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Mallard Fillmore protested at Newsday

mallard-fillmore-hate-crime

About 20 people picketed the offices of Newsday yesterday protesting the publishing of a Mallard Fillmore cartoon last Sunday and demanded that the editor, John Mancini, be fired for running the cartoon according to Editor & Publisher.

The cartoon depicts a large dinosaur chasing a smaller saying, “I’m not chasing you because you’re a pachycephalosaurus … I’m chasing you because you’re delicious” in which the small dinosaur responds, “Oh, thank goodness. I was worried that this might be a hate crime.” The cartoon ran a week after the first year anniversary of the death of an Ecuadorian immigrant at the hands of seven teenagers. Protestors felt that running the cartoon reduced hate crimes to a joke.

Newsday issued a statement saying, “we expect the cartoons we publish, many of which are nationally syndicated, to amuse, stir and entertain, but never to offend. Hate crime is a serious issue. This nationally syndicated cartoon should never have run and we have expressed our concern to the syndicator.”

Community Comments

#1 Terry LaBan
November/19/2009
@ 9:46 am

I’d protest it, too. But only because it’s so lame.

#2 Aaron Taylor
November/19/2009
@ 10:17 am

“we expect the cartoons we publish, many of which are nationally syndicated, to amuse, stir and entertain, but never to offend.”

Wow — good luck with that, Newsday.

#3 Steve Lowtwait
November/19/2009
@ 10:22 am

“This nationally syndicated cartoon should never have run…”

What?!!!

I mean, I understand how some people could find offense in this strip, but to say it shouldn’t run is ridiculous. Free speech aside, there’s nothing wrong with something being offensive once in a while, not to the point of distasteful, rather to stir things up. Mallard, while political, is pretty average in its voice.

If this is the kind of content that editors will more so pull from the papers, then they’ll just water down the comics even more.

#4 John Cole
November/19/2009
@ 10:53 am

Is it a crime to hate “hate crimes?”

#5 Jason Neuman
November/19/2009
@ 11:04 am

At best this is unfunny, at worst this is distasteful. But should it be pulled? I don’t think so. The 1st amendment protects even people and comics I don’t like.

#6 Bill Kellogg
November/19/2009
@ 11:11 am

I’m offended that this offended so many people.

#7 Garey Mckee
November/19/2009
@ 11:34 am

These days people get offended at anything that touches on a truth they do not want to face. Incidents like this cause me to question my already thinning tolerance toward reactionary stupidity. The joke isn’t in the strip, it’s in the whack jobs who protest it.

#8 Milt Priggee
November/19/2009
@ 11:41 am

“…Never to offend…” is proof that cartooning is disappearing NOT because of a money thing….it is because newspapers don’t know their product, content or consumers.

When a bus driver starts driving the wrong way down a way street people start getting of the bus not because of how much the ride costs….

#9 Roger Maynard
November/19/2009
@ 11:42 am

Maybe we should be issued a list of social policies that are off-limits. Oh yeah…that would be censorship.

#10 Dave Stephens
November/19/2009
@ 11:57 am

Publishers have had THAT list for a long, long time now – Political Correctness is a hideous disease that now resembles a religion – logic cannot slay it…

Now where’s my vorpal blade? ;)

#11 Graham Nolan
November/19/2009
@ 12:18 pm

I’m anti-hate crime, and pro-love crime.
I am, however, on the fence about apathetic crime.

#12 Matt Forcum
November/19/2009
@ 12:22 pm

I am starting to think that people are getting offended at things only because society now expects them to be offended.

It’s mob thinking at it’s worse. No one seems to use their own head anymore.

#13 Philip Taterczynski
November/19/2009
@ 12:22 pm

I personally object to Mallard Fillmore, not because it is often offensive, or that it relies on tired, sophomoric stereotypes, or that I disagree with its politics, but because it just isn’t funny. Tinsley couldn’t punch (line) his way out of a wet paper bag. If it weren’t for a self-imposed “fairness doctrine” approach adopted by editors to appeas conservatives, the only place you’d see MF is in Murdoch papers.

The comment “The joke isnâ??t in the strip, itâ??s in the whack jobs who protest it.” is half right. There is no joke. It isn’t in the strip.

#14 Meredith Randazzo
November/19/2009
@ 12:46 pm

â??we expect the cartoons we publish…to amuse, stir and entertain, but never to offend.”

I agree that this is a foreboding statement about the state of journalism.

