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Cleveland paper pulls Non Sequitur; leaves blank space

Today’s Non Sequitur was a bit much for the Cleveland Plain Dealer who opted to leave the space blank with a reported note to readers stating, “Editor’s Note: Today’s ‘Non Sequitur’ strip was withheld because it was deemed objectionable by Plain Dealer editors. A replacement strip was unavailable by press time.”

The comic depicts a rabbit saying, “Okay, I know how bad it sounds, but they all really do look alike to me…” while looking at a police line-up filled with carnivore animals.

Community Comments

#1 Bernard Crowsheet
January/13/2012
@ 12:26 pm

if I bough the plain dealer I would stop. Those dummies called for ages trying to get me to subscribe and I always told them I would subscribe if they gave me a job, they never did.
This just makes the editors and in effect newspapers as a whole look like idiots. Y’know, in my opinion.

#2 Rich Diesslin
January/13/2012
@ 12:40 pm

The editor must hate bunnies.

#3 David Jones
January/13/2012
@ 12:56 pm

Maybe the bunny needs glasses. Carrots and good eyesight is a myth after all…. Are the editor fearing people with glaucoma would be offended? I asked someone with glaucoma if they were offended, but they couldn’t read the strip……. which tends to make me think they should have just ran it.

#4 JW Wills
January/13/2012
@ 12:56 pm

I guess it is true in what they say about people in Cleveland. What non-sense.

#5 Nathan Rackley
January/13/2012
@ 1:00 pm

The editor of the paper probably had a bad experience watching Bugs Bunny as a child.

#6 Milt Priggee
January/13/2012
@ 2:27 pm

YEARS before the internet, editors who have no idea about anything were protecting their readers right out of their newspaper platform
.

#7 Stephen Beals
January/13/2012
@ 2:45 pm

I’m starting to think of newspapers as church bulletins. If it’s not safe enough to go in the church bulletin, a newspaper won’t run it.

And I say thank god for the internet.

#8 Stacy Curtis
January/13/2012
@ 3:08 pm

I’d love to see a scan of that comics page with a blank space in it.

#9 Mike Rhode
January/13/2012
@ 5:07 pm

Wow, they pulled that? Why? I was shocked at two the Wash Post let through today – http://comicsdc.blogspot.com/2012/01/comic-strips-pushing-envelope.html

#10 Nunov Yerbiznezz
January/13/2012
@ 7:30 pm

To really appreciate the Plain Dealer?s cluelessness, you need only turn one more page in the comic section. Same paper, ***same day,*** this ?Mutts? comic:

http://i43.tinypic.com/dnhjix.jpg

#11 david Jones
January/13/2012
@ 10:21 pm

Bwa ha ha ha! Mutts got away with it….. lol……….

#12 Bernard Crowsheet
January/13/2012
@ 11:33 pm

I’m so embarrassed I live in Ohio, within reach of the paper, it’s at my local gas stations. I had to do a comic about this, I’m doubting Wiley is losing any sleep that the Plain Dealer didn’t print his objectionable bunny comic though. Maybe this is a shameless plug? I try to spin it as a glimpse of the coming government censorship under SOPA, no bunny comics anywhere will be safe then!

http://crowsheetstudios.blogspot.com/2012/01/whos-afraid-of-rabbits.html

#13 Tony Isabella
January/14/2012
@ 8:47 am

Since the joke was about predators all looking alike, I’m not surprised by the Plain Dealer’s pulling the strip. The PD is the newspaper of the rich and powerful, especially of the right-wing variety. As such, the paper is pro-predator.

#14 donna lewis
January/14/2012
@ 9:59 am

This strip will end up in someone’s really smart workplace training curriculum on diversity.

#15 Mike Lester
January/14/2012
@ 3:24 pm

#13 Tony Isabella: Excellent observation. “Racist right-wing comic reading 1% predators” is EXACTLY who Wiley was after.

#16 Darryl Heine
January/14/2012
@ 4:45 pm

I’m lucky my local Chicago paper – The Chicago Tribune – only runs Non Sequitur on Sundays only.

