NYTimes.com Pulls 9/11 Widows Cartoon

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(AP) A syndicated cartoon that portrays the widows of Sept. 11 as greedy and superficial has outraged survivors of the terrorist attacks.

The editorial cartoon, “Terror Widows” by artist Ted Rall, satirizes the money that relatives of the victims are to receive from the government and charities. One panel of the cartoon shows a widow lamenting her husband’s death.

“I keep waiting for Kevin to come home, but I know he never will,” the character says. “Fortunately, the $3.2 million I collected from the Red Cross keeps me warm at night.”

Widow Nicole Petrocelli was angered. “Nobody wants this money,” she said Tuesday. “All we want is five minutes with our husbands to say good-bye.”

The New York Times pulled the cartoon from its Web site Tuesday afternoon, when the company received feedback from widows and New York 1, the local TV news channel that broke the story.

A spokeswoman for the newspaper, Christine Mohan, said the “subject matter was inappropriate” and regrets that it ran.

The cartoon was directly fed to the Web site from Rall’s distributor and syndication service, Universal Press Syndicate.

In a statement, Rall and the syndicate acknowledged the cartoon’s sensitive subject matter, but did not apologize.

“Pushing the envelope of polite criticism is what editorial cartoonists do,” the statement said. “Rall represents a point of view that will not be everyone’s opinion. He is looking at a recent news events with the cynical eye of a satirist.”

On the Net: http://www.amuniversal.com/ups/features/rall_cartoon/index.htm.

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