Robot 6

Some papers to pull Doonesbury strips next week [Updated]

Some newspapers just put Gary Trudeau’s Doonesbury on the editorial page; others run it next to Garfield and then are startled when they notice the tone is somewhat different. Watch for one of those moments next week: The Portland Oregonian and the St. Paul Pioneer Press have already announced they will not run a week’s worth of strips that are critical of the Texas law requiring women to have an ultrasound before they are permitted to have an abortion. Other papers, including the Kansas City Star, will move them to the op-ed section. Jim Romenesko has the scripts as well as statements from the two papers—and from the Dallas Morning News, which will run the strips. (Honestly, the scripts sound a bit heavy-handed, but I thought Friday’s was dead on.)

On the one hand, you can see the papers’ point. People don’t want to hear about abortion over their Cheerios, and the strips include mention of a ten-inch “shaming wand” and show a woman in stirrups in an examining room. But Doonesbury has always been controversial and by now, there is no excuse for editors not to know what they are getting into. Besides, it’s satire on a social issue that has been very much in the news these days, including the news and opinion sections of those same newspapers, so why not run it on the funny pages?

The Atlantic Wire thinks that getting himself banned is brilliant self-promotion on Trudeau’s part, noting that the Chicago Tribune pulled some Doonesbury strips last year that drew from Joe McGinniss’s book about Sarah Palin. And it’s not like he’ll take a big hit from this; Lee Salem, president of Universal UClick, which syndicates Doonesbury, figures “20 or 30″ papers out of the 1,400 that carry the strip will kill next week’s episodes.

UPDATE: In an interview with the Washington Post, Trudeau says that ignoring the latest turn in the abortion controversy would be “comedy malpractice.”

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Comments

15 Comments

The newspaper editors must be concerned about offending the older demographic that still reads newspapers, rather than viewing the strips digitally.

Being in the “older demographic” myself, I say bring it on. I can take it.

Doonesbury long ago lost any attempt at true humor. It is now just a shameless megaphone for the ultra left.

@Fred: As opposed to Fox News, the shameless megaphone for the ultra right.

P.S. Bazinga!

Doonsbury is boring anyway

I generally get a kick out of Doonesbury. It’s one of the more clever comics out there. I like the way it pulls the beard of the establishment.

Promoting nothing more than common sense = pushing an “ultra left” agenda in Freddy’s warped little world. You really have to wonder when it comes to these people.

Rollo Tomassi

March 9, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Sadly, my local paper hasn’t carried Doonesbury for many, many, MANY years. The edgiest comic I get to look forward to is Funky Winkerbean and the occasional poorly executed Zack Hill. Which is awful.

Older readers? You realize that the original core cast of characters are in their late 40s, early 50s now and some of them have had offspring who have already graduated college! Are you thinking of readers in their 80s or 90s?

How I miss Bloom County!

“People don’t want to hear about abortion over their Cheerios,”

So people only read the comic section while eating their cereal? What, they don’t eat their cereal while reading the front pages, the editorial section, the obituaries, etc…?

I’m sorry, but I can’t buy that excuse.

Who in their right mind would be surprised, shocked or upset to read a perspective on a real world situation in “Doonsbury”?? It’s not as if there was an abortion story line in “Hi & Lois” or a story about the economy in “Snuffy Smith”! It’s “Doonsbury”, a comic strip that since it’s inception has dealt with political, national and worldwide story lines.

If ANYONE in 2012 are shocked and appalled to read something controversial in “Doonsbury” , it’s their own fault. Not the newspapers’ and certainly not Trudeau’s.

The Riverside Press Enterprise is our local paper and they have said that the strip will not be run. This paper has taken a hard turn to the right over the past few years. One year I suggested running columns from more credible minds such as Paul Krugman and they did just that but Paul hasn’t appeared now for at least two years. Is there any law that requires a paper to disclose funding from PACs? It seems like their Doonesbury decision is in line with a dedicated program to dismiss and demean the president and anything progressive. They probably consider themselves to be fair and ballanced.

I enjoyed reading a psychology paper yesterday that concludes that people with social conservative values suffer from a plethora of personality disorders as compared to their liberal counterparts: a conclusion I have seen proven time-and-time again.

A government so small it fits inside your vagina.

” It is now just a shameless megaphone for the ultra left”

Only the lizard people of Planet Wignut think criticizing state mandated rape is “ultra left”. Human beings are appalled.

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