The New York Post cartoon drew immediate criticism from Al Sharpton, the black activist and community leader. The cartoon in Wednesday's edition of the tabloid New York Post, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, links two prominent
US news stories – controversy over Mr Obama's economic stimulus proposals and a recent incident in which Connecticut police had to shoot dead a pet chimp that went berserk and mauled a woman. In the cartoon, drawn by Sean Delonas, a regular Post cartoonist, two officers are staring gloomily at the blood spattered chimp's corpse after one of them has shot it.
"They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill," says the other officer. The cartoon drew immediate criticism from Al Sharpton, the black activist and community leader. In a statement, Mr Sharpton said the cartoon was "troubling at best given the historic racist attacks of African-Americans as being synonymous with monkeys". He said that it could be asked whether the cartoonist was "making a less than casual reference to this" and could be "inferring that a monkey wrote the last bill". David Patterson, the black governor of New York state, later joined Mr Sharpton in asking for an "explanation" from the newspaper. The Post made no immediate comment.