Letters to the Editor

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DOONESBURY: TNT’s two-faced

Letter by John P. Carpenter, Yelm on March 16, 2012 at 9:06 am with 19 Comments »
March 16, 2012 9:06 am

As a subscriber to The News Tribune for more than 20 years, I am offended by this paper’s reaction to a political cartoon. I first read of this issue underneath a full quarter-page picture of a dead Afghan civilian laying in the back of a vehicle. Yet you will not publish a Doonesbury “cartoon” that deals with a major issue in politics today that could ultimately affect the rights of half of the U.S. population.

This is an issue for women, partners and their doctors to deal with in private. The state legislature of Texas has brought this out in the public arena, and you see fit to carry that part of the news but not a political satire of it? Where is the freedom of expression that you so adamantly defend in other editorials. Does that only work for issues you want to cover?

I could understand moving the satire to the editorial page for the week or always but not publishing it smells to me. Consequently, as much as I will miss it every morning, I will be dropping my subscription to this unworthy, two-faced fish wrap.

Leave a comment Comments → 19
  1. Frankenchrist says:

    We really need more comics like Doonesbury. In fact, I would like to see more comic strips skewering Christians and conservatives, and making light of the ridiculous things you can find in the Bible.

    Like all myth and superstition, Christianity is ripe for mocking and satire. Conservatives are funny because they are so amusing, like elephants walking on ice.

  2. IBMaxine says:

    What annoys the authors of such legislation about this cartoon series is that despite the ‘satire’ used, it hits very close to home. Particularly the part about the ‘rape’.

  3. sumyungboi says:

    Since the letter writer described the cartoon in question, it appears that he’s seen it, and I would like to know exactly why he feels that the TNT has the responsibility to make sure other people see it.

    We all know the answer of course, I do, they do. The fact that they all saw the cartoon, but still whine at the TNT for not having it in print says it all.

  4. LornaDoone says:

    No media has a responsibility.

    Readers can speak their minds. The First Amendment is not for the Catholic Church only.

    If the media doesn’t satisfy their readers, the result is obvious.

  5. sumyungboi says:

    Why do you think the TNT should have printed the cartoon?

  6. LornaDoone says:

    If you are asking me that question, I’ll speak from the position of if I were the publisher/owner of a publication.

    Here’s the basics:

    I’ve been carrying the Doonesbury comic for over two decades. The strip, known for sarcasm and controversial subjects handles another controversial subject.

    To drop that strip is nothing short of altering a 20 year tradition that my readers have come to enjoy (proof positive, reader remarks).

    Conclusion – if I cut the strip, I’m not paying attention to my market and I’m compromising my journalistic integrity over a public issue that, regardless of my personal opinion, is something my readers seem to want.

    I’d reinstate the strip, with an apology to the readers.

    Mistakes happen.

  7. sumyungboi says:

    No, I asked you. Why do you think the TNT should have printed the cartoon? You’ve already seen it, after all.

  8. LornaDoone says:


    Didn’t like the first answer?


    The TNT should pay attention to their own policy book for publication and realize that none of the strips on the subject have violated their standards

    How’s that answer?

  9. sumyungboi says:

    No, I didn’t like the first answer. You described why the TNT should feel obligated to their readers. I’m asking _you_, why does lorna, who’d seen the cartoon, think that the TNT should have printed the cartoon. Not why McClatchy as a corporation should feel obligated, why _you_ think they should have.

  10. They should print the cartoon because it isn’t their job to decide for me or anyone else if the message of the strip is right or wrong or if I agree with it or not.
    The TNT is NOT a ‘nanny newspaper’.
    Now why do you want your media outlet to filter what you read and hear?
    Aren’t you grown up enough to make up your own mind or have you totally surrendered to fox and the GOP?

  11. sumyungboi says:

    klu, if you read the comic strip, then your argument falls to the ground. They may not have printed the strip in question, but you did view it, didn’t you?

  12. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Ironic that any right leaning, patriotic American in the Tacoma area has to deal with far left bent of this paper daily, but one small move to the center and the progressives have a fit.

  13. Again I have to ask why you on the right want content filtered?
    Aren’t you capable of making up your own mind? Are you so fragile that a comic strip might sway you to actually thinking?

    Why do you want “nanny media”?

  14. If anyone has seen the content or not seen it isn’t relative to the issue since not all outlets are un-American enough to, in this day and age, censer their content.

  15. Readers can speak their minds. The First Amendment is not for the Catholic Church only.

    The First Amendment prevents Congress from abridging Free Speech – privately owned newspapers really can do whatever they want.

  16. denismenis says:

    Folks – bottom line is when you buy your ink by the barrel, or if you are lucky enough to own some airwaves, you can say and print – or not say and print – anything you want.

    You also get to take the heat (or praise) for doing so… just like right here.

    And with some practiced discernment, citizens can keep their “bull” sensors sharp by being well-read.

  17. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    bB and denismenis nailed it. And I would add that many of the complainers in this thread have likely been “censored” in this forum as well.

    In the private sector, freedom of speech can also mean freedom from speech. No private media is required to print anything it deems unfit. Don’t like it? Buy a press, some newsprint and ink, rent a space and do your own thing.

    It’s the American way.

  18. John,

    I think you should reconsider your decision to drop your subscription, because all you would have to read Doonesbury would be to punch a couple keys on your pc. And, if other readers canceled because the TNT did run the strip and they didn’t want their young children to be exposed to such adult content would that be reasonable?

    After all, John, if you have been a subscriber for twenty years, you must have enjoyed much of what you have read. Let’s face it, the Tribune gets hammered from both sides when it makes decisions about content.

    Don’t end something that has kept you interested for twenty years because of a decision you don’t agree with.

    Think it over.

  19. There were no “whines”, rather a legitimate complaint about what appears to be an arbitrary choice with shades of political censorship.This is a personal opinion based on TNT past & general content.I have no computer so going on line is difficult requiring kindness of friends or a long trip to a library.Reading in print is much easier as well as far more personally satisfying.The most important part of this issue is the fact that Texas has made what should be an personal issue between a woman & her doctor an degrading invasive experience.Where is this country going?I clearly remember when the ability to buy birth control was still a difficult thing to achieve,even if married.I, with sadness & horror, remember botched abortions which left women damaged & dead. Why do these politicians want control over women’s lives? Does it fulfill a need of theirs for power? Is women’s right to vote going to be next? Perhaps a return to domestic slavery? Yes, I realize this sounds stupid & extreme but had you told me about Texas law prior to it’s being formed I would have thought the same words about it. Obviously, there is nothing too stupid or extreme for some pols to inflict on over 50% of the USA population-we,the women.

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