On June 11 the Florence Morning News editor chose and published a controversial Gary McCoy editorial cartoon.
The Morning News erred badly in its choice for a syndicated editorial cartoon that was published Thursday on the Opinion page. The cartoon was in extremely poor taste and in no way reflects the values of the Morning News management or staff. We showed poor judgment and lacked sensitivity, and we deserve criticism. Our readers deserve better from us. We sincerely apologize for the mistake, ask for your forgiveness and pledge to do better.
Last week, a syndicated editorial cartoon we published touched off a firestorm of emotion. I was aghast that it found its way into the paper. Sometimes busy people make mistakes. I know our editor well enough to know it was just that – a mistake.
We consider our editorial page to be a broad marketplace of thought. Very little of it is our own. The syndicated pieces and letters are endorsed only by their writers, certainly not us.
In my mind, editorial cartoons are expendable. None of them are produced by our staff, and rarely do they depict a local issue. They are produced by an artist in some other city who never has to face his or her readers.
The process of choosing editorial cartoons is a vulnerable one. There are often cartoons that mean one thing to one person and an entirely different thing to another person. Often there are no good options. I don’t see any reason to keep publishing bad editorial cartoons.
Having determined that it is the cartoons that are at fault and not the editor who chooses what to print in their paper, there is only one option available:
We will continue to take responsibility for publishing an offensive cartoon, but after the uproar we caused last week, we have made a decision to suspend the use of editorial cartoons on our Opinion page for the time being.
There might come a time when we decide to once again publish editorial cartoons. But that time is not now.
For the foreseeable future, we will fill that space with other content, better content.
WPDE carried the story after the original apology but before the publisher’s decision to yank political cartoons:
“The apology itself is not even an apology. It’s utterly sickening,” Ervin-Cannon said,
An online petition is now calling for the termination of news editor Don Kausler Jr.
At the time of this post, the petition has about 300 signatures.
The message of my cartoon is very simple: Unfortunately, too many in the black community stay silent on the issue of blacks being aborted. According to US Census data, blacks make up only 13 percent of the population, yet more than 30 percent of aborted babies are from black mothers. It is the number one killer of all African-Americans in the nation. I want more black babies being born, not less. Hard to see any racism in that. I’m sorry that Mr. Kausler caved in and apologized for running the cartoon. Giving in to the bullies of the cancel culture will only whet their appetite more.