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.”
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hilarious. i'd read this column when it first came out--it's all over MySpace and Facebook. People were debating whether or not it was was a spoof or even a real paper... After going to the site and discovering the paper's validity, it was refreshing to learn that Madison Ave had something to do with it--experts in bias, bigotry and exclusionary tacts that they are.
Perhaps it got overlooked by the article on Mr. Obama, but the week prior this same paper ran a parody of Hillary Clinton that was loaded with racist, homophobic and sexist slurs. It was so bad that the foundation that I chair, moved a planned fundraiser from Della Famina in East Hampton.
Living in East Hampton, you can't believe what an uproar people are in over this. Honestly, I could have told you this day would come when a couple of years ago Rick Murphy had similar comments for gays, for our local Shinnecock Indian Tribe and for sufferers of breast cancer. It was no surprise to me. What's most disconcerting are the slugs who defend this garbage as "satire". It doesn't even fit the official dictionary meaning of satire. As hurtful and gross as this issue is, now that it's out I hope we can clean house of these people who call this kind of commentary "free speech" and "being able to laugh at ourselves". Who's laughing now? I'm so proud of the local EH group that pulled their function from Della Femina's wretched restaurant. My husband and I have always boycotted it because of Jerry's hate filled tirades in his "paper".
I thought the column was funny. If a black person had written that column there wouldn't be any uproar. It's only when white people do it that the PC liberal morality police protend to be offended.
Welcome to the new America: free speech for everybody, except white people.
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