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Paper Ousts Ed-Op Cartoons For Mallard Fillmore

The Scottsbluff, Nebraska Star-Herald newspaper has decided that its experiment to replace opinion page editorial cartoons with the Mallard Fillmore comic strip is a success.

I want to thank everyone for their input over the last few weeks in regard to the Star-Herald’s opinion page. There were all kinds of different thoughts and ideas shared. I appreciated them all, even those who were not real happy with us.

Allow me to share the direction we will be heading and the reasoning behind those decisions.

First, the overwhelming response to the new Mallard Fillmore editorial comic strip to replace the editorial cartoon was amazing. The results were clear, Mallard is a positive hit.

Mallard is a conservative reporter (they do exist) and he can rub some people the wrong way. There were a few anti-Mallard readers, but the pro-Mallard readers far outweighed them. So, Mallard Fillmore will stay.

Says the editor:

One of the positives of keeping Mallard is the room opened up for a third column most days.

Since there are a number of conservative editorial cartoonists, making room for more columns may be THE prime postive rather than merely “one of.”

A major negative is that the “current events” in the comic strip will be, at the least, two weeks old.

There were a few of you angry about the fact we were running more conservative columns than liberal.

We, as your local newspaper are an informer, promoter, educator, watchdog, and entertainer. The local paper is the voice of the community, the servant of the citizens of the community. We represent you and our editorial page should reflect you, as a community.

In the 2016 election over 70% of voters in Scotts Bluff County voted red. If you add in the surrounding counties the percentage climbs to almost 80%. The overwhelming number of readers and potential readers are red, therefore the opinion page, this page, needs to be reflection of those numbers.

Read the entire editorial column explaining their philosophy about opinion pages.

We are a service business, and you are our customers.

That is why our editorial page has more conservative voices than liberal.

Earlier this year, after several months of reruns, “guest cartoonist” Loren Fishman
took over the Mallard Fillmore strip until the return of creator Bruce Tinsley.

 

Community Comments

#1 mike stanfill
August/31/2020
@ 1:58 am

Wow. I always knew Nebraska was full of geniuses.

#2 Mary Ella
August/31/2020
@ 6:08 am

Wow—so the editorial folks just came right out and said that since it’s a “red” town, opposing voices can just get bent? I’m kinda shocked to see it expressed so blatantly.

#3 phil von neupert
August/31/2020
@ 3:37 pm

I believe they call that “selling out.” There’s no local newspaper where I live any more, but there used to be a local news blog run by a retired regional newspaper editor. Unfortunately, he passed away a couple of years ago. Although his content leaned toward the conservative, he would post stories and allow comments from all perspectives. I guess that sort of journalism is going by the wayside in these polarized times.

#4 Glenn Ford
August/31/2020
@ 4:53 pm

Sigh! Too many of us are being silenced one way or another. Over 50 years ago I fought to have the right to vote at age 18 and was being told to use a gun in a foreign place for an unknown cause. As this administration came into power I changed my party affiliation for the first time since given the opportunity to vote. Your opinion page op-ed cartoons shone a ray of hope that we can look upon this insanity – regardless of which side you mount yer horse, and either smile or cry
PS I like Mallard but will miss you…

#5 Mike
August/31/2020
@ 5:52 pm

Ridiculous and another in a long line of nails in the editorial cartoon coffin. (fyi: my friend Mike Luckovich wasn’t aware of this until I shared DC story. Thanks)

But Scotts Bluff Nebraska deciding their corn farming readers want MF (all of whom wouldn’t fill a corn silo) is as shocking as The Washington Post having two liberal staff cartoonists. Neither is good for ed. cartooning, journalism or America. I’d be willing to bet there’s a study out there that proves having your beliefs challenged is good for you. -ML

#6 Mike
August/31/2020
@ 5:54 pm

Sorry, conflated two stories/posts. But Mike was not aware and appreciated the reporting. Apologies for mix up. ML

#7 Mary Ella
September/1/2020
@ 11:52 am

The thing that gets me is that this crap isn’t confined to editorial cartoons or random jerks on the internet.

For as long as I’ve been paying attention to my congresscritter’s activity, he has never paid any attention to anyone outside of his bubble, even if they’re a constituent. Even before COVID he never gave a town hall in the urban, “bluer” parts of his district (the one time he actually did, he “rescheduled” at the last minute), he only makes appearances on Fox News or the right-winger talk radio station (despite having a public radio station with a listenership that’s just as big), and now he’s taken to not even responding to constituent calls. I’ve lived in places where my rep wasn’t the guy I voted for, but I at least had the sense that his concern was looking out for his whole district, not just the sections that would give him an easy win.

The kicker is, it probably won’t even matter because he’ll probably get re-elected anyway. Because I know my state and I know how these things work.

Listening to other opinions is great. It would be even more great if everyone did it—gerrymandered right wing politicians included.

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