Here’s todays Doonesbury cartoon No. 5 for Friday, March 16th.
Jeff Light, editor of the revamped San Diego U-T, the guy who made the decision to black-out this week’s Doonsbury cartoons because artist Gary Trudeau is drawing about women’s reproductive rights, came on the OB Rag the other day and left a lengthy comment as to why he made the decision.
While we really appreciate Jeff coming onto our site – something his predecessors would never have done and which is a sign of the drastic difference he has made on the newspaper – we believe his reasoning falls flat. Here’s his comment from Wednesday in full:
You know, sometimes people with strong feelings get worked up and do things that they probably realize, deep down, are out of bounds. It is a way of getting more attention. So, Rush Limbaugh calls some poor woman a slut, or Gary Trudeau draws cartoons of a woman on the abortion table. To me this is all the same sort of thing.
I didn’t kill those strips for any partisan reason. I run Doonesbury every day. There almost always political content, and it always runs.
I killed them because somehow a guy who is supplying a comic strip that runs right next to the Snoopy cartoon has decided that he’s going to send me stuff about vaginal ultrasounds, with no real advance notice, and then pretend he’s SHOCKED that I am not running them. OH MY! LOOK at the ignorant right wing censorship! What kind of numb-skull would refuse to run drawings of a woman undergoing an abortion on the funnies pages? I mean, what is the world coming to?
That is all bunch of horse shit, imho.
Now, you should know I got notice of this Friday at lunch time. I guess Gary must have just become inspired and drawn the strip over breakfast, so this represented his genuine effort to make sure it was placed appropriately.
I did consider tearing up Monday’s editorial page, which was already complete, to find a spot for the cartoon there. We could have killed the letters to the editor to make space somehow. Because I think the issues raised truly are newsworthy.
But then I realized, well, shoot, I started off with an abortion next to Snoopy, but now my solution is to begin a sardonic, one-sided five-part series on the editorial page. Could I whip up a mean, cutting comic that would mock the other side all week, to somehow provide balance, to keep this from coming off as something more than a calculated ideological ambush?
Then I just decided, you know what, the hell with it. Dropping a stink bomb like this does not give you the high ground in setting the terms of the discussion. The people making that argument, in my opinion, are allowing their political views to color their intellectual judgment. This isn’t about freedom of the press. It’s more like the sort of game of chicken you’d expect to see in high school newspapers.
I am sympathetic to the message of the strips. I am unapologetic for killing them.
It’s not my job to draw something that can run on the funnies page…it is Trudeau’s. And it is not my obligation to turn over our editorial pages to a partisan serial on a moment’s notice just because it is does not fit elsewhere.
I run Trudeau regularly. The fiction that I am trying to suppress his political message is untrue.
Well, what do you think, dear reader?