In a story published today in the New York Times by David Segal, Wall Street is the new target of populist rage, talk-show tirades, and punch lines for the nation’s comedians.
While the Times felt it important to attribute a video clip of Merrill Lynch chief executive John A. Thain defending bonuses as a way to keep “your best people” as being aired on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, his description of a political cartoon that caught his eye went unattributed:
“A recent political cartoon in The Record, a newspaper in Hackensack, N.J., shows rats fleeing a sinking ship, labeled “Wall Street,” with treasure chests held aloft tagged “CEO” and “Bonus.””
“My last name appears on the cartoon and should have been credited along with the description, just as a columnist would be quoted by name,” the cartoon’s creator Jimmy Margulies said in a letter written to the New York Times.
Back in December, the Times ran a story about the New Hampshire senate race that has the following description about a cartoon I had drawn for PolitickerNH.com:
Mrs. Shaheen’s risk-averse approach to the issues helps explain why a cartoon posted on the PolitickerNH.com Web site ridicules Mrs. Shaheen as the driver of a car stopped at a green light, refusing to move without knowing what the polls say.
Cass Peterson, who handles corrections for the business desk for the New York Times, responded to Margulies’ desire for a correction by writing:
I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I don’t believe a correction is merited in this case. Had we reproduced the cartoon, we certainly would have credited you, but we only described the cartoon, with credit to the newspaper in which it appeared.
Had we been making reference to an exclusive report in another newspaper, we would have done the same — credit to the newspaper, without naming the reporter who wrote it.
“I appreciated the Times’s responding, but disagree with their policy,” Margulies said.
“Op-ed columnists seem to be routinely identified by name when they are quoted, but most frequently cartoonists are not. Since an editorial cartoon is a signed piece of work, rather than an unsigned editorial, this seems to be a different standard of treatment.”