Newspapers moot dropping Doonesbury during transvaginal ultrasound plot


90 Responses to “Newspapers moot dropping Doonesbury during transvaginal ultrasound plot”

  1. TooGoodToCheck says:

    I really wish the phrase “Rick Perry’s Transvaginal Exams” in the headline meant exactly what it sounds like.

  2. Toby Manhire says:

    Editors should take great care before dropping Doonesbury. A cautionary tale:,,1569255,00.html

  3. Dustin Ames says:

    If only they were pro-choice, they could choose not to run the comic…oh well.

  4. Petzl says:

    It’s funny that conservatives can twist themselves up into finding that the comic strip is somehow more controversial than the law it parodies.

  5. Dr. Jeff says:

    Portland’s “Oregonian” has already announced that the strips won’t run, and they’re saying they’ll just recycle some old strips. Interestingly for a paper whose website is usually full of “This is Obama’s fault!” comments, the comments have run very much in favor of keeping the strips intact.

  6. Link to referenced comic?

  7. technogeekagain says:

    During the McCarthy era, Walt Kelly  produced a set of alternative strips for newspapers to run when they felt _Pogo_ was cutting a bit too close to the bone. Those “fluffy bunny” strips (Kelly’s term) weren’t completely innocuous either, but they were a bit less likely to draw attacks.

  8. C.S. Civet says:

    But… I read about transvaginal ultrasounds IN THE NEWSPAPER. WTAF is the reasoning?

  9. Valmiki Rao says:

    If only it were funny.

  10. Guest says:

    All his talk of government stepping between a doctor and their patient is distracting from all the slutty sluttyness. How dare he interrupt the new conservative narrative to remind us that this new narrative rather flies in the face of the last one? How DARE he?

  11. benher says:

    News? Printed upon paper? How… novel. 

  12. Brainspore says:

    I guarantee that somewhere out there, a conservative American is angrily asking why his hard-earned tax dollars should have to pay for filth like “Doonesbury.”

  13. NoneL says:

    I suppose, of course, that the exams have to be done by a licensed tech. But what if I go to a Mexican supermarket back office exam in downtown LA? They’ll do it, but what the hell is it supposed to prove? “Yeah, here’s my compulsory exam ticket. Scrape that baby outta’ me.”

    On the flip side, can they show you a mandatory clip on over-population, pollution, financial ruination, and a life long responsibility for creating another living debit on planet Earth?

    RIP that baby out. ABORTION is GREEN.

    Ground control to Major Tom…

  14. Mister44 says:

    So now we have left wing media being censored for it’s confrontational topic. