NY Times Editorial Criticizes Paper Over Anti-Semitic Cartoon: ‘The Times Ignored the Lessons of History’

“In the 1930s and the 1940s, The Times was largely silent as anti-Semitism rose up and bathed the world in blood,” paper says

New York Times
Getty Images

The New York Times took itself to task in an editorial on Tuesday attacking their own decision to publish an anti-semitic cartoon in their international edition last week.

“By publishing a bigoted cartoon, The Times ignored the lessons of history, including its own,” the editorial board said in a scathingly self-critical piece.

“In the 1930s and the 1940s, The Times was largely silent as anti-Semitism rose up and bathed the world in blood. That failure still haunts this newspaper,” the editorial continued. “Now, rightly, The Times has declared itself ‘deeply sorry’ for the cartoon and called it ‘unacceptable.’ Apologies are important, but the deeper obligation of The Times is to focus on leading through unblinking journalism and the clear editorial expression of its values.”

The editorial was the latest round of self-lashing the Times had undergone over the cartoon, which showed a dog with the face of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a Star of David collar leading around a blind president Trump wearing a yarmulke.

The cartoon was promptly denounced by a broad spectrum of critics as playing on ancient and old anti-semitic tropes.

“We stand with Israel and we condemn antisemitism in ALL its forms, including @nytimes political cartoons,” vice president Mike Pence said in a tweeted statement.

In addition to their editorial, the paper also published an Op-Ed from in-house opinion writer Bret Stephens denouncing the situation and dropped the syndication service which provided the cartoon to editors, according to the Daily Beast.

The Times also issued a statement Sunday that called the cartoon an “error of judgement.”

After critics complained about the lack of a formal apology a second, more contrite, position was offered.

“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,” the paper said Sunday. “The matter remains under review, and we are evaluating our internal processes and training. We anticipate significant changes.”