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Chris Britt cartoon causes police organization to demand full page apology

A recent Chris Britt cartoon has ticked off a police organization in Bucks County Pennsylvania. The cartoon (above) is yet another one on the theme of how police are perceived by some members The Bensalem Police has demanded a full-page apology and say they’ll organize their own protest of the paper in the coming weeks.

The paper says if it known it was going to be controversial, they wouldn’t have run it.

“If we had recognized before publication that the cartoon would have caused unintended offense, our editors would have selected a different one for Sunday?s newspaper,? the statement attributed to community affairs director Amy Gianfranco read. “Editing a newspaper is not easy and we don?t always get it right.”

I can see an “oops, we didn’t think this cartoon through. Sorry.” But a “Oh, did we offend you? We shouldn’t have run that cartoon” discredits the newspaper’s role as a community watchdog. What if the local police DID do something wrong. Will the paper criticize it or is it too worried that it might offend certain community members?

The local TV news is going to interview Chris about the issue. I’ll post a link to it below when it becomes available.

Community Comments

#1 Mike Lester
December/12/2014
@ 1:00 pm

This isn’t a cartoon. It’s a meme.

#2 Darrin Bell
December/12/2014
@ 3:22 pm

A legitimate meme. Everyone should be more offended that cops are killing people when they don’t have to, than they are at a cartoon that comments on it.

Anyway, it’s odd for a paper to apologize for an “unintended offense” caused to police officers, when the cartoon in question is about the “unintended offense” caused by the actions OF police officers.

That type of selective concern just reinforces the meme.

#3 Mike Peterson
December/13/2014
@ 4:13 am

How on earth is this not a cartoon? Let’s hear the criteria that make a drawing not a cartoon but a “meme”?

I could understand if it were just a drawing of a snake cut into pieces with some kind of thing about having to unite or tie, or if it were just a drawing of President Jackson sitting on a throne and wearing a crown.

Or maybe I don’t get it. Please, someone who gets it: Why is this not a cartoon? Why is it only a meme?

#4 Ed Henderson
December/13/2014
@ 7:45 am

To some people, a cartoon is when you agree with it. A meme is when you don’t.

#5 Karsten Schley
December/13/2014
@ 2:53 pm

“The paper says if it known it was going to be controversial, they wouldn?t have run it.”

Umhh… what is the sense of an editorial cartoon if not being controversial?

#6 JLG
December/14/2014
@ 5:33 am

Okay, wow. That a newspaper would actually say such a thing is alarming. Do they not understand what their function in society is?

And I’m sorry, but these police, and some others who are doing similar things, are an unbelievable bunch of whining crybabies. I have a lot of respect for what police have to go through. I do not have any respect for entitled myopia and rationalizations for a deeply troubling and deeply rooted problem. (For the record, that goes for both “sides” of this issue.) Here in NYC, the police have just engaged in a public gesture of contempt toward the mayor whose level of childishness can only be described as breathtaking.

#7 Milt Priggee
December/15/2014
@ 1:28 pm

If we had known it was going to be controversial we WOULDN’T have run the cartoon??really makes an apology some what of a moot point.
AND
We don’t know what was in the heart and mind of the cartoonist.(?)
My GOD– look at the cartoon?!
Between the idiot police who want to kill the messenger and the ignorant editors who don’t have a clue about journalism, is it any wonder both entities are failing our society.

#8 Milt Priggee
December/15/2014
@ 2:01 pm

The Bucks County paper thought they had chosen a non-offensive safe filler of a cartoon that wouldn’t provoke their readers to debate any issues. The editors at the Bucks County paper just made a decision that will cause them to question any future ‘editorializing’ anything?.especially their next choice of a nationally syndicated filler cartoon.
This is the very reason they don’t have a staff cartoonist submitting thought provoking editorial cartoons.
AND
THIS IS THE VERY reason WHY the profession of editorial cartooning has been dead for decades. Cartoonists provoke and editors placate.

#9 Joe Vissichelli
December/17/2014
@ 1:03 pm

I’m wondering how Chris Britt is handling this ? if he’s taking a stand on this stupidity, feeling coerced into submission, or whatever.

Seems like a letter to the editorial department is in order, but would they print it?

#10 Crowden Satz
December/18/2014
@ 4:43 pm

I believe (correct if wrong) that Mike Lester’s comment was a quick way of saying the sentiment has become a meme and this was a visual illustration. But the actuality is that the combined image and words are, indeed, a cartoon, just as Mike Peterson observes.

#11 Crowden Satz
December/18/2014
@ 4:45 pm

JLG: “Do they not understand what their function in society is?” At this point in time, I can’t really say for certain what their function in society is. I know what it WAS and what it SHOULD BE but what it IS? That’s become less obvious.

#12 Dave Stephens
December/18/2014
@ 4:52 pm

If an editor wants to avoid controversy, the answer is very simple: avoid thinking…
Or, conversely, you could publish a newspaper..

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