHEEP mentality of MOST Americans! WAKE UP!!! You have all been fed the Kool-Aid & are following BLINDLY with everyone else because you do not have the intestinal fortitude to THINK FOR YOURSELVES & STAND UP FOR WHAT IS RIGHT! Barrack Obama is NOT EVEN his REAL name! It’s Barry Soetoro. And he is an INDONESIAN citizen & possibly a BRITISH citizen also (due to him being born in Kenya where at the time of his birth Kenya was under BRITISH rule). Contrary to what the liberal media would have you believe, he was NOT born in Hawaii (his “supposed” birth certificate that he posted online is BOGUS & had been proven BOGUS by forensic experts…Google it & you’ll see) & is therefore NOT a Natural Born citizen & therefore is not qualified to be US President according to the US Constitution, Article 2, Section 1.Visit defendourfreedoms.us, therightsideoflife.com, americanthinker.com & worldnetdaily.com & you’ll see the TRUTH of what is happening. The so-called STIMULUS package is BOGUS & won’t work & has been created to force Americans into Socialism (& not Capitalism) & keep them dependent on the government so the government can rule over them. Why do you think Obama’s regime is trying to NATIONALIZE the banks & the auto, healthcare, financial industries.? So they can have rule over you and your children & your grandchildren! WAKE UP PEOPLE Keep up the great cartoons, Sean!!!

#8 Dave Stephens
February/19/2009
@ 6:17 pm

Monkeys/Chimps represent ALL people, ALL races, ALL congress & ALL Presidents, current and former.

The Stimulus Bill was the creation of ALL Democrats who did not directly oppose it.

Almost ALL Republicans opposed it.

If you don’t know who the monkey shot dead represents, that’s a darn shame…

But in the extremely unlikely event that the shot-dead ape WAS Obama ONLY, that’s fine – welcome to the world of Political Satire, Mr. Obama. You’ll be staying here for 4-8 years, so get used to being pilloried, smeared, disrespected and despised.
It’s what we still do here in America – it’s called, “Free Speech”…

#9 Teddie D
February/19/2009
@ 6:25 pm

I saw the cartoon afterward in the news. It is very upsetting from the point of an African American. It was also very upsetting in that a woman was nearly killed by this animal.

I am all for freedom of speech as well as the right to bear arms. However, there is a fine line there and I do believe that it was crossed. Too many police officers have shot or beaten African American in the past. Recently on the Bart train where the officer claims he was drawing his taser. Later they tried to confiscate camera phones from people who had witnessed the event. Too many cases of wild animals turning on humans and they were killed or nearly killed. I would like to think that the cartoonist has a small amount of common sense. After this, I am not sure. I wonder how the cartoonist or the editor would have felt if the cartoon struck home and it was someone in their family who was being referred to? I would like to think that they would have not ran it.

The fact that the cartoonist refuses to issue an apology is a sad example of “I can do what I want and To hell with anyone else.” Perhaps if companies and other advertisers responded by canceling their ads for a week or longer, then it would drive home the point. Certain topics are not worth it either in Dollars or in Sense.

#10 Mike Peterson
February/19/2009
@ 6:43 pm

This has become SERIOUS! People are posting with words in ALL CAPS! That means they are SERIOUSLY smart! I’m particularly INTIMIDATED because I used to be a RADIO talk show host and would get calls from DRUNKS who used REALLY BIG WORDS so we’d all think they were REALLY SMART and also SOBER. It never FOOLED me.

#11 Melissa D
February/19/2009
@ 6:45 pm

For God’s sake, people just need to lighten up and get a life.

#12 Edward Virtually
February/19/2009
@ 6:53 pm

You will note, Mr. Watts, that there were no newspaper cartoons depicting Bush or Rice shot dead and full of bullet holes, at least in this country. Your attempt to equate non-violent political satire with a thinly disguised appeal to racism and violence is as pathetic as the cartoonist’s claiming he was unaware of the symbolic meanings of his work.

#13 G A
February/19/2009
@ 6:57 pm

Honestly, I did not immediately understand this cartoon when I first read it. It did not make any sense to me. My first thought was “What does the monkey story have to do with the stimulus bill, and how does a shooting figure into this?” For me, the square peg in a round hole comment describes this well. In the end, I thought this cartoon was not interesting because it did not make sense on several levels, and I moved on.

This whole situation also reminds me of the “niggardly” comment back in 1999 that caused such a hubbub all because someone didn’t know the definition of the word nor did he bother to look it up.

#14 Abell Smith
February/19/2009
@ 7:00 pm

I call dibs on Thomas’ rant for my next cartoon!

(just kidding… if only I could do that…)

#15 Darrin Bell
February/19/2009
@ 8:18 pm

Thomas, that is the funniest piece of satire I’ve read all day.

