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

September 17, 2007

Apologies, Protests Dot Toon Landscape


A lot of these stories are beginning to run together, so I apologize if any of this is repeat business. You know, when I read stories like these, I'm always a little wary over how the protests are phrased. In many cases, I'm not sure that I believe that people have a right to not be offended as much as I do think they have a right to feel attacked and considered not a part of the community if they're assaulted on certain things about their culture and identity. A lot of these stories just sort of assume that any offense at all is a bad thing, up to and including criticizing someone's policies. Further, there's a really fine line being suggesting something is offensive with the understanding that such an offense cannot be tolerated, and employing the offense card to offer up a counter-argument against the political point stressed. I feel less guilty about my own muddied thinking on the subject in the light of actions and reactions to such stories that seem to border on the ludicrous.

* E&P reports on the editor of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer apologizing to the family of a young child recently deceased who was referenced or was believed to have been referenced in a Jeff Darcy cartoon.

* The ombudsman of the Washington Post gets into the issue of how that paper decided not to run a couple of Opus cartoons, and why that decision was, in the end, a bad one. One letter writer seems astonished by this story as it unfolded in another Opus client paper.

* Ted Vaden of Raleigh's News & Observer looks at the issue of editorial cartooning's place dead on, including a couple of local examples where it seems like people got mad, worked themselves into a bit of a state over the nature of this offense, and then crossed their arms and waited for the paper to apologize to them.

* R. Kelly Demographic Dept: Teenaged Hispanic girls locked in closets drinking urine always seems way more funny that it actually is (panel above). Protests are I'm sure to follow. PDF of full cartoon here.
posted 3:14 am PST | Permalink

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