Texas governor demands apology over newspaper's plant blast cartoon
April 29, 2013 -- Updated 0933 GMT (1733 HKT)
- "I won't stand for someone mocking the tragic deaths," Perry says
- Cartoonist says he stands by his work
- The cartoon was published the same day as the memorial for victims
(CNN) -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry is demanding an apology from a California newspaper that published a cartoon that seemed to link his push for less regulations to the recent fertilizer plant explosion that killed 14.
"The Sacramento Bee published a disgusting 'cartoon' mocking the deadly explosion in West. While I will always welcome healthy policy debate, I won't stand for someone mocking the tragic deaths of my fellow Texans and our fellow Americans. I have written the editor and asked that they apologize to the citizens of West," Perry wrote on his official Facebook page.
An editor at the paper defended the cartoon.
U.S. President Barack Obama attends a memorial service at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, on April 25. The memorial was held for those killed in the blast at a Texas fertilizer plant. Fourteen people, nearly all first responders, died in an explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. on April 17. See photos from the explosion.
West, Texas: A community mourns
Forensic mappers work the crater at the site of the fire and explosion in West, Texas, on Wednesday, April 24. The plant run by West Fertilizer Co. in the small Texas town exploded on Wednesday, April 17, killing 14 people, most of them emergency responders. Dozens were injured.
Photos: Texas fertilizer plant explodes
"Jack Ohman's cartoon of April 25 made a strong statement about Gov. Rick Perry's disregard for worker safety, and his attempts to market Texas as a place where industries can thrive with few regulations," said Stuart Leavenworth, the paper's editorial page editor. "It is unfortunate that Gov. Perry, and some on the blogosphere, have attempted to interpret the cartoon as being disrespectful of the victims of this tragedy."
Editorial Cartoonist Jack Ohman also responded to some reader criticism of his cartoon in a column Thursday.
Ohman said he stood by the cartoon and listed many reasons he believes Perry's policies deserve scrutiny.
"The Texas governor's campaigning notwithstanding, should I have used the explosion as a vehicle to illustrate my point? I did. I stand by it," Ohman wrote.
The cartoon, published Thursday, shows Perry standing at a podium in front of signs about lower taxes and lower regulations proclaiming "Business is booming in Texas."
The next frame of the cartoon shows a huge explosion alluding to the April 17 fertilizer plant tragedy in West, Texas, that killed 14 people, injured up to 200 and destroyed more than 100 homes.
Days after the cartoon was published, it was still drawing mostly negative responses on the Sacramento Bee website.
The explosion created a crater nearly 100 feet wide and 10 feet deep, and devastated the small town. Officials are still trying to determine what caused the fire that lead to the explosion.
Perry said he was offended the cartoon was published Thursday, the same day the governor, President Barack Obama and many others gathered for a memorial for the victims.
"Publishing this on the very day our state and nation paused to honor and mourn those who died only compounds the pain and suffering of the many Texans," Perry wrote.
Part of complete coverage on
December 9, 2013 -- Updated 1558 GMT (2358 HKT)
The Web is set to change our lives over the next decade. This will also question the use of personal data and balancing new powers with ethics.
December 9, 2013 -- Updated 0111 GMT (0911 HKT)
The image of the Shinkansen bullet train streaking past Mount Fuji is a powerful part of the iconography of the resurgent post-war Japan.
December 9, 2013 -- Updated 2023 GMT (0423 HKT)
Imagine the delight at unwrapping your Christmas present in 2043 and discovering you've been gifted a trip around the Moon.
December 9, 2013 -- Updated 0727 GMT (1527 HKT)
A new political party claiming to champion ordinary Indian voters makes a startling electoral debut.
Few words in Hungarian, including place names, are easily recognizable to foreigners.
December 9, 2013 -- Updated 1744 GMT (0144 HKT)
Browse through images you don't always see in news reports, taken by CNN teams all around the world.
December 9, 2013 -- Updated 1234 GMT (2034 HKT)
Walking into one of Yayoi Kusama's infinity rooms is like walking into a completely different universe.
December 9, 2013 -- Updated 1529 GMT (2329 HKT)
Meet Tony Allen -- famous for helping create Afrobeat by fusing different beats and patterns.
December 8, 2013 -- Updated 2116 GMT (0516 HKT)
Fans converged on the site where Paul Walker died to pay tribute to the actor. CNN's Paul Vercammen reports.
He was imprisoned for life but that did not quiet him. Nelson Mandela became South Africa's first black president, and an icon and inspiration.
December 9, 2013 -- Updated 1002 GMT (1802 HKT)
Watching digital artist Kyle Lambert's stunning photo-realistic iPad paintings emerge from a blank screen is an awe-inspiring experience.
Today's five most popular stories