Gary Rosenblatt asks, “Was the response in the Jewish community to a widely condemned cartoon published in the overseas edition of The New York Times last Thursday [April 25] commensurate with the offense?” (“The Cartoon Heard ‘Round The World,” May 3).
In its May 1 apology, The Times distanced itself from the publication of the cartoon, explaining that “The cartoon was chosen from a syndication service by a production editor who did not recognize its anti-Semitism. Yet however it came to be published, the appearance of such an obviously bigoted cartoon in a mainstream publication is evidence of a profound danger.”
The Times, itself, separate and apart from the acts by the syndication service or the production editor, contributed to this “profound danger” by publishing a letter on April 30 (the day before the Times public apology) in which the letter writer excuses publication of the cartoon because the cartoon “appears to be legitimate criticism of two flawed national leaders and not of a religion and its supporters.”
The answer to Rosenblatt’s question is that the Times surely deserved whatever criticism it received.