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Wall Street Journal Changes Pat Byrnes’ Caption

The Wall Street Journal bought a cartoon from Pat Byrnes but changed the caption on publication.

From Pat Byrnes Facebook posting:

Last Friday, the Wall Street Journal ran the cartoon below on the right. On the left is the original caption. They bought it in November, 2017. I wrote it months before that. And I acknowledge that times have changed since then.
I can understand if they had political discomfort with it.
But people will read this caption and think I was responsible for it. I wrote to WSJ early yesterday registering my objection and requesting a response. They have not responded.

The edited caption is insipid and utterly lacking in wit. Mine was no “instant classic,” but neither was it amateurish hack work. In my letter, I requested that WSJ contact me before future edits. I promised to rewrite, swap out a new cartoon, or refund payment. Anything not to have my work devalued so publicly.

Michael Maslin’s Inkspill carries the story. Where the editor apologizes:

“I want to assure you that, henceforth, your captions for our WSJournal feature will NEVER be altered without your approval.
“Very sorry about the mishap.”
This is from their longtime cartoon editor, who has frequently bought cartoons that challenge the standard image of the Journal. I respect him entirely. He works independently, from Florida. And I suspect—that is, I do not know, but merely suspect—that he is taking the fall for this, even though the change was made in New York, without his foreknowledge.

I encourage all to read Pat’s Facebook thread with comments from other cartoonists, and from Pat.

 

Community Comments

#1 Paul Berge
March/11/2020
@ 6:31 am

Q. Why did the chicken cross the road?
A. To be our caregiver.

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