News Corporation chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch issued a rare apology today for the controversial chimpanzee cartoon that ran in the New York Post last week. In the statement, he took full responsibility for the cartoon, saying the “buck stops with me,” and called the decision to run the cartoon “a mistake”:
As the Chairman of the New York Post, I am ultimately responsible for what is printed in its pages. The buck stops with me.
Last week, we made a mistake. We ran a cartoon that offended many people. Today I want to personally apologize to any reader who felt offended, and even insulted.
Over the past couple of days, I have spoken to a number of people and I now better understand the hurt this cartoon has caused. At the same time, I have had conversations with Post editors about the situation and I can assure you — without a doubt — that the only intent of that cartoon was to mock a badly written piece of legislation. It was not meant to be racist, but unfortunately, it was interpreted by many as such.
We all hold the readers of the New York Post in high regard and I promise you that we will seek to be more attuned to the sensitivities of our community.
Ben Smith writes that the apology seems like “a rare sign of weakness, a hint that the strongest company in the conservative news media is having a hard time adjusting to the Obama era.”