ALBANY—Today's New York Post contains a column with an anonymous source calling David Paterson as a "lifestyle politician" only interested in "the trappings, the planes, the Mansion, the bodyguards, the travel, the national TV time—not the work;" an article stating that Paterson's administration "still has no idea" how to spend federal stimulus money for infrastructure; an editorial titled "Dave's dubious dodge" which attacked his non-explanation of raises for senior staffers and this cartoon suggesting that the federal stimulus bill was authored by a crazed monkey.
So when Paterson was asked if he agreed with Al Sharpton in attacking the cartoon as "troubling at best, given the racist attacks throughout history that have made African-Americans synonymous with monkeys," he might have treated it as an opportunity to offer some criticism of his own. He didn't, exactly.
"Number one, I haven't seen the cartoon, but the description certainly puts it in a place where I think an explanation is in order," Paterson said, after Marcia Kramer described the cartoon to him at a press conference in Manhattan. "Save for that, I can't make a determination. In fact, I'm trying to be fair to the New York Post, who is never very fair to me. It just shows that even the rigors and challenges and stresses of the situation have not deterred me from trying to have integrity."
UPDATE: Post Editor Col Allan put out this statement:
"The cartoon is a clear parody of a current news event, to wit the shooting of a violent chimpanzee in Connecticut. It broadly mocks Washington's efforts to revive the economy. Again, Al Sharpton reveals himself as nothing more than a publicity opportunist."