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Washington Post: Maybe we shouldn’t have pulled Candorville

In an online chat, Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten, talked about the Post’s decision to pull January 19th’s Candorville because it joked a presidential assassination. The paper ran a survey on whether they made the call, and readers overwhelming (73%) thought the paper made the wrong decision.

Cambridge, Mass.: I would like to point out, as I’m sure many others already have, that the joke in the Candorville comic is a straight rip-off of a Dave Chapelle bit. Dave talks about how hard it would be to be the first black president and the likelihood of assassination, therefore he would only do it if his vice-president is Mexican, “for a little insurance. So everyone would just leave me and vice-president Santiago to our own devices.” Great act by a native-D.C. comic.

Gene Weingarten: Dave was not the first to speculate on strategically having a terrible veep to make sure no one assassinates you. Those jokes were rampant during Dan Quayle’s vice presidency.

Ok, after reading all the comments — they were still wrong to drop it. It wasn’t advocating assassination, so I think they just didn’t want the outraged letters.

You can read all the comments over on the Washington Post’s site.

Community Comments

#1 Darrin Bell
February/1/2008
@ 8:09 am

I’d just like to point out to “Cambrige, Mass” that “Mexican” and “illegal immigrant” are not interchangeable terms.

#2 Tony Carrillo
February/1/2008
@ 11:12 am

You’re my hero, Darrin.

#3 Mike Rhode
February/1/2008
@ 4:05 pm

The final comment – about the Post being wrong to drop it – is actually my final comment on the contretemps, not Gene W’s.

#4 Eric Burke
February/1/2008
@ 6:34 pm

Darrin, here in MA we generally ignore the peeps in Cambridge due to their non-sensical POV’s. They’re kinda like the drunk guy at the party, rambling on and making no sense.

On behalf of the sane Massholes here in MA, we apologize for our drunk pal, Cambridge. He can’t handle his liquor…

#5 Wiley Miller
February/1/2008
@ 6:34 pm

This is another example that makes you wonder just what goes through the mind of an editor.
In making the decision to run that particular strip, exactly what did the editor honestly think was the worst case scenario? That someone was going to read it and suddenly get the idea to become a political assassin? Give me a break. Under such scrutiny, you could never run any cartoon. This mentality of “erring on the side of caution” is all part of the dumbing down of newspapers, which is very much a reason for their ongoing failure as a medium.

#6 Chris Hardiman
February/1/2008
@ 8:19 pm

Okay, here’s a question for Darrin not related to this story but definitely related to “Candorville”:

I noticed that in today’s strip you talked about Candorville having a separate primary, like “Bloom County” and “Prickly City.” What made you decide to do this, and are there any difficulties in sort of equating this fictional place with a state?

#7 Rich Diesslin
February/2/2008
@ 1:50 am

Wiley, think of the law suits involved with Road Runner cartoons! Kids ordering stuff from ACME and trying to kill stuff … oh the humanity! ;)

http://www.the-cartoonist.com/vault/toons/richdiesslin_wile_e_coyote_jackpot.gif

#8 Garey Mckee
February/2/2008
@ 3:29 am

“This mentality of â??erring on the side of cautionâ? is all part of the dumbing down of newspapers, which is very much a reason for their ongoing failure as a medium.”

Wiley, I’d say this trend extends across the board to alot of the media today. But as you said, perhaps newspapers more than others.

And Rich, as a survivor of rocket powered skates and earth quake pills I take exception to your cartoon. I’m extremely offended. How dare you make light of such tragic misfortunes as smashing into a cliff face wearing a batman suit or getting run over by a train while constructing a fake rail road crossing! I plan to boycott any newspaper and their advertisers who run that particular cartoon. Flash burns from rockets with handle bars may heal over time, but the emotional scars last forever.

Is this the type of response editors are afraid of from their subscribers?

#9 Rich Diesslin
February/2/2008
@ 1:18 pm

Gary LOL – Guilty as charged ;) BTW – if you find any newspapers running my cartoons, please let me know ! Good luck with your recovery.

#10 Darrin Bell
February/5/2008
@ 1:48 pm

“I noticed that in todayâ??s strip you talked about Candorville having a separate primary, like â??Bloom Countyâ? and â??Prickly City.â? What made you decide to do this, and are there any difficulties in sort of equating this fictional place with a state?”

The only difficulty is in having to use terms like “City Auditor” instead of “Secretary of State.” I always answer confused readers by telling them Candorville’s a district similar to the District of Columbia, only unlike D.C., it has representatives in Congress.

The reason I do that is because it gives me flexibility. I can do whatever I want with the elections and not confuse readers who don’t pay attention to the news. Some of my readers, unfortunately, tell me they get all their news from Candorville. If I were to say Edwards challenged the South Carolina primary, for instance, these readers would think he really did. This way, they know for sure I’m making it up.

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