Make that two apologies in a week. But this one doesn't appear to have any caveats next to it.
The chairman of the New York Post, Rupert Murdoch, outdid his editor's wishy-washy apology last week by issuing a statement Tuesday morning acknowledging that a controversial cartoon appearing in his newspaper last week was a "mistake."
The cartoon, depicting a gunned-down chimpanzee with a caption reading, "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill" was decried as racist by many, including the Rev. Al Sharpton, who's leading a boycott against the newspaper.
"Last week, we made a mistake," Murdoch wrote. "We ran a cartoon that offended many people. Today I want to personally apologize to any reader who felt offended, and even insulted."
"Over the past couple of days, I have spoken to a number of people and I now better understand the hurt this cartoon has caused. At the same time, I have had conversations with Post editors about the situation and I can assure you -- without a doubt -- that the only intent of that cartoon was to mock a badly written piece of legislation," he said. "It was not meant to be racist, but unfortunately, it was interpreted by many as such."
The cartoonist said he was mocking the Democrats' plan to revive the economy and that the chimpanzee was not a personalization of anyone.
Regardless, Murdoch's remarks are a step up from editor Col Allan's statement last week. Allan apologized "to those who were offended by the image." But, he added, "There are some in the media and in public life who have had differences with The Post in the past, and they see the incident as an opportunity for payback. To them, no apology is due."
Allan's statement did nothing to quell the controversy. Over the weekend, the NAACP called for the cartoonist's firing.
The Rev. Sharpton will address Murdoch's statement this morning.