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Chicago Tribune Refuses to Run Doonesbury


Because they feel it’s unfair to Sarah Palin: Here’s their explanation:

We thought we’d give TribNation a little more information about our decision not to run “Doonesbury” strips this week.

Tribune Editor Gerould W. Kern states on Page 2 of Tuesday’s newspaper:

This week we are not publishing “Doonesbury” comic strips because they do not meet our standards of fairness. We are substituting another strip instead.

The “Doonesbury” strips refer to allegations purportedly contained in an as-yet-unreleased book about former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. The book is not yet available for verification or review by the Chicago Tribune.

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.
Readers have offered the following comments, and we respond to them here:

I looked at Monday’s strip online and didn’t see anything objectionable.
True, the storyline begins slowly, but as the week progresses, the remarks become increasingly serious. Rather than interrupt the narrative, we decided not to run any of the strips.

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.

This is partisan politics.
We do not consider any factors except whether content meets our standards of fairness or taste. We judge each case on its merits.

– Geoff Brown, Associate Managing Editor / Entertainment

This is ridiculous. The whole point of Doonesbury is to be provocative. The Tribune shouldn’t cherry-pick which strips to run. Either they run Doonesbury or they don’t.

As for the actual strips, here’s Monday’s and here’s Tuesday’s. Offensive? Yes. Unpublishable? Not in my opinion. A better solution is running the comic, but the Tribune gives Sarah Palin space for a response.


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