SAN FRANCISCO - The San Francisco Examiner is facing criticism after a bullseye was edited over San Francisco supervisor Dean Preston's face.
The image sparked disapproval from a number of groups and readers.
Some even said it could incite violence.
"It's still shocking to me that the Examiner would publish this," Preston said as he looked at a hard copy of the paper Wednesday. "It's completely out of line. Especially in this time with rising political violence and hatred."
The image accompanied an article about GrowSF, a political action committee formed by citizens and their plans to oust Preston, a self-described Democratic Socialist.
The image targeting Preston came on the heels of the violent attack on Paul Pelosi, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband that appeared politically motivated.
"I'm certainly no stranger to getting criticism from the media but that is a very different thing than publishing and not just publishing but creating an image," said Preston.
The Examiner published the image both online and in hard copies distributed at newspaper racks.
In a telephone interview, Clint Reilly, editor and publisher with the Examiner, said, "One of our artists did it without thinking. I think it was thoughtless and I apologize for it."
"The Examiner certainly doesn't advocate violence against any political figure, never has," said Reilly. "We would never condone, support, or promote such messaging."
There is now an editor's note with an apology in the online version of the article.
Criticism of the Examiner was posted on social media.
"The Jewish Community Relations Council calls on the Examiner to remove this graphic suggestive of violence immediately."
Preston is Jewish.
"Leadership in our city whether in the media or political circles or among advocates is about not fanning those flames of hate, of political violence. It's about having our disagreements respectfully," said Preston. "It's one thing to report on it. That's fine, but they shouldn't be amplifying it and inciting, really inciting political violence."
The electronic edition of the Examiner with that image remained up.
Reilly said he does not plan to remove it there and will not stop distribution of hard copies.
He said there will be another apology published in the Thursday edition.
Amber Lee is a reporter with KTVU. Email Amber at Amber.Lee@Fox.com or text/leave message at 510-599-3922. Follow her on Facebook @AmberKTVU, Instagram @AmberKTVU or Twitter @AmberKTVU