I'VE BEEN RELUCTANT to post this controversial image, a cartoon that ran in the New York Post last week, for obvious reasons. It is racist as all hell.
But there are larger issues at stake here.
We have established that print journalists cannot be censored before going to press unless there are very specific, dire circumstances. But how can you control the media and deter them from spreading offensive material like this? Is there a way? Should there be?
Legally, the cartoon was acceptable. Ethically, it is despicable.
How do you train journalists to be ethically sound, and who decides what is ethically proper?
Historically, political cartoonists have exaggerated the distinct appearances of public figures, such as President Barack Obama's rather large ears. Former President George Bush was drawn as a chimp on numerous occassions. Are political cartoonists now required to be politically correct when drawing people?
Is there a lesson that can be learned from this?
6 months ago