(AP) Concord Monitor cartoonist Mike Marland apologized Thursday for publishing a drawing of a plane labeled “Bush Budget” crashing into two towers labeled “Social Security.”
“It was not my intention to desecrate the memory of those who died that day, nor to add to the anguish and sorrow of their loved ones or the city of New York,” Marland wrote on the paper’s opinion page Thursday. “To these people, all I can say is how profoundly sorry I am.”
Hundreds of readers and public officials criticized the Feb. 8 cartoon, saying it was insensitive to those still suffering from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center.
“Equating the president’s budget with terrorist attacks that took 3,000 lives is as wrong as wrong can be,” White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said after the cartoon appeared. “This is tasteless and an affront to the people of New York.”
Marland said the drawing was meant to illustrate the potential calamity of Bush’s proposal to tap into the Social Security surplus. He said Thursday that, in hindsight, a less jarring image would have done the job.
Marland wrote that he should have listened to his wife: “She was the first to tell me that maybe that Bush-Social Security cartoon wasn’t such a good idea.”