#16 John Cole
February/19/2009
@ 9:40 pm

Viral Chimp Cartoon.

Great band name.

#17 Frank Fitzgerald
February/20/2009
@ 12:05 am

I am just a thick headed old man (tho I generally consider myself to have an above average sense of humor) so as G A has already written –
?What does the monkey story have to do with the stimulus bill, and how does a shooting figure into this??

Would someone please take me by the hand and explain the various parts of this joke to me? Thank you so much.

#18 Rich Diesslin
February/20/2009
@ 12:22 am

Frank, I’m guessing you’re kidding, but if not, read the first article Alan posted on the subject and the nearly 100 replies. I would like to make a motion to declare this a dead horse. Is there a second?

#19 Mike Peterson
February/20/2009
@ 3:44 am

second

#20 jose vega
February/20/2009
@ 10:48 am

I don’t know how many of you are from New York, so forgive me if you already know this. The people who are making a big fuss over this are not the “bogey man of the main stream media”, its not the “monstrous hollywood liberals”. Its a group of racists opportunists led by Al Sharpton. These people manufacture outrage over supposed racial slights and for some unknown reason giant corporations and some of the media take them seriously.
These people have ruined the lives of many people (including driving one to suicide, google Tawana Brawley) by levying charges of racism over any little thing. This is how they make their living! They work people up into a lather over nothing then use the publicity to help generate revenue for their “non-profit community groups.”
This isn’t about a left or right thing, its about racial vultures.

#21 Dean Turnbloom
February/20/2009
@ 2:11 pm

That settles it…we should make a pact! We the undersigned editorial cartoonists pledge not to draw any cartoons featuring a monkey or ape (tail or no tail) for the duration of the Obama Administration, for any reason whatsoever! Further, we will take great pains not to draw any cartoons that may hurt anyone’s feelings…or could hurt anyone’s feelings, and we will steer clear of any topics, however oblique, that could be considered in any way, shape or form, however misguided, as being racial in content.

Who’s with me???

#22 Joe Rank
February/20/2009
@ 2:28 pm

“I would like to make a motion to declare this a dead horse.”

I don’t know….
Dead horse, dead chimp….
I see a pattern here!

Gotta be some kind of Larsenesque take on that.

#23 Abell Smith
February/20/2009
@ 3:22 pm

“Further, we will take great pains not to draw any cartoons that may hurt anyone?s feelings?”

Yeah, right… that whole “history of violent racism” thing is really annoying — we’ve got cartoons to draw, for chrissakes. Why, we should be able to draw Obama in blackface if it’ll help us make a joke about a bill we disagree with. I say we include in our pact a common agreement that the entire history of race relations in this country actually began in 1984…

Give me a break. I think the whole Delonas reaction is overblown, but that’s just a ridiculous argument…

#24 Bearman
February/21/2009
@ 12:11 am

I think the entire discussion on whether or not this particular cartoon is racist misses the overall lesson.

As a self described “hack” cartoonist, I try to look at my finished work and ask myself if anyone could interpret the result differently than my intent. If so, I need to rework.

For Delanos he may have avoided the controversy by merely labelling (I know the purists here hate that stuff) the chimp as Congress.

#25 Kay Bro
February/21/2009
@ 4:42 pm

Thomas Martin, I think you’ve had some neo-nazi kool aid. Dude, you’re nuttier than most.

hehehe…

~k from Canada

#26 Ron Ray
February/21/2009
@ 8:34 pm

At the risk of beating the aforementioned dead horse…when I saw this cartoon, I thought of the Infinite Monkey Theroem, not the president. In my mind’s eye, adjacent to the weird perceptions node (WPN), I saw this monkey typing away to produce the works of Shakespeare or maybe… the Stimulus Plan. Maybe it was meant this way and not to be the racist statement many rushed to identify? Now Pelosi and Reed, et al…both parties…might need Aardvarks or some similar “typist” (preferably one that has paid his or her taxes) to continue the work. I’m not the sharpest crayon in the box, but come on….it’s gonna be a long four years for cartoonists.

#27 CP Garrett
February/23/2009
@ 9:37 am

Any American that truly believes, “This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land…”, should’ve taken offense to this cartoon. And I give my fellow New Yorkers much more credit than this. When I grew up on LI in the 70-80s racial bigotry was rampant, on both sides. It’s a new day, and a new time. And if we don’t start standing up for each other, regardless of race, creed, religion, then we will not stand as a Nation. Do you think that our allies and/or foes look upon this satire (if that’s what you call it) and laugh with us or at us? Look beyond your window, beyond your neighborhood, beyond your familiar surroundings. I am proud to be American, and even prouder to be a part of a Nation that fosters tolerance and respect. God Bless America.

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