8/01/2006

Sticky Post: Editorial Cartoons

I have often wondered about the editorial cartoons used in the Tribune. It seems to me that they are almost uniformly left-wing in nature. If not trashing the Bush Administration, they are trashing conservative ideologies or icons. Sometimes they're neutral, but when's the last time you remember an editorial cartoon that poked fun at a lefty?

So, for the month of July, I am keeping track. I will keep this post and the following one on the top of the page until August.

Editorial cartoons have always struck me as a bit of a cheap shot. Not that they aren't funny, or that they don't make legitimate points, but I have always felt that they represent a way for newspaper editors to secretly make the snide comments they really can't make without affecting their standing as..oh...so...much smarter and above the fray than the rest of us. I think the choice of cartoons reveals much about the mindset of our editors at the Tribune.

Am I suggesting that President Bush is above criticism? Absolutely not. But if someone is going to use their 'bully pulpit' to tell us how to think (as the Editorial Board often does), shouldn't we at least be aware of the (not so) hidden prejudices of those folks? Are they real as fair-minded as their folksy writing style might suggest? Are they really trying to give you both sides of the story in a fair analysis?

Decide for yourself.

2 comments:

David Crisp said...

I don't know about the Trib, but newspapers typically subscribe to a syndicated cartoonist or two. The views expressed in the cartoons represent those of the artist, not of the newspaper.

Obviously, a newspaper can try to choose cartoonists who represent varying political views, but usually they go for somebody popular. Since McNelly died, it's hard to think of good conservative cartoonists. I haven't surveyed the field, but I offer this piece of evidence: If there were a decent conservative cartoonist out there, then nobody would be printing Mallard Fillmore.

deepmoat said...

It is interesting that the media are very committed to diversity in all things except one--diversity of thought. Read Coloring the News for a look at how far newspapers go to promote diversity. Newspapers could promote diversity in cartoonists if they chose to do so. It would be easy for them to encourage more conservative cartoonists simply by asking syndicates to provide more choices. But they really don't have an interest in doing so; otherwise it would happen.