The same editorial appears online at pressdemocrat.com but is accompanied by another Paul Tong illustration, this one being complimentary to the President.
The illustration chosen by the Bangor Daily News depicts a lanky black man dressed in a white shirt, cuffs rolled up, stooped over and awkwardly holding a long-handled shovel with which he is shoveling cash from a pile laying on the ground, some of it even under his left shoe. This black man, in every way appearing as a well-dressed slave in labor, is attempting to feed a shovel full of this cash to a scowling and distrustful bull. The expression on the black man's face, quite clearly Obama's face, is one of passivity, content, maybe even submission.
I showed the picture to my wife, pointing out to her that it was being used to illustrate Obama's own editorial. She also found it to be in very poor taste.
So I called the Bangor Daily News at (207) 990-8000 and was directed to Susan Young, the person responsible for the op-ed section. She confirmed that it was the Bangor Daily News which selected this particular Paul Tong illustration. Susan said it was the copy desk which made the selection. I asked her what her opinion of the illustration was. She said it was odd. I told her what I saw in it but she couldn't seem to share that perception. She suggested that the illustration perhaps didn't go along with the article since the illustration depicted the bank bailout money rather than the stimulus legislation, but argued that if the News has to look at everything that might imply some racial overtones, it'll be a long four years. I suggested that while that may be true, the paper should show some sensitivity towards anything that might depict slavery!