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NY Times Pulls 9/11 Cartoon From Web Site Wed Mar 6,11:32 AM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The New York Times said on Wednesday it had removed from its Web site an editorial cartoon that depicted the families of the Sept. 11 hijacking attacks as greedy and insincere.

A spokeswoman said the cartoon was fed directly to the newspaper’s Web site, www.nytimes.com, by Universal Press Syndicate on Tuesday and that the Times was unaware of its content until contacted by media outlets. The cartoon was pulled the same day.

The six-pane cartoon titled “Terror Widows,” drawn by 1996 Pulitzer Prize finalist Ted Rall, depicted several widows either in front of microphones or being interviewed on television one-on-one.

One widow was shown with a pile of cash in her lap and telling a reporter, “I keep waiting for Kevin to come home, but I know he never will. Fortunately, the $3.2 million I collected from the Red Cross keeps me warm at night.”

“We were unaware of the specific cartoon and did feel the subject matter was inappropriate,” said the Times’ Christine Mohan. “We do regret that it happened.”

Mohan said that to her knowledge, no members of the victims’ families had called to complain.

The Times is reviewing the process by which content is sent to its Web site before the newspaper reviews it, Mohan added.

Universal Press Syndicate stuck by Rall, saying in a statement that it understood the extreme sensitivity of the issue.

“However, pushing the envelope of polite criticism is what editorial cartoonists do. (Rall) is looking at recent news events with the cynical eye of a satirist.”

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