So the New York Post, facing pickets outside its Manhattan headquarters and criticism in much of the media, did apologize for a cartoon that some saw as a racist comparison of President Obama to the rampaging chimpanzee killed in Connecticut this week.
The cartoon showed a chimp laying in a pool of blood and one police officer standing over the body saying, "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill."
But, as is the Post's personality, the apology -- posted online Thursday night and published today -- is in-your-face to some of its adversaries.
"It was meant to mock an ineptly written federal stimulus bill. Period," the statement says.
"But it has been taken as something else - as a depiction of President Obama, as a thinly veiled expression of racism. This most certainly was not its intent; to those who were offended by the image, we apologize.
"However, there are some in the media and in public life who have had differences with The Post in the past -- and they see the incident as an opportunity for payback. To them, no apology is due. Sometimes a cartoon is just a cartoon -- even as the opportunists seek to make it something else."
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.