(AP) Two advertisers have pulled out of the New York Post, saying they were offended by an editorial cartoon depicting Mort Zuckerman, publisher of the rival New York Daily News, as sealing an envelope bound for the Post that contained anthrax.
The cartoon appeared on Saturday, a day after the Post revealed that Johanna Huden, an assistant at the paper’s editorial page section, had developed anthrax on her skin after handling a suspect letter. The Post said Wednesday that a mailroom worker had also developed symptoms, including a sore, that were consistent with skin anthrax.
The first panel in the two-part cartoon showed Post editor Col Allan sitting behind a desk, with a chart behind him showing increased circulation, being asked by another man: “What sort of twisted sicko would send us anthrax???” The next frame shows Zuckerman licking an envelope addressed to the Post, with a jar labeled “Anthrax” on his desk.
Charles Chalom, who owns five car dealerships in Long Island and Brooklyn, said in an interview Wednesday that he decided to pull his regular advertising from the Post, which amounts to about $250,000 a year. He said it was the first time in 30 years he has suspended advertising from the newspaper.
“They took it too far this time. This is way out of line,” Chalom said. “You’re telling the public that he’s a terrorist. It’s a time to stand together and fight a common enemy.”
Harold Bendell, who owns about a dozen car dealerships in the New York area, has also pulled his advertising from the Post, citing the same reason. He said he normally spent up to $1 million a year on advertising in the Post.
Zuckerman, a real estate developer who also owns U.S. News & World Report, declined to comment. A spokeswoman for the Post did not return a call seeking comment on the advertisers.