Saturday, January 26, 2008
5035: Jerry Della Femina Is Sorry.
The New York Post spotlighted a racist and sexist incident involving Madison Avenue icon Jerry Della Femina. Technically, Della Femina appears to be only indirectly responsible in the scenario. But it’s not the first time the man has demonstrated a certain cluelessness. Anyway, read the article below and decide for yourself.
LI NEWSPAPER SLURS BARACK
By SELIM ALGAR and MAGGIE HABERMAN
Adman and Hamptons publisher Jerry Della Femina apologized yesterday for a racist and sexist column in one of his newspapers that mocked Barack Obama with ugly stereotypes.
“It is a horrible column. It was a disaster,” Della Femina told The Post yesterday after one of the Hamptons free weekly papers he publishes, the Independent, offended the black community in the tony Long Island towns.
“There’s no excuse for it and it won’t happen again.”
Della Femina, who co-owns the paper, spoke after columnist Rick Murphy penned his “Low Tidings” humor column about the bitter battle between Obama and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, using some of the oldest stereotypes in the book — while accusing the Illinois senator of essentially not being black enough.
The column referred to Obama as “Yo Mama bin Barack” and describes his strategy, in a mocking first-person narrative, as planning to “deny I am black unless I am campaigning in Harlem,” adding, “The truth is I don’t know many black people.”
It said that he was told to “call everyone brother. Blacks, I am told, do this even if their real brothers are mostly in jail,” and said his advisers told him to “talk jive.”
The column also said his plan for beating Clinton was to “bitch-slap that ho … white women, I am told, like that.”
After several complaints to the paper, the column was pulled off the paper’s Web site.
Murphy printed an apology acknowledging that it was “ill-conceived and offense. The Independent, a multicultural employer with a 13-year history of diversity, apologizes for this lapse of judgment.”
Della Femina said he never saw the column before it ran.
He said that the paper had reached out to the local NAACP chapter “and offered them two pages in which they could … just say anything they wanted.”
The Obama campaign declined comment.
Della Femina said Murphy will not be fired.
“We can’t turn our back on the guy, he did something [wrong] … he’s apologizing for it. No one should want to work in a news organization with the thought that if they make a mistake, they’re going to get fired.”