From an upset newspaper reader:
To The Daily Sun,
I am appalled at the cartoon depicting an active shooter drill, and cannot believe your publication would publish it. This type of message is stereotyping our black youth, and most definitely is NOT furthering the cause of any organization or entity working against racism. Further, the disgraceful slam against the hardworking men and women of the law enforcement community is unforgivable.
Shame on the artist, shame on the decision to publish this in The Laconia Daily Sun.
Below is the “appalling” cartoon by Mike Luckovich.
First, I find this to be classic liberal stereotyping of a person of color in that they would be thinking as one monolithic block and is very demeaning. Second, it makes light of the very real horrors of tragic school shootings. Lastly, it attacks our LOCAL rank and file law enforcement people that, last time I checked, are very well respected in our area and have always held themselves in an exemplary fashion.
I call on ALL local leaders and officials to roundly and forcibly condemn this cartoon and ask The Laconia Daily Sun for an apology for publishing this dangerous and hateful piece of trash.
The newspaper sat up and took notice:
We received an earful on Thursday from people who were offended by our publication of the editorial cartoon from Mike Luckovich, a nationally syndicated columnist based at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution…
The nature of political cartoons is such that they are very much in the eye of the beholder, and are designed to provoke thought and emotion. This cartoon did that – and then some. As one newsroom wag said, “This cartoon seemed to offer a lot to hate.”
Among those who contacted us to voice their disgust were parents, teachers and police officers, and the most common reaction was that the cartoon painted with a brush so broad that it unfairly impugned all police officers…
Many readers also let us know that they felt the cartoon could send the wrong message – that kids can’t trust police when they need help…
We’ve received complaints about cartoons before, though not to this extent, and the public’s response to this one has rekindled a conversation that has been going at The Daily Sun for more than a year: the value of running such cartoons at all…
Not everything we run will be positive, and that’s just the nature of our business. But when cartoons like this one and others serve mostly to inflame an already polarized public discourse, we conclude they have reached the point of diminishing return and no longer serve the engaging purpose they once did…
…we’ll use the space previously reserved for editorial cartoons for something else [emphasis added].
August 28 Update
Idaho Paper Apologizes For Running Mike Luckovich Cartoon
In Idaho, where Mike has roots…
The cartoon was sketched by liberal cartoonist Mike Luckovich — a Northwest native born in Seattle, who attended Boise’s Bishop Kelly High School and graduated from the University of Washington — in response to Sunday’s shooting of young father Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis.
The Lewiston Tribune also got reaction by publishing the cartoon:
On Wednesday morning a firestorm of criticism was unleashed against the Lewiston Tribune on social media and beyond.
Emails, phone calls and more than four dozen subscription cancellations lit up our front office.
At the end of Wednesday’s barrage of posts, phone calls and emails, I asked as many of our 120 employees I could find to gather for a visit.
Our front office was shaken. So was I.
Genuinely listening to impassioned voices tear at the fabric of oversight by our community newspaper was and still is an emotional experience.
Nonetheless, we take responsibility for what an Idaho State Police officer I spoke with Wednesday properly summed up as a “shock to the conscience.”
I visited with nearly every police chief, sheriff and a handful of officers on Thursday.
My message: We regret Wednesday’s Opinion page cartoon. We made a judgment error and failed to anticipate the impact the cartoon would have locally, and the negative reaction it would elicit.
The Lewis-Clark Fraternal Order of Police issued a statement Thursday
regarding the controversial cartoon published in The Lewiston Tribune.