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.
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.