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Missourian Owners “Disgusted” by Political Cartoon

The co-owners of The Missourian have apologized for a Tom Stiglich editorial cartoon that appeared in the June 10, 2020 edition.

The apology, titled “We Are Sorry,” was posted on the paper’s website:

A message from Susan Miller Warden and Jeanne Miller Wood, co-owners of The Missourian: 

On behalf of all of our employees at The Missourian we are sorry and DISGUSTED for the editorial cartoon that appears in the Wednesday, June 10 edition of the Missourian.

This does not represent the views of The Missourian staff.

This was selected by the Editor/ Publisher, Bill Miller Sr.

BLACK LIVES MATTER

KMOV4 reported on the owners’ apology.

The cartoon, as posted on GoComics, got quite a bit of negative feedback there too.
update: The cartoon has been taken down from Tom’s GoComics page.

Tom does not shy away from depicting people of color and white people in a bad light, as can be seen on his Twitter feed and Facebook page and the archives at GoComics. At the time of this posting the above cartoon has not yet been posted to Tom’s social media accounts.

Two years ago Tom received negative attention for an immigration cartoon. Tom’s reply then would serve as a response to the current controversy:

“… any time that I include a minority, some readers will automatically scream ‘that’s racist.’ That does tend to get old.”

Tom seemed to anticipate the current backlash (or perhaps the regular backlash from his cartoons) with a graphic statement two days ago:

Update

KSDK5 has an article with new information:

Hours later, the owners posted another update, saying they have decided to resign.

The cartoonist Tom Stiglich sent the following statement to 5 On Your Side’ Sara Machi:

“Thanks for writing and for giving me the opportunity to respond. First and foremost, may George Floyd rest in peace. he did not deserve to die like that. I do not condone racism or police brutality of any kind. It’s such a hostile environment we’re living in right now, one that needs more law and order, not less. The rioting and looting was extremely disheartening. That cartoon was based solely on violent crime numbers here in the US. To ignore that would be doing a disservice to the reader. Best wishes, Tom”

And more from KMOV4:

The editorial process has been that Bill Miller, Sr., our father and publisher, made the decision to publish this syndicated cartoon without our knowledge.

Because we do not have the editorial control to assure our readers that this won’t happen again, we have resigned in protest. We cannot continue to work for an editor who fails to see the pain this causes and we believe this issue is too important not to take a stand.

 

June 11 updatePublisher/editor Bill Miller, Sr. apologizes:

I ran a nationally syndicated editorial cartoon in the June 10 edition of The Missourian that was racially insensitive. It was poor judgment on my part and for that I sincerely apologize.

The cartoon was intended to support our editorial position that defunding police departments in the aftermath of George Floyd’s senseless killing is not the answer to resolving the racial inequities and injustices that have occurred in policing in this country. We did not draw the cartoon but selected it from a national service we use to support our editorial positions. We regret this error in judgment. We have discontinued using cartoons by this particular political cartoonist [emphasis added].

Again, a cartoonist pays the price for editorial decisions.

 

June 12 final update

Another family member takes control of newspaper:

Patricia Miller took over as publisher on Thursday. She’s also the daughter of Bill Sr.

She addressed the controversy in this weekend’s edition of The Missourian. First, she talked about her career over the years and how she got her start as a newspaper inserter at The Missourian when she was 14 years old. She went on to join the St. Louis Business Journal team and worked there for 33 years, including as editor/publisher. She retired in 2018.

“My 90-year-old father took full responsibility for the mistake, made a public apology and resigned,” she said. “That mistake exposed a breakdown in editorial procedures at the newspaper, which we are now addressing.”

Community Comments

#1 Mike Lester
June/10/2020
@ 12:22 pm

Thank God the AAEC has his back.

#2 Brad Walker
June/10/2020
@ 1:41 pm

Would it have changed his point to give the mugger white skin?

#3 Mary Ella
June/10/2020
@ 6:58 pm

Eh, I wouldn’t feel too bad for Stieglitz—he’ll probably get invited to the White House now.

#4 sandy pounder
June/11/2020
@ 10:05 am

Stiglich’s statement to the TV show did not correlate with the cartoon. The cartoon is clearly premised on conservatives’ new shibboleth that defunding means eliminating all funding as opposed to reducing funding in the way that conservatives support defunding healthcare expenses and education, just to name two.

#5 Paul Berge
June/11/2020
@ 11:47 am

There’s plenty more where the Stiglich cartoon came from…

https://www.gocomics.com/chipbok/2020/06/10

https://www.editorialcartoonists.com/cartoonists/branca/cartoons/2020-june/12-psycho-li/

How dare cartoonists take “Defund the Police” literally, anyway?

#6 Clay Jones
June/11/2020
@ 12:16 pm

Oh, Sandy. Conservative cartoonists don’t need to understand the issues they cover, just the talking points.

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