#17 jim Sizemore
January/15/2012
@ 10:26 am

Bravo to Non Sequitur, Wiley Miller, and to the spot-on insight of commentator Tony Isabella, above.

#18 Jeff Knurek
January/15/2012
@ 11:23 am

Last year The PD wrote a whole editorial about the Jumble fooling readers on April Fool’s Day and how we needed to stick to “news”. Huh? Since when is the Jumble news? I thought it was a game with rules and a brilliant cartoon ;) . They let our editors have it. They were very upset because the actually heard from readers. Editors apparently fear confrontation with subscribers. So no doubt they were trying to avoid the two readers that would find Non Sequitur objectionable enough to make a phone call.
If you’d like a chuckle. read this.
http://www.cleveland.com/readers/index.ssf/2011/04/fooling_readers_is_risky_–_ho.html

#19 Karl Dixon
January/15/2012
@ 11:40 am

This is one of the reasons I’ve gone right off producing work for newspapers. The editors spend so much of their time running scared that they’ve forgotten how to stand firm and tell the wet liberals, who seem to spend their entire sad and pathetic little existences in a state of ‘moral outrage’ on someone elses behalf, to go take a hike and see if they can find a sense of humour while they’re at it.

This is a charmingly innocuous cartoon from a brilliantly talented cartoonist

#20 Jim Thomas
January/16/2012
@ 1:04 pm

I don’t agree with the pulling of the cartoon, but I can understand how they got to that point in the editor’s meeting.

There is big difference between this cartoon and the Mutts cartoon. Sure, same punchline, but very different context.

Mutts was about snowflakes, very hard to see anything malicious there. Just an attempt to use a phrase that has a lot of baggage and trying to take away some of its power.

The Non Sequitur, on the other hand, involves a police line-up, a bunch of predators in a room and comment that, historically, has been seen as racially charged…and it ran the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr. day. Who looks the same; Violent predators? Races that aren’t our own? Are they one in the same? In not so small leeps, you could have an issue on your hands that probably didn’t seem worth it.

Again, I don’t condone the censorship, just saying I can understand how the editor’s found themselves in that position.

I also love how it is just assumed in the comments that people in Cleveland are unenlightened, backwards-thinking morons. In 19 comments the actions of the PD were called a right wing agenda to protect predators and a left wing agenda to be in a state or moral outrage.

People color the world with their own agendas, their own beliefs, their own bias. We see it in these comments, and I am sure the editor’s feared they would see it in reaction to the strip.

They made a decision that they thought was the right thing to do. It is possible to disagree with them without being spiteful or hateful or cynical. On MLK day, might not be a bad lesson to remember.

*I am not a right-wing predator, or a left-winger with a social agenda

#21 Karl Dixon
January/17/2012
@ 5:18 am

If you want to see race hate in this cartoon you will. Its a simple fact that so many people spend an disproportionate amount of their lives looking for evil intent in everything they read or hear and then looking horrified when they do (remember the idiots who sat in darkened bedrooms all day, playing records backwards, trying to hear the devils message in reverse?)

Before you leap to condemn ask yourself this question. Do you honestly think that we cartoonists sit at our boards all day thinking up ways to offend people (politicians and prima donna celebs aside of course), because if you do you’ve got us so wrong. Our job is to entertain so why don’t people stop looking for evil or race hate or whatever the Zeitgeist PC hate of the day is, and let us entertain you

#22 Art Kane
January/17/2012
@ 11:33 am

I’m just glad that someone finally explained that cartoon to me.

#23 Matt Lupton
January/17/2012
@ 3:09 pm

No matter how innocuous, silly or inane a subject might be, there is going to be a tiny segment of the population that has the capacity to be very, very loud and to take said subject way too seriously.

Not surprised that an in-depth analysis of this cartoon might lead the politically sensitive knee-jerkers to run for the safety of white space, but so, so disappointed.

#24 David Reddick
January/19/2012
@ 10:41 am

?It’s only lines on paper, folks.? ?Robert Crumb

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