Cagle has a lengthy posting on his “blog” about how editors view editorial cartoons.
There seems to be a natural friction between the “picture people” and the “word people” who are troubled by those powerful pictures. A famously unnamed editor at The New York Times is quoted as saying, “We would never hire an editorial cartoonist at the Times, because we would never give so much power to one man.” Another unnamed New York Times editor is quoted as saying, “We don’t like editorial cartoons at the Times because you can’t edit a cartoon like you can edit words.”
I’ve heard this debate ad nauseam (though Cagle does a decent treatment of it) and think those editors are in the minority. However, the perception of a cartoonist’s minimal value I think is real.