Angered by a cartoon that appeared last week in the New York Post, Rev. Al Sharpton and NAACP chief executive Benjamin Jealous are meeting today with officials at the Federal Communications Commission in Washington.
Sharpton says that they will urge the FCC to review the waiver that allows the News Corps’ Rupert Murdoch to own both broadcast (WNEW and WWOR) and newspaper properties (the Post and the Wall Street Journal) in the same market.
Murdoch has issued an apology for the cartoon, which showed two police officers, one with a smoking gun, standing over the body of a bullet-riddled chimp and a caption that said: "They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill."
In a statement, Murdoch said, “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.”
Murdoch went on to say that after conferring with editors, “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.”
FCC waiver reviews can take a long time. In the meantime, Sharpton is collecting signatures to send to the agency and urging Murdoch to fire Editor Col Allan and cartoonist Sean Delonas.