LI newspaper compares Obamas to "Sanford & Son"

Many Democrats are calling for the Smithtown Messenger to be stripped of county legal ads after it compared President Obama and wife Michelle to characters from the 70s sitcom "Sanford & Son" in photographs it published. (May 5, 2010)

Nearly a week after the Smithtown Messenger printed an apology for a photo array that compared the First Family to the 70's sitcom "Sanford & Son," a protest was held outside the paper's Main Street office Monday.

Rev. Roderick Pearson, President of the Smithtown, Islip branch of the NAACP told PIX 11 News he wants to see paper close. He says the printed apology didn't go far enough.

"If we allow this to go unchecked it will be open season for other publications to just do this rampantly," Pearson said. He insists the Messenger needs to apologize to the President, the First Lady, the African American community and America

The photo array that appeared in the April 29th issue of the weekly depicted past Presidents and First Lady's dating back to Jimmy Carter and what they looked like before they took office, and what they looked like after. The after photo of Obama's was a scene from the sitcom "Sanford & Son" where it appeared Aunt Esther and Fred were about to have a fight.

The apology, which appeared in the May 6th issue, chalked the photo up to "political satire" and stated "we can't apologize enough to anyone that we may have offended - that was not our intention. We may not always agree with the President's policies, but we respect the office that he holds and the Constitution that we all abide by."

During Monday's protest, Publisher and Editor in Chief Philip Sciarillo told PIX 11 News there would be no more apologies.