Posted byat 23rd February, 2009
Steve Martin used to do this character who, when admitting to willful wrongdoing, would apologize with an overwrought, exaggerated, totally artificial “Excuuuuuse Me!” It was more offensive than not apologizing at all… which was his point.
I’ve always felt that the younger brother to this routine has been the “well, to those people who were offended, I apologize.” What a load. It’s not an apology. It shifts the blame from the person who did the action over to the person who was thin-skinned enough to be offended. It’s the most condescending act of the Great American Shithead.
Unless you’ve been hiding in a Gallifreyian police box the past week, you’ve heard that the ultra-right-wing New York Post, a “newspaper” totally lacking the credibility of the late, lamented Weekly World News, published an editorial cartoon that conflates the police shooting of an enraged chimpanzee with Barack Obama. When you think about it, there’s really no other way to interpret this cartoon: why else would you make the comparison if you weren’t grafting the chimp illusion onto Obama?
There have been editorial cartoons showing George W. Bush as a monkey. But depicting white people as monkeys is not a racial attack. Depicting black people as monkeys is the touchstone of the American Nazi Party and the Ku Klux Klan. And if one of those cartoonists had the police shoot and kill the Bush-Monkey, the right would be up in arms, and properly so. These days, we don’t need to support the assassination of our presidents.
I won’t comment on the humor of this situation: humor is in the mind of the beholder and the definition of “sick humor” is transient. But I will comment on the New York Post’s eat-me apology. They said:
It was meant to mock an ineptly written federal stimulus bill.
But it has been taken as something else - as a depiction of President Obama, as a thinly veiled expression of racism.
This most certainly was not its intent; to those who were offended by the image, we apologize.
However, there are some in the media and in public life who have had differences with The Post in the past - and they see the incident as an opportunity for payback.
To them, no apology is due.
Sometimes a cartoon is just a cartoon - even as the opportunists seek to make it something else.
This is a lie. It’s the worst job of ass-covering since, well, Roland Burris, but that’s coincidence. The stimulus bill, good or bad or both, has nothing to do with rampaging monkeys. Equating a rampaging monkey to Barack Obama’s first offered legislation is an act of pure racism, by historical standards, and nothing more.
So we got the “to those who were offended” non-apology. But even that phony act was withdrawn from those who “had differences with the Post.” In other words, if you don’t like us anyway and get some coverage out of that, well then, Excuuuuuse Me!
Mike’s Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind rants can be heard every Monday and Friday on The Point podcasts, available right here at www.michaeldavisworld.com, as well as at getthepointradio.com, comicmix.com, zzcomics.com, and ravenwolfstudios.com. You can subscribe to The Point at iTunes by searching under “The Point Radio.”