Editorial Cartoons, QED

Well, there you go. The Tribune published 36 editorial cartoons during the month of July 2006. A full 50% of these were overtly anti-Bush cartoons, over 61% attacked either Bush or conservatives in general.

5.5%, just two cartoons (maybe only one depending on how you read the anti-Lieberman cartoon) smeared the left, or left-wing ideas.

And this is in a county where President Bush won the last election with over 55% of the vote.

Why is this happening? Why, in a relatively conservative, small town in Montana are half of the readers of our local paper subjected to constant smears and attacks on their values and beliefs?

And, what does it tell you about the people who select these cartoons? When you read the editorials these same people write, do you really believe they are fair minded or even interested in advancing the debate? Seriously, these people could only manage to 'poke fun' at their own ideas once or twice in a full month. Why are their comments and ideas worthy of our consideration when these same ideas are so clearly formulated by the exclusion of half of the available points of view?

Is it arrogance? You tell me.


Treasure State Jew said...


Far be it from me to defend the Tribune. However, is it possible that the party in power is a natural target for editorial cartooning?

I would be very interested in comparing your research with, say, cartoons in the Trib from July, 1994. The Dems controlled all seats of power back then, and I suspect that they were roundly pilloried in the cartoons.

Of course, that doesn't mean that I am going to the library to pore over the microfiche. But it would be an interesting comparison.

GeeGuy said...

I know that is often suggested as a reason for the one-sided approach, TSJ, but whether it is true I do not know either.

I can offer this, though. I distinctly remember that the Tribune declared its editorial page a "Monica Free Zone," despite the fact that our then-president admitted to lying under oath in a Federal District Court proceeding involving an illicit affair with an intern. If they declared that off limits, I suspect that somehow they managed to keep the cartoons balanced.

But I will freely admit as I usually do: I could be wrong!

Big Sky Husker said...

Can't say I'm surprised, GeeGuy. A below average paper.

deepmoat said...

It is true that we see a lot of anti-conservative conservatives because they are in power. And back when Clinton was in power there were some anti-Clinton cartoons. But my recollection is that many if not most cartoons were targeted at figures such as Newt Gingrich, Pat Buchanan, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Sen. Lott, etc. Editorial cartooning is, as you note geeguy, a pretty one-sided industry, and it is popular because the cartoonists say the things editors wish they could say but feel constrained from saying in an effort to appear unbiased.