Editorial cartoon in Tuesday’s Daily Mississippian:
I asked Daily Mississippian editor-in-chief Lacey Russell if the newspaper staff discussed the cartoon before publishing it. She writes in an email:
“Several editors on my staff looked at the cartoon, but most of the concern was with the sexual innuendo. We did not interpret it the way some of our readers did. In hindsight we would not have published it.”
Here are some comments from today’s letters section.
Is The DM so backwater and so illiterate that it did not see it was making a joke that tacitly advocates violence against women?
I’m not sure what y’all were thinking when you ran this – it’s offensive, not funny, unoriginal, heteronormative and most significantly, the suggestion of violence against women as a “normal” male reaction is incredibly disturbing.
[The cartoon] glibly suggests that men everywhere are torn between domestic violence and paternalistic overprotection. A war only solved by, what, being distracted by some other piece of ass? I am appalled The Daily Mississippian would reproduce an artifact so committed to making light of domestic violence.
* Daily Mississippian print edition for Tuesday (thedmonline.com)
* Letters to the editor (thedmonline.com)
“It’s my job as an editor to see around corners, to look at all the possible meanings and nuances of words and of images,” writes Boston Herald editorial page editor Rachelle Cohen. “It’s my job and two weeks ago I failed at it miserably” when the above cartoon got into the paper.
The artist who drew it – “a decent and honorable and utterly guileless man who gets an image lodged in his brain” – saw a tube of watermelon toothpaste that his kids left on a bathroom counter before he went to work. Cohen and cartoonist Jerry Holbert didn’t see a problem with the sketch, but why didn’t someone else at the paper raise an eyebrow?
On the night in question — the night the cartoon appeared on a page proof, the proof was not left in the proper bin. No senior news editor ever saw it.
And every evening the publisher gets a copy of the editorials sent to his email — not the images — only the words.
So there you have it. The remarkably simple way in which bad stuff can happen.
Longtime Boston media critic Dan Kennedy says “kudos to Cohen for a straightforward, no-excuses apology, and to the Herald’s management for coming to grips with a serious lapse in a serious manner.”
* How a hurtful cartoon made it into the Boston Herald (bostonherald.com)
* Herald editorial page editor issues a heartfelt apology (wgbhnews.org)
* October 1: Yes, this ran in today’s Boston Herald (jimromenesko.com)