New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger revealed in a memo to staff on Wednesday that the newspaper would be taking “disciplinary steps” toward the production editor responsible for publishing an anti-Semitic cartoon in the Times’ international edition last week.
“We are taking disciplinary steps with the production editor who selected the cartoon for publication,” Sulzberger’s memo read, while also noting that the Times would be “updating our unconscious bias training to ensure it includes a direct focus on anti-Semitism.”
The news was contained in a broader announcement of changes the paper is planning to ensure a similar error is never repeated. In addition, Sulzberger vowed to update the paper’s oversight protocols and stop running all cartoons from syndicates or from sources not directly linked to the Times. He added the paper would terminate their agreement with CartoonArts International, which provided the cartoon.
“This episode is a reminder that all of us are custodians of our trust and credibility with readers. Our journalists work hard every day to help people understand a vast and diverse world and ensure prejudices of any kind do not make it into our report,” Sulzberger said. “Though I’ve been assured there was no malice involved in this mistake, we fell far short of our standards and values in this case.”
It’s unclear what the fate of the unnamed production editor will be. A rep for the Times declined to offer any additional comment.
The memo is the latest statement of contrition from the paper which faced a barrage of criticism over the weekend after publishing the cartoon. The image featured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a dog with a Star of David collar leading a blind, yarmulke-wearing President Trump.
The cartoon featured a number of classic anti-Semitic tropes and was condemned by the right and left.
“We stand with Israel and we condemn anti-Semitism in ALL its forms, including @nytimes political cartoons,” Vice President Mike Pence said in a tweeted statement.
“We are deeply sorry for the publication of an anti-Semitic political cartoon last Thursday in the print edition of The New York Times that circulates outside of the United States, and we are committed to making sure nothing like this happens again,” the paper said Sunday. “The matter remains under review, and we are evaluating our internal processes and training. We anticipate significant changes.”
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