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WaPo’s Buzbee Removes Hamas Cartoon Due to Staffers’ Concerns

Sally Buzbee Addresses Concerns Over Controversial Cartoon

Sally Buzbee (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Sally Buzbee, the executive editor of the Washington Post,⁢ sent an email to​ staff on Wednesday night acknowledging their⁢ “many deep concerns and conversations” about a cartoon criticizing Hamas that the newspaper earlier in ‍the day published and then deleted.

In the email, obtained by​ the Washington Free Beacon, Buzbee⁣ wrote:

Dear colleagues,

Given the many deep ‌concerns and⁢ conversations today⁣ in our newsroom, I wanted to ensure everyone saw‍ the notes sent out tonight by The Post’s opinions editor, David Shipley, to Post‌ readers and to his staff in opinions.

My best, Sally

Buzbee forwarded an email that Shipley sent‌ opinions⁣ staff in which he said ⁢he ⁢had personally “taken down” the cartoon. Shipley included the full text of an editor’s note in which he publicly expressed “regret” that he had “missed something profound, and divisive” in publishing the image.

“A cartoon published by Michael Ramirez on the ⁣war in Gaza, a cartoon whose publication ​I‌ approved, was‍ seen⁢ by many ‌readers as racist. This was not my intent.⁣ I saw the drawing as a ⁢caricature of a specific individual, the Hamas spokesperson, who celebrated the attacks on unarmed civilians in Israel,” Shipley wrote.

The cartoon depicted an individual, labeled “Hamas,”⁤ with children, a baby, and a woman strapped to his ⁤body. “How ⁣dare Israel attack civilians…,” ‌the​ man ‍said in a speech ‌bubble.

Along with Shipley’s editor’s note, the ​ Post published letters to the editor that variously called the cartoon “deeply malicious,” “deeply racist,” and “full of bias and ​prejudice.”

The Post also ‌ reported on Wednesday evening about its removal ⁢of the cartoon by ⁣Ramirez, who twice won the Pulitzer Prize at the Las Vegas Review-Journal before joining the Post ⁢in ⁤May. ⁤The report said “the drawing was criticized as ‌racist and dehumanizing toward⁤ Palestinians” and described the Hamas caricature as having a “large nose and‍ snarling mouth.”

Hamas has a history of using civilians as human shields. The Biden administration has repeatedly said Hamas ‌is doing so in its ongoing ‍war with⁤ Israel in Gaza. The ⁤ Post‘s own ‍reporting has acknowledged ⁤accusations that Hamas seeks to avoid Israeli strikes by operating from densely populated areas, including ⁢under hospitals, and prevents civilians ⁣from fleeing.

As is standard for political cartoonists, Ramirez has often exaggerated the facial features of his subjects of all races, including Senate ⁣Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator John Fetterman. During the 2014 Gaza ⁣war, the⁢ Post published a cartoon showing Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu punching a Palestinian infant.

Neither Ramirez nor Buzbee responded to requests for comment.

⁤What were the reasons behind opinions editor David Shipley’s‍ decision to ⁤remove the controversial ⁣cartoon and express regret?

The decision to publish and then delete a controversial ⁤cartoon criticizing Hamas has sparked a ⁣wave of⁤ concern and ‍conversations within the Washington‍ Post newsroom. Executive editor, Sally Buzbee, addressed ‍these⁤ concerns in an email sent to⁢ staff ⁤on Wednesday‍ night.

In the email, which ‍was obtained by‌ the Washington Free Beacon, Buzbee acknowledges the deep concerns and conversations within the newsroom and forwards an ⁢email from‌ opinions editor, ‍David ⁣Shipley. Shipley’s email ⁢to opinions staff explains that he personally took down⁢ the cartoon ‍and expresses‍ regret for​ missing something ​profound and divisive in publishing the image.

The cartoon⁤ in question, created ‍by Michael Ramirez, depicted an ‍individual⁢ labeled‌ “Hamas” with children, a baby, and a woman‌ strapped to his body. The man in the cartoon is‌ shown saying, “How dare Israel attack civilians…” in a‍ speech bubble. Shipley clarifies that‍ he saw the‍ drawing as a caricature of‌ a specific​ individual, the Hamas spokesperson, who celebrated the attacks⁣ on​ unarmed civilians in Israel. ⁢However,‌ he‍ acknowledges that many readers interpreted the cartoon as racist, which was not his intention.

Shipley’s decision to publicly ⁣express regret and ⁢remove ⁢the cartoon demonstrates a ⁢willingness to address concerns and engage in a⁤ dialogue surrounding the newspaper’s editorial choices. It also highlights the importance of‌ journalistic responsibility and sensitivity when addressing controversial topics.

The‌ Washington Post’s response to the⁣ concerns ​raised⁤ by ⁢staff members and readers demonstrates a commitment to ‍journalistic‍ integrity and accountability. By acknowledging the criticism and taking action to ​rectify the situation, the newspaper aims to maintain⁤ its ⁤credibility and continue fostering a space for open​ and⁤ respectful discourse.

In an era ‌where news​ organizations often face ​scrutiny for ⁢their editorial decisions, ‌this incident serves as a reminder of‍ the importance ⁣of thoughtful and responsible journalism. It ‍underscores the need to consider⁤ the potential ‍impact and interpretation of​ content, ⁤especially‌ when it‌ comes to sensitive and‌ polarizing subjects.

Moving ⁢forward, it is ⁤essential for news organizations to continue engaging ⁢in internal⁤ conversations, seeking diverse perspectives, and learning from ​mistakes. By doing so, they can navigate the complexities of contemporary media landscape while striving to provide accurate, fair, and impartial coverage.

" Conservative News Daily does not always share or support the views and opinions expressed here; they are just those of the writer."

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