An editorial cartoon we should not have run

19 Jul

We get complaints all the time about editorial cartoons. Usually it’s that they skew too liberal, but once a month or so, one crosses into what some readers find offensive, not just contrary to their political beliefs.1069983_10200182965512554_1379725620_n

For the most part, we defend them. Being provocative is the very nature and mission of editorial cartoons, and they’re often very close to the edge of what gets you thinking and debating an issue and what is inappropriate, or at least strikes an inappropriate tone for a serious topic.

But we can’t defend a cartoon that ran in yesterday’s New Haven Register. Created by Rob Rogers of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and addressing the U.S. Senate’s standoff over filibuster rules, it showed the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., being blown up, a mushroom cloud overhead, under the caption, “The nuclear option we’d all like to see …”

We didn’t conceive of the idea of this editorial cartoon, or draw it ourselves. It came via one of the syndicated cartoon service we use. But we still have a duty to be responsible in what we put on the pages of our newspaper. This cartoon didn’t strike the tone that we want to set in our presentation of news and commentary. It shouldn’t have run, and we’re sorry for the offense it caused among some readers.


19 Responses to “An editorial cartoon we should not have run”

  1. JR McDonald July 19, 2013 at 9:54 am #

    The cartoon reflects the mood of the nation and the frustration over a dysfunctional government, especially congress, both from the left and right. The house being held hostage to the more radical wing of the tea party not supporting the house leadership. Neither the house or the senate can function.

    • Ed Remillard July 19, 2013 at 10:07 am #

      Spoken as a true Democrat. Your hostage takers are my heroes.

    • Eric Tetreault July 19, 2013 at 10:26 am #

      You hit the nail right on the head, JR. Anyone paying attention to the big picture versus the media on the left or right can see it. This isn’t about Republican, Democrat, or Liberal. It is about a Congress that is doing what they please with complete disregard for what their constituents want. It is now nothing more than a game of distractions the general public is losing to.

  2. Bruce Scobie July 19, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    The Register is offensive every day. Why worry about this one?

  3. Earle July 19, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    I LOVE IT ! expresses my feelings AND outrage perfecty. now let’s see,where did i put that broom

  4. IOU July 19, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

    what 21st Century Media should have done was give us SOUND OFF back

    • Concerned in CT July 21, 2013 at 6:11 am #

      grow up and get over sound off. Sheesh…

  5. Catspaw July 19, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

    The cartoon fails to identify the cause of the mushroom cloud. (assumed Senate gridlock)

    The sentiment of celebration at the destruction of the Capitol and form of government by violence, is bizarrely put in the mouths of Mom and Pop American?

    The cartoon may represent some point of view that wants destroy government but there is nothing tying any of that to a narrative core in the picture; sarcasm, irony, dark humor, ridicule? It’s just too vague to be funny.

  6. darnellgoldson July 19, 2013 at 6:07 pm #

    You guys caved. You should defend the right to publish this, not censor your editorial comments. Americans want to see positive movement from our political leaders, and blowing up stupid rules that prevent that movement is long overdue.

    • mattderienzo July 19, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

      We do defend our RIGHT to publish it. But don’t defend the poor taste in the decision to exercise that right in this case.

      • Catspaw July 19, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

        Not to nag the point, would you describe the aspect of “poor taste” in the decision? One assumes there were credible and weighty objections. Would you offer specifics? Thanks.

      • mattderienzo July 19, 2013 at 8:00 pm #

        We didn’t get a ton of complaints. But some. And when I saw the cartoon (unfortunately not until after it was published), my gut said that this is not the tone that’s ok or appropriate for our newspaper. Remember that in 2001, the Capitol was the target of terrorism. I don’t think imagery suggesting the violent overthrow of a government or individual politicians is responsible or ok or helpful in any way.

      • Stan Modjesky February 27, 2014 at 9:17 pm #

        The perfunctory apology is far more offensive than the cartoon in question.

  7. redman July 19, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

    I am offended by the NHR juvenile editorials.

  8. Ed Kaufman August 3, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

    Fox’s “The Five” just showed another disgusting editorial cartoon by the Register depicting this news outlet as “preferred viewing for racists.” How can that be when the “the New Haven Register” is now the leader in that field

  9. Sean Leslie Casey February 27, 2014 at 9:18 am #

    Great cartoon. Addresses a lot of outrage in the air right now. Hope it made people a little uncomfortable.

  10. Veteran Mom February 27, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

    Political cartoons are supposed to challenge readers.

    I’m rather offended that you felt the need to apologize.

  11. Arun February 28, 2014 at 1:10 am #

    If someone believes one should tender an apology to the readers for this cartoon there are 2 things s/he doesn’t understand: 1. Maturity of readers 2. Cartoons


  1. “An Editorial Cartoon We Should Not Have Run” | The Laurel - July 19, 2013

    […] publisher of the New Haven Register apologizes for running the cartoon […]

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