It’s Just a Cartoon F’Gawd’s Ache

So much outrage.

We published a political cartoon last week showing President Joe Biden looking at his Covid test and declaring, “Finally, some positive numbers.” The cartoonist was playing off the idea that Biden can’t catch a break, and even a positive result is a negative result.

© New York Daily News/Tribune Content Agency/Bill Bramhall

The Cleveland Plain Dealer printed a Bill Bramhall cartoon and…

Here’s an email I received:

Which “editor” approved the offensive cartoon of July 23? When will he/she be fired? Now we giggle at a president’s illness? Your publication has become a laughingstock.

Editor Chris Quinn was taken aback:

Outrage. Over a cartoon. When did we all become so intolerant? It’s a tough time to work in a newsroom. Anything we do in the political sphere likely will bring outrage.

I get it. We’re surrounded by outrage. National television news outlets overflow with it. Social media abounds with it. Politicians grandstand with it.

Read Quinn’s column about the national embrace of indignation.

But the people spewing the outrage and the hate are winning. Which is why, I suspect, when a reader encountered an innocent cartoon, he leapt to the worst-case reading of it and then wrote in with his outrage.