RUPERT Murdoch makes a point of insisting that he does not interfere with the content of the many newspapers he owns. Not everyone believes that but it is true that the editorial policies of his papers in Britain vary sufficiently to give credence to his claim. It is therefore of some significance that earlier this week Mr Murdoch publicly and personally apologised for a cartoon that had appeared in the New York Post. The cartoon showed a police officer shooting dead a violent chimpanzee that many readers thought bore a resemblance to Barack Obama. The connection was strengthened by the comment of a second policeman, “They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.” There was widespread criticism of this cartoon by Sean Delonus who is known as “the Picasso of prejudice”.
After some days the editor of the Post made a qualified apology in an editorial article and most people assumed that was the end of the story. But on Tuesday this appeared in the newspaper: “As the chairmen 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 apologise personally to any reader who felt offended, and even insulted.” There was no comment from the editor of the Post, Col Allan.