Newspaper Apologizes for Editorial Cartoon, Bans Cartoonist from Their Pages – updated

On Wednesday The Quad City Times published a cartoon by Leo Kelly taking a swipe at MAGA racism, but the cartoon invoked a Simpsons character whose name has become offensive to many and so the tables were turned with the newspaper and the cartoonist being accused of racism.

The cartoon came to presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy’s attention who tweeted about it:

It’s sad that this is how the MSM views Republicans. I’ve met with grassroots conservatives across America & never *once* experienced the kind of bigotry that I regularly see from the Left. Iowa’s ?@qctimes absolutely has the right to print this, but it’s still shameful.

Fox News picked up on the story on Thursday after Vivek’s tweet:

Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy trashed a major Midwest area newspaper on Thursday for publishing a political cartoon depicting MAGA voters yelling racial slurs at him while on the campaign trail.

The controversial cartoon was published in Wednesday’s edition of the Quad-City Times, an outlet reporting news from four cities between Iowa and Illinois. In black and white ink, it depicted a campaign rally with Vivek addressing MAGA voters, who were drawn hurling racial insults at him from the stands.

Mediaite picked up on a Fox News opinion show’s take on the incident:

“The media, they always go after, not the candidate, but the voters,” said Outnumbered co-host Kayleigh McEnany. “Half the country — good, hardworking people — who are not racist, as they suggest.”

“It is the dripping disdain from the Far Left — the elite condescension from the Democrat Party — that we will never escape,” Emily Compagno said.

The Quad City Times apologized for running the cartoon Friday afternoon:

Racist and hateful ideas, words or images have no place in our publications, much less our society.

It’s why we apologize today for letting such an image slip through our editorial process and into our opinion page Wednesday in the form of a political cartoon.

The cartoon, while intended to criticize racist ideas and epithets, uses a phrase that is racist and insensitive to members of our Indian American community.

The cartoon has been removed from our websites and e-editions, and we will not be accepting any further work from the cartoonist [emphasis added].

We apologize to Republican primary presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, the Indian American community and our readers for publishing the offensive material in the Quad-City Times and Dispatch-Argus.

We seek to share diverse ideas on our opinion pages — editorials, cartoons and commentary that provoke thought and constructive ideas.

Vivek Ramaswamy acknowledged the apology.

As is customary the cartoonist is punished, the approving editor gets a pass.


Vivek Ramaswami accepts apology and urges the paper not to cancel the cartoonist:

I accept the apology, and let’s cordially move on. I’d be happy to talk to the cartoonist offline, too – I’m empathetic to people who make mistakes once in awhile. Let’s not go further or see people get fired over it; the cartoonist should in no way be ‘canceled.’ We are all human. 

The apology is sufficient and well-received.

Vivek Ramaswamy

Republican candidate for president

13 thoughts on “Newspaper Apologizes for Editorial Cartoon, Bans Cartoonist from Their Pages – updated

  1. Hmmm. What self-respecting cartoonist will step up to fill the gap at the Quad City Times? They probably didn’t want to run editorial cartoons anyway. Too much reader response. Imagine… readers who care enough about what goes into their paper to write and call in over a controversial cartoon. The Times seems to have forgotten that used to be the point of running state and local cartoons. Oh, well, maybe they can find a cartoonist who creates “funny” cartoons about the weather and other hot-button topics.

  2. Mr. Kelly might have been better off — and harder for Ramaswami to refute — if he had depicted the comments as part of a whispering campaign.

    That “we will not be accepting any further work from the cartoonist” sounds to me as if Kelly were not being paid for his work. Too bad. It appears that he was giving them overwhelmingly local content.

  3. So let me get this straight…a cartoon pointing out (satirizing) the blatant inherent racist tendencies of the MAGA base is deemed racist? The reason they were getting complaints is because those readers saw themselves in it, and rather than take note of it and better themselves, they launch faux outrage to get the cartoonist cancelled…while railing against cancel culture. And, of course, nothing happens to the editor who made the decision to run the cartoon.

    Another case of a cartoonist being punished for committing the crime of satirical accuracy.

    1. Exactly.
      The cartoon isn’t racist. The newspaper was told it was racist, so they punished the cartoonist.
      Fire Quad City Times/Dispatch Argus Executive Editor Tom Martin for not knowing when a cartoon is racist.

    2. Spoken like a true Marxist who vilifies an entire group of people without evidence.

  4. Somebody better warn Will Shortz. “APU” comes up again and again as terrible 3 letter fill in lots of puzzles.

  5. Obviously, they were getting material from the wrong Cartoonist Kelly. The other one is more to their taste, I’m sure!

  6. Oh no! Leo Kelly’s free speech has been infringed! Whatever will we do?

    Racist comments are only racist if the Right says them. If it’s the Left, it’s ‘free speech’. That’s garbage and the Left knows it.

    Ramaswamy accepted the QC Times apology. I personally would have let it go at that, because in the old days that’s what would have happened, but under the new rules of engagement mostly promulgated by the Left, Mr. Kelly HAS to lose his job for his racist comments, whether he meant to write them or not.

    Also personally, I think the Kukryniksy combine of artists from the Soviet Union did a better job at badly drawn, blatant propaganda cartoons than Leo Kelly ever did.

  7. The comments from the MAGA audience in the cartoon are mimicing Trump’s rhetoric.
    This is nothing new. This is illustrating the racism of Trump.

  8. This is a terribly spineless newspaper editor. Apologizing to this snowflake Republican … for what? This is capitulating to at best the bullying aspect of the party which has a long history of bigotry, and at worst; kowtowing to white supremacists and Nazis. My guess: advertisers threatened to pull out.

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