Cartoons: Excerpts From Reader Responses
In his May 23 column, Opinion Editor Steve Bouser said The Pilot is experimenting with cutting back on the number of syndicated cartoons on the paper's opinion pages.
Bouser asked for readers' thoughts on the subject, and many email responses resulted. The following excerpts are published in the order they were received.
Yes, by all means drop the political cartoons. Especially if you have to pay for them! They are not local, and they provoke nasty responses. We don't need them. I didn't even notice that they were gone.
Thanks, at least, for no cartoons the past few issues. I was about to let my subscription to The Pilot expire primarily due to the lengthy sour-graping of the passing of Amendment One plus the biased political cartoons. Keeping the paper fair and balanced will keep me subscribing to it.
Thanks for eliminating the political cartoons; they are extraneous. And you are right; some aggravate us, and some we agree with. Another point: Those of us who subscribe to a daily for non-local news have already seen most of them. We read The Pilot for local stuff.
I vote for no political cartoons at all - they are usually mean-spirited and encourage equally mean-spirited replies in the Public Speaking forum. We're pretty smart - we don't need "in your face" cartoons to help us form opinions. Let's take the high road!
I hope you hear from many people on the cartoon issue. I say eliminate them. I barely notice them. I sometimes read them. I rarely like them.
No cartoons, please. Save your money. Their subtleties are often lost on some of us. Give us ideas via the printed word. Thank you.
I would support more photos. Not just because I disagree with some of the cartoons (that happens), but because I believe The Pilot can remain true to its local flavor with local photos.
You could even weave in opinion pieces. The local pols give you enough ammo.
As an endangered species (a moderate), I think you can have the best of both worlds for the time being. Choose cartoons that focus on the issue and perhaps if possible have opposing cartoons on the same issue.
At the same time, photos enhance the readability of the paper and add to the relative article. If you choose to use cartoons and also photos with different issues, it will confuse all of those who get their knickers in a knot when they disagree with what is published.
It seems to me, if folks backed off some and laughed at whatever they find so disagreeable, they would find their knickers not so binding.
Some cartoons are funny, others are downright vicious. Let's stick to funny. We get enough viciousness from both political camps.
Please keep the cartoons or at least part of the time. They are thought-provoking. You could always say, "Reader discretion advised."
A newspaper without an editorial cartoon does not meet my standard. My time, interests and curiosity are valuable commodities.
Clearly, I think, cartoons - at least clever ones - are essential to a lively publication. Reduce the number, perhaps, but help us see as well as debate what we believe is best for our country.
(William E.) Bill Smith
I really miss the cartoons! Perhaps they are expensive, and I acknowledge that it is difficult to get local content, but they are intellectually stimulating, visually interesting, and add value to our paper.
Cartoons do more than break up a page. Their humor is cerebral and can't adequately be replaced with a photo. We need those Thomas Nasts and Herb Blocks as much as ever.
Editorial cartoons, while perhaps a vestige of a bygone era, have a rich critical history in this country. Let's not miss this opportunity to do our part to preserve this witty, intellectual gem.
Political cartoons are speech, and often quite eloquent speech. It takes a pretty sharp mind to do them well.
I'm as offended by Glenn McCoy cartoons as so many of your readers are by Stuart Carlson or Mike Peters cartoons. But I would - I'm a liberal. Whether I like McCoy or not, I have to grant that he has the same right to do what he does as any of the cartoonists that I like, and that you have an obligation to try to be balanced and even handed.
The political cartoons are unnecessarily divisive, and the basic mission of The Pilot to be a local paper is not being served.
Bruce T. Cunningham Jr.
Ditch the cartoons. Perhaps Dear Abby would like to take their slot?
I strongly suggest that you limit the use of cartoons. Cartoons are very polarizing and often meant to be hurtful rather than funny or even simply provocative.
And, if taken at face value, they often only bring out an extremist point of view.
Keep the cartoons, please. I love political cartoons; they make you stop and think, get you angry or make you laugh. They certainly add a lot of spice to the political debate. And if The Pilot gets angry letters - well, you know your paper is being read.
Another reader, in an earlier edition of The Pilot, wants you to report local issues only. Don't listen to him. A good local paper is a great source for regional and state news. Keep doing what you do so well.
Eda H. Sherman
Since I moved here 10 months ago, I have gotten to dread the opinion section of the paper so much that I gingerly scan the articles looking for those that are not vitriolic and extremely partisan or just skip it altogether.
The negative energy caused by the cartoons doesn't seem worth it.
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