New York Times to stop publishing political cartoons

New York Times to stop publishing political cartoons
© Getty Images

The New York Times on Monday announced that it would no longer publish political cartoons in its international edition, a move that comes more than a month after the publication faced widespread condemnation for publishing an anti-Semitic cartoon. 

James Bennet, the Times's editorial page editor, said in a statement that the newspaper would officially stop publishing editorial cartoons on July 1 after more than year of deliberation. 

"We plan to continue investing in forms of Opinion journalism, including visual journalism, that express nuance, complexity and strong voice from a diversity of viewpoints across all of our platforms," Bennet said, adding that the move brings the international edition of the paper in line with the U.S. edition, which doesn't carry cartoons. 
Bennet issued the statement just hours after after cartoonist Patrick Chappatte revealed the Times's plans in a blog post. Chappatte, an editorial cartoonist for the Times's international edition, linked the decision to the "widespread outrage" that followed after the paper published an anti-Semitic illustration of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE and President TrumpDonald TrumpEx-DOJ official Rosenstein says he was not aware of subpoena targeting Democrats: report Ex-Biden adviser says Birx told him she hoped election turned out 'a certain way' Cheney rips Arizona election audit: 'It is an effort to subvert democracy' MORE.

"Last week, my employers told me they'll be ending in-house political cartoons as well by July," Chappatte wrote. "I’m putting down my pen, with a sigh: that’s a lot of years of work undone by a single cartoon - not even mine - that should never have run in the best newspaper of the world."

"I’m afraid this is not just about cartoons, but about journalism and opinion in general," he continued. "We are in a world where moralistic mobs gather on social media and rise like a storm, falling upon newsrooms in an overwhelming blow. "

Bennet acknowledged Chappatte's efforts, saying that the newspaper was "very grateful" for the work he and cartoonist Heng Kim Song had done. He also noted that the newspaper planned to collaborate with Chappatte and Heng on future projects. 

He did not address Chappatte's remarks about the controversial cartoon. 

The Times faced intense criticism earlier this year after publishing a cartoon featuring Trump wearing a yarmulke and dark glasses walking Netanyahu, who was portrayed as a guide dog on a leash with a Star of David hanging from his collar. The Times formally apologized and disciplined the editor who was responsible for the cartoon being published. The organization also said that it would stop running syndicated cartoons created by artists who were not tied to the paper directly.

The Portuguese cartoonist who drew the image, António Moreira Antunes, told CNN at the time that he did not intend for the image to be anti-Semitic.