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Fattah backers rip cartoon

Candidate calls 'stop-and-frisk' sketch 'an insult'

Protesters rally outside the Daily News over Signe editorial cartoon.
Protesters rally outside the Daily News over Signe editorial cartoon.Read more

An editorial cartoon in yesterday's

Daily News

provoked an angry response from the mayoral campaign of U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah and his allies.

The cartoon satirized Fattah's criticism of rival Michael Nutter's "stop, question and frisk" anti-crime proposal, by showing Fattah speaking to two young children whose bodies have large bullet holes in them. In the cartoon, Fattah says, "But I will protect you from being stopped and frisked."

Fattah condemned the cartoon at a rally yesterday, saying it "is insulting to our intelligence. It's an insult to the lives of people spent not in the ivory tower of newspaper editorial rooms. I've been out on street corners. I have been shot myself trying to help young people be protected."

A group calling itself the Save Our Kids Alliance charged in a statement that the Daily News "has engaged in biased reporting that targets Fattah while providing free advertising for Michael Nutter."

The group noted that other candidates have also criticized Nutter's proposal.

About 40 members of two unions supporting Fattah protested in front of the Daily News building late yesterday afternoon, chanting, "Shame on You, Daily News!"

Editorial cartoonist Signe Wilkinson said yesterday that the cartoon "was about stop-and-frisk and not about the congressman's long years of work on behalf of children.

"If I had to do it over, I would put the other candidates in the cartoon," Wilkinson said.

Daily News editor Michael Days said, "The thing about Signe is that she doesn't shy away from controversy. She's biting, and always makes a declarative point in whatever topic she takes on, once she arrives at an opinion.

"That's what makes her an exceptional editorial cartoonist," Days added. "You don't always have to agree with her, but we don't pay her to be agreeable." *