Baseless inflammatory ad hominem attacks – RL Crabb, Clay Bennett, and Jack Ohman

Northern California freelance cartoonist R. L. Crabb notes the recent actions of McClatchy newspapers, headquartered in nearby Sacramento:

The editorial cartooning world was shocked a few weeks ago when McClatchy Newspapers announced the layoffs of three Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonists…

To those of us who follow the business end of cartooning, it wasn’t a complete surprise. There are barely twenty full time editorial cartoonists left in a field that boasted almost two thousand at the turn of the twentieth century. Newspapers in general are a dying concern in the digital age we now inhabit.

© R. L. Crabb

Read Crabb’s full column and cartoon.

In his column R.L. describes the use of The Bee for those unaware:

Their logo, a newspaper hawking insect named “Scoopy” was specifically created for McClatchy by Walt Disney in 1943. (Well, actually it was created by animator Hank Porter, but like everything that passed through the gates of Disney studios, only Walt’s name would appear on the logo.)

© Sacramento Bee/McClatchy

Then we have Clay Bennett as an example of why McClatchy dropped their cartoonists.

A letter to the editor of The Portland Press Herald about a couple of Clay’s cartoons:

Could we please be done with syndicated editorial cartoonist Clay Bennett? …

This is not clever, insightful commentary. Baseless, inflammatory, ad hominem attacks like these on honorable citizens are tearing this country apart. They contribute nothing to reasoned consideration and discussion of political and social issues. The Press Herald disgraces itself by providing a platform for these ugly smears.

A reader responded to something in the newspaper!

As historians of newspapers and the news media know information magnates from Joseph Pulitzer to Rubert Murdoch built their empires by studiously avoiding anything that would involve reader reaction.

Back to Sacramento…

…The boy is Jack Ohman who by 19 would become a nationally syndicated editorial cartoonist and, decades later, earn a Pulitzer-Prize for the Sacramento Bee. For almost a decade, Jack’s cartoons at the SacBee evoked a wide range of thoughts and emotions from readers about the politicians or events shaping our lives. But earlier this month, the Sacramento Bee’s parent company “McClatchy” abruptly let go of Jack, along with other Pulitzer-Prize-winning editorial cartoonists…

Jack Ohman visits CapRadio for a half hour audio interview (scroll down to the second entry).

© Jack Ohman (this one must have been difficult, Jack gets emotional discussing RFK in the interview)

Jack on being let go from The Bee:

“I feel betrayed. I feel slapped in the face, I felt like i had been T-boned at an intersection.”

On Jack’s future:

“I remain in syndication with Tribune Content Agency in 200 newspapers and I can assure you you will be hearing where I’m going and what I’m doing very, very soon.”

Jack closes with news that those plans will be revealed in “a couple weeks.”

Read Jack’s current (post-Bee) cartoons at GoComics.