NYT to Discontinue Editorial Cartoons in Wake of Anti-Semitic One

The New York Times building in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

A month and a half after The New York Times errantly published an anti-Semitic cartoon in its international edition, the newspaper has decided to do away with editorial cartoons altogether, CNN reported.

The decision was revealed when one of The Times‘ cartoonists, Patrick Chappatte, published an online post linking the paper’s decision to the recent controversy.

But James Bennet, the editorial page editor, said the decision was being considered well in advance, adding that the version of the newspaper that most readers see, in the United States, doesn’t carry cartoons.

“We’re very grateful for and proud of the work Patrick Chappatte and Heng Kim Song have done for the international edition of The New York Times, which circulates overseas; however, for well over a year we have been considering bringing that edition into line with the domestic paper by ending daily political cartoons and will do so beginning on July 1st,” Bennet said on Monday.

“We plan to continue investing in forms of Opinion journalism, including visual journalism, that express nuance, complexity and strong voice from a diversity of viewpoints across all of our platforms,” Bennet added.

That includes graphic narratives — like comic-strip-style series “Welcome to the New World,” about a Syrian refugee family. The series earned The Times its first-ever Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning in 2018.

“We intend to do more such work and hope to collaborate with Patrick and Heng and others on such projects in the future,” Bennet said.

In his online post, Chappatte noted that the anti-Semitic illustration of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Donald Trump that had appeared in The Times came from an external source – Portuguese artist António Moreira Antunes, who later told CNN that he does not believe the image evoked hateful anti-Jewish stereotypes. But numerous journalists and activists said it was reminiscent of Nazi propaganda.

The Times apologized and announced a series of actions, including “disciplinary steps” with the editor who picked the cartoon and the end of syndicated cartoons in the international edition.