Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

August 29, 2007

A Bit More On Opus’ Multi-Paper Drop


A few more stories and opinions have surfaced on the decision by approximately 25 newspapers not to run last and this week's Sunday installments of Opus, by Berkeley Breathed.

* Editor & Publisher notes the Catholic League's objection, which is probably better stated that papers are more solicitous of the feelings of Muslim readers than they are of Catholic readers than it would be that they should get to it and start pulling Catholic-related cartoons, too.

* this mini-editorial asks the same question, although they use a broader basis for the comparison and focus the decisions on the Washington Post deciding not to run it.

* video version of the story, some sane commentary, and what one hopes is a really old promotional photo of Berkeley Breathed can be found here.

* Reason looks at the story, again from the Post angle, and ties it into the DCC-reminiscent Vilks thing over in Sweden.

I would say this isn't a big story, and that newspapers being overly cautious probably isn't a story at all. What it does, though, is pick at a tidal wave of insecurity and anger just below the surface having to do with 1) what many feel was outright capitulation in terms of press coverage during the Danish Cartoons Controversy, and 2) a more general feeling that media shouldn't embody or promote or facilitate any kind of opinion except some idealized, fantasy-land, perfectly balanced series of opinions that happen to work out so that they portray one's personal views in the most positive light.

It does strike me as a bit weird that the Post and the syndicate which bears its name have such different policies on what's acceptable to put out there -- I know I had strips rejected by my syndicate when I was doing one, so I honestly don't know why a syndicate would distribute material its flagship paper wants nothing to do with -- but to be honest, I don't know the details of those two companies' relationship.
posted 3:16 am PST | Permalink

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