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New York Times finally issues apology for anti-Semitic political cartoon

New York Times finally issues apology for anti-Semitic political cartoon

The 'editor's note' wasn't cutting it. Does the apology stack up?

The New York Times on Saturday issued a note after they deleted an anti-Semitic cartoon attacking President Trump and Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu that ran in the Opinion section of the International Edition on Thursday of last week.

The statement offered neither regret nor apology, but characterized the cartoon as having "included anti-Semitic tropes" and called it offensive.

The Jerusalem Post ran a scathing editorial rejecting that note on Saturday, and everyone from CNN's Jake Tapper to White House advisor Kellyanne Conway offered condemnation of the cartoon, and the NYT failure to apologize.

So on Sunday, at last, they offered one, and it even had the word "sorry" in it this time. The statement was attached as an image to a Tweet that read, "We apologize for the anti-Semitic cartoon we published. Here's our statement."

We are deeply sorry for the publication of an anti-Semitic political cartoon last Thursday in the print edition of The New York Times that circulates outside of the United States, and we are committed to making sure nothing like this happens again. Such imagery is always dangerous, and at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise worldwide, it's all the more unacceptable. We have investigated how this happened and learned that, because of a faulty process, a single editor working without adequate oversight downloaded the syndicated cartoon and make the decision to include it on the Opinion page. The matter remains under review, and we are evaluating our internal processes and training. We anticipate significant changes.

On social media the apology is still meeting some skepticism, both for the delay in its coming and for laying it to a single editor. However, most responses have been appreciative of the recognition and admission of error, as well as the promise to take steps to make sure something like this doesn't go up under their banner in the future.

In addition to that apology, the paper ran an editorial from one of its own, columnist Bret Stephens, that absolutely blistered them over running it in the first place. "The paper of record needs to reflect deeply on how it came to publish anti-Semitic propaganda," he argues in this article trashing the 'ignorance" on display in this unfortunate episode.

As anti-Semitism is on the rise, and attacks on places of worship for members of all faiths fill our news screens, it's important that something like this can be called out and called what it is, even as our politics is deeply partisan and polarized.

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Caleb Howe

Caleb Howe