/ Journalism

Free Speech Update: Cartoons can be Censored

So, the Chicago Tribune censors the political cartoon strip Doonesbury.

Here is what the editor had to say:

To be sure, “Doonesbury” is a satirical cartoon, but the remarks are serious enough that we cannot publish the strip without more information, context and a response from Palin.

Anyone remember the Danish cartoon story?  And how free speech was supreme at that time.  Doonesbury is political satire.  Sarah Palin is a politician.  The writer of the strip is a guy named Trudeau, who has been doing this for ages – and he received an advance copy of the book.  He is not lying.

What is this a symptom of: Western conservatives losing their moral bearings and playing with words when and where they please.  This is not how civilisations survive — they survive on integrity and honesty.

Come on — be brave admit it — the Danish cartoons about Muhammad were in bad taste and should have not been published.  The offence in these cartoons that contain direct quotes from a best-seller book does not even relate to the magnitude of false information and character assassination that the Danish newspapers printed.

Once you loosen the bearings of thought which words represent, there is no end to it.  And no end to human bigotry and prevarication.

The editor replies to the charge of censorship:

This is censorship.
This is a judgment call, and we make them every time we have sensitive stories as well as cartoons that do not meet our standards of taste or fairness. And, of course, “Doonesbury” can be found easily online.

Well said!