Anorak | The New York Post’s Masahiro Tanaka Gag Bombs

The New York Post’s Masahiro Tanaka Gag Bombs

by | 29th, January 2014

GET a load of the New York Post’s front page, created in tribute (not fear) to new New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. He’s Japanese. And he’s riding on a divine wind of change in the cockpit of a Japanese warplane. He is the “$155m Bronx Bomber”. He is the new “Japanese ace”.




The Asian American Journalists Association is displeased :

Frank Zini
Managing Editor
The New York Post

Dear Mr. Zini:

Your front page last Thursday showed recently signed Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka in the cockpit of a Japanese warplane, labeling him the “$155M Bronx Bomber” and a new “Japanese ace.”

The depiction was of poor taste, and the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) is relieved to learn that editors at The Post also found the graphic offensive and pulled it but not before some editions containing the objectionable cover hit the street.

We appreciate your candor in explaining, in an email responding to AAJA’s query, that the image and accompanying headline were meant to “amuse and play off the Yankee nickname ‘Bronx Bombers.’ ” We take you at your word that it was not the paper’s intent to offend.

Matter over. Move on. No. Not yet:

However, when something that egregious is published, we believe it warrants a more direct apology.

We’re sure you understand how hurtful and damaging stereotypes are. Seeing Tanaka, a Japanese national, depicted in such a way conjured up hateful imagery.

To this day, the “kamikaze” imagery remains a powerful reminder of past racism. We all know about Pearl Harbor, but many people in our communities also remember how strong anti-Japanese sentiment sent 120,000 innocent Japanese Americans to internment camps.

Racism? That was war.


Bobby Caina Calvan, AAJA MediaWatch Chair
Paul Cheung, AAJA President


New York Post managing editor Frank Zini responds:

“We recognized early on that an image intended to amuse and play off the Yankee nickname ‘Bronx Bombers’ might be considered offensive by some people, even though that was not our intention. Therefore, it was removed after a very small number of papers had been printed.”

Back in 2013, the AAJA was upset over a Vermont’s newspaper insert supporting Johnsbury Academy against Rice Memorial High School.





You have already read 1 premium article for free today
Access immediately the premium content with Multipass

Or come back tomorrow

Posted: 29th, January 2014 | In: News Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink