The New York Post has "apologized" for its infamous shot-monkey cartoon about as defiantly as you might expect. The tabloid is basically sorry you all took its innocent drawing wrong.

From an editorial on its website:

[The cartoon] was meant to mock an ineptly written federal stimulus bill.... But it has been taken as something else - as a depiction of President Obama, as a thinly veiled expression of racism.

This most certainly was not its intent; to those who were offended by the image, we apologize.

After this very slight contrition, the editorial immediately turns to lashing everyone who has disagreed with the Post in the past, saying they used the cartoon as an opportunity for "payback."

To them, no apology is due.

Sometimes a cartoon is just a cartoon - even as the opportunists seek to make it something else.

We're sorry you issued a pointless apology, Post.

Up top, a clip of Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson wondering bemusedly if he's been apologized to, since he's both a Post critic and someone legitimately offended.

Robinson and MSNBC host Keith Olbermann later speculated that recently-liberalized News Corp. overlord Rupert Murdoch ordered up the New York Post's uncharacteristic written regrets. Well, obviously. A toy does not operate so independently from its owner. (See end of video below for one of several instances in which Murdoch has publicly acknowledged meddling in the tabloid as he sees fit.)