#15 John Cole
November/19/2009
@ 12:57 pm

A lot of this “Bruce-Tinsley-isn’t-funny” or “Bruce-Tinsley-is-lame” stuff makes sense to me when translated into the more lucid and honest “I-don’t-like-Bruce-Tinsley’s-politics.”

In this sense, a lot of cartoonists sound like their readers, substituting politics for quality. I’m not a big fan of MF, but have to say I think there’s a lot of stuff out there that “lamer” than Tinsley’s strip.

#16 Tom Wood
November/19/2009
@ 1:18 pm

Huh, I think the comic is funny enough. You have to start with the “Liberals, the Early Years” setup though. He’s clearly taking a poke at political correctness, not hate crimes in and of themselves.

I’m pretty liberal, but I can still take a joke. And, obviously, we didn’t go extinct.

#17 Garey Mckee
November/19/2009
@ 4:35 pm

…yet.

LOL Just kidding Tom. Please don’t protest me.

#18 Tom Wood
November/19/2009
@ 5:47 pm

I heard that!

LOL

#19 Dan V
November/19/2009
@ 7:28 pm

There are atleast 20 stupid people who some how connected this comic strip to a crime that happened a year ago. Sure the joke is not funny because of some often used pun line that hits most other comics but I find the way the joke points out something ironic to be amusing. That makes it much better than any of the other comics one sees in the newspaper.

#20 Alec Fritz
November/19/2009
@ 8:33 pm

This comic is offensive for several reasons, but not the ones it was being picked for.

#21 Alec Fritz
November/19/2009
@ 8:34 pm

This comic is offensive for several reasons, but not the ones it was being picketed for.

#22 Brookes Eggleston
November/19/2009
@ 9:29 pm

I think many of the people commenting here, while I’m not sure of the breakdown between syndicated and web-cartoonists, are too used to the unlimited freedom of the web. Newspapers have curmudgeons reading them.

#23 I.D. Bergren
November/20/2009
@ 3:31 am

i’m more offended because that’s such a terrible representation of a pachycephalosaurus.

#24 Terry LaBan
November/20/2009
@ 8:50 am

It’s true–I don’t agree with Tinsley’s politics, such as they are. But I think he’s lame because his jokes are half-baked and he tends to rely on name-calling instead of any kind of incisive analysis. Glenn McCoy’s very conservative and he’s also very funny(as well as syndicated in print), which proves it can be done.

#25 mike witmer
November/20/2009
@ 8:51 am

Oh no, Brookes…..don’t stir that pot. That’s an ugly subject in these parts.

I’m never surprised by a negative reaction towards a printed strip. People aren’t happy unless they’re pissed off (what?). I AM surprised they went as far as picketing.

#26 Neal Skorpen
November/20/2009
@ 1:15 pm

I agree with Terry. The author should stay away from dinosaurs, it leads to unfavorable comparisons to conservatives. Which I was compelled to make here: http://www.nealskorpen.com/

#27 Rich Diesslin
November/20/2009
@ 1:49 pm

I have to say I generally like MF cartoons, and if this is the one they chose to protest, they are either desperate to make a point of just not paying attention. Like certain other comics though, it belongs on the editorial page IMHO.

#28 Maritza Campos
November/20/2009
@ 4:06 pm

Meeeeh.

#29 Joe Rank
November/20/2009
@ 4:38 pm

After thinking about this for a few minutes, what I come away with is that the panel is lame and messy.
Are both dinosaurs Liberals? Or just the T-Rex? Or only the little pachy?

Maybe Tinsley inadvertently made an ironic comment about evolution, because obviously…we’re still here ( liberals ).

#30 Tom Richmond
November/21/2009
@ 2:42 am

What, no duck?

#31 Stephanie McMillan
November/21/2009
@ 9:51 am

“Newsday issued a statement saying,’we expect the cartoons we publish, many of which are nationally syndicated, to amuse, stir and entertain, but never to offend’.”

Wow. What an extraordinary statement. This is horrifying. I loathe the cartoon, but that’s not the point — this statement makes it clear that the trend toward blandifying papers has not only not slowed, but that editors freely admit that they’re okay with it. They’re afraid of their readers and afraid of editorializing. This fear of offending anyone is stultifying and so dangerous, the opposite of a free society.

I think that as the economic, environmental and other crises increasingly worsen, Americans will become more polarized (that’s already happening) and will demand sharper opinions in all areas of the culture. We see the success of those who start to speak out more openly on tv and online. I hope newspaper editors start to understand emerging this trend and figure out that their readers want controversy and strong opinions, not bland meaninglessness.

#32 Richard Cross
November/21/2009
@ 11:29 am

Are people and the media so blinded by Political Correctness that they lose all of their common sense?. Who gives a rats caboose if some group was offended? I’m offended that they feel the need to force their perception of the comic on the rest of us. Obviously neither the cartoonist, nor the Editor set out to offend anyone or make light of someone’s murder. Why try to get someone fired over something so subjective? Why not praise this cartoon for elevating awareness about how small minded out society has become?

Mr. Mancini. Don’t cave in and apologize for something so infinitesimally small and insignificant that you give credence to 20 people’s small minded view of the world. Everybody’s offended at something these days. Take a stand now or else where will it stop? Maybe we should be offended that groups of people are looking for ways to make Mountains out of Mole-Hills and that an Editor would have to worry about his job unless he threw the cartoonist under the bus publicly. Sounds like Free Speech isn’t so free anymore.

Let’s all be adults and save the vitriol for something really offensive or else we will wast years of our lives bickering over nothing.

#33 Dan Collins
November/24/2009
@ 8:48 am

So which one was the liberal? That’s not clear at all. At first I thought it was a conservative chasing Obama/I’m not a racist for attacking him thing. The crime is the confusion it creates. A week after the one year anniversary? That’s kind of a stretch to connect the two.

#34 Tom Wood
November/25/2009
@ 6:36 am

The little one is the liberal. It’s barefoot, it’s wearing dreadlocks, and it’s evolved to have four fingers instead of just the two that the mean old conservative has.

#35 DAVE SCOTT
November/25/2009
@ 10:42 am

Regardless of whether the T-Rex eats the liberal dino because he tastes good or because he is a liberal, the liberal dinosaur is still dead. But I guess that in the world we live in now, murdering someone just because is somehow better then murdering someone because of some group they are a member of even if the punishment is the same in both cases.

#36 Billy Thornton
November/25/2009
@ 11:09 am

Anyone offended by this needs to GET. A. LIFE. Wow, so many weenies.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

#37 Lyford Beverage
November/25/2009
@ 11:45 am

Someone’s going to have to explain it to me. Not the strip – I read it and chuckled. No, someone’s going to have to explain what could possibly be construed as offensive about it. Because I don’t see anything that approaches offensive there.

#38 David Andersson
November/25/2009
@ 12:29 pm

“So which one was the liberal? Thatâ??s not clear at all.”

Good question! But it is obvious from the Cartoon. Let’s perform a quickie analysis:

T-rex: While hunting, he makes sure to inform his prey that he is only motivated by pure emotions, not illiberal speciesism.

T-rex dinner: Sincerely relieved to hear that he is about to be eaten because of his tender, juicy flesh, and not because of inter-species animus.

In short, they are both liberals in good standing (given that nor hunter nor prey oppose gay marriage, etc. of course).

Which makes sense – especially given the plural in the panel title.

#39 Clint BRooks
November/25/2009
@ 12:31 pm

Anyone taking offense at the cartoon in question is obviously working too hard at taking offense period. Tinsley’s point, made with the same skill and humor as found in dozens of editorial cartoonists (including a lot of the liberal ones, Philip Taterczynski – Lighten up, Francis) is a basic one: Hate crimes laws don’t reduce crime in any way. The crimes themselves are usually going to be committed in any case. Racism, etc. is often just an excuse.

Frankly, if someone wants to kill or assualt me because of my race or religion, while I certainly object to the racism/anti-religionism, it’s the “kill or assualt” part that is the biggest problem.

Disagreeing with the point is one thing. Not getting that point in Tinsley’s cartoon and taking offense is a clear sign of a certain, perhaps willful obtuseness on the part of some people. It’s an obtuseness that people all to often use these days as a substitute for actual thought and dialogue.

#40 Charlie Johnson
November/25/2009
@ 12:37 pm

For those who think this is offensive – try reading Ted Rahl cartoon. I don’t hear 1/10 the angst over nit-wit Ted’s unfunny and downright nasty cartoons.

Or, is the real problem the fact that the cartoonist in this case is a conservative? For those cowering wimps at Newsday, isn’t murder already a “hate crime?” That’s the point.

#41 Sacanagem
November/25/2009
@ 1:40 pm

Straight white men can’t figure out why anybody gets upset by hate crimes. This is news?

#42 Roger Shouse
November/25/2009
@ 7:54 pm

Anyone who would be offended by this cartoon has no business living in a free society. Anyone who would protest against it is a totalitarian thug.

#43 Lawrence Rozner
November/26/2009
@ 5:05 pm

Rather than protesting outside of the Newsday building, couldn’t these protesters simply register their displeasure by just giving the strip one star out of five on the Comics Kingdom website? It’s what I did, mainly because it was more lame than it was offensive.

#44 Alan Kellogg
November/27/2009
@ 5:15 pm

#6,

I’m offended a Kellogg would be such a wuss. Bet your ancestors arrived after 1643

#45 William Z
December/1/2009
@ 1:20 pm

“Where’s the mint sauce?”

is a funnier line.

#46 John Murdock
December/1/2009
@ 3:36 pm

I think criticizing the concept of Hate Crime is not a bad thing.
The government almost regulating something as our emotions
doesn’t seem right. I think about that, too. I’ve seen murders
reported on television that were of whole families killed, yet
not considered a hate crime for some reason. I’m sure that
monster hated them in some way, it was beyond viscious.
Besides it’s bad enough what happened, but a government can
only try to dispense common justice and that’s it. It can’t have to power to tells up to fell or not.

#47 Alan Gardner
December/1/2009
@ 4:37 pm

PLEASE NOTE: read the rules before post. All participants are asked to post comments with both first and last name. Comments submitted by anonymous or incomplete names will be deleted.

#48 Raymond Nicholas
December/1/2009
@ 7:16 pm

This gentleman said it well …

“Bill Kellogg
November/19/2009@ 11:11 am

“Iâ??m offended that this offended so many people.”

I second that..what thin skin

#49 Gerry Brian
December/1/2009
@ 10:42 pm

STUPIDITY is a hate crime.

…. and the protesters should be convicted.

Mallard is a shining beacon of sanity.

#50 B. Underwood
December/2/2009
@ 9:00 am

I find those protesters more offensive than the cartoon strip. No sense of humor and no sense of irony, too.

#51 jso c
December/2/2009
@ 12:58 pm

what is the likelyhood that he even knew about this “week after the one year anniversary” of an alleged hate crime (probably similar in nature to the matthew shepard killing, ie completely unrelated to the actual crime)?

seems what people are really objecting to is having their tender sensibilities mocked without apology. they should at least admit that their pwecious feelings were hurt, instead of blathering about how much they don’t think the strip is funny.

#52 Dave Jared
December/3/2009
@ 4:50 am

The strip is poking fun at the whole concept of “hate crimes.” What they amount to is Orwellian thought crimes…not something we should be trying to embrace. They are, in and of themselves, silly and stupid. THAT’S the whole point of the cartoon. The prey is NOT “more dead” because he’s being eaten because of his species instead of how he tastes. Liberals need to get a life…big time.

#53 A. Rom
December/4/2009
@ 12:13 pm

Change the T Rex to a couple of union thugs, insert the “N” word, have them beating a Black Conservative, and then the Left will find the cartoon acceptable.

#54 Dan Combs
January/1/2010
@ 9:54 am

To me, banning Mallard Filmore is in the same class as Hitler’s thugs burning books, perhaps a little lower. Anything these liberals can’t refute, thay wish to ban. If I knew who to boycott, I would.

#55 Carmen Bumgarner
January/5/2010
@ 10:29 am

Mallard Fillmore should be dropped from the “comics” section simply because it is NOT FUNNY. It is an angry, negative tirade from a closed-minded, ignorant sore loser. It is NOT comical, and should live in a right-wing magazine that promotes hate, insults everything our current administration does, and generally whines about not being in power. There are plenty of proper ‘homes’ for this- the comics is not one of them.

#56 Dan Young
August/6/2010
@ 8:17 pm

pachycephalosaurus just so happens to be my favorite dinosaur, so this comic is the worst ever and should be deleted from ant computer! >:(

#57 Dan Young
August/6/2010
@ 8:18 pm

besides, pachy is not a wimp! he would so pwn t.rex!

#58 Eddie Bracco
September/4/2010
@ 3:33 pm

Mallard Fillmore exists soley so a shrinking minority of frothing right-wingers can re-assert their ignorance. But the bigger reason why this comic needs to be cancelled is that it just isn’t funny. I doubt even a conservative wouldn’t grow weary of reading the same, tired jabs at President Obama day after day, after day.

#59 Terry LaBan
September/5/2010
@ 4:10 pm

You’re wrong, Eddie. They don’t. Because conservatives know what the mainstream media refuses to admit–that President Obama is in fact a Kenyan communist Muslim terrorist liberation theologist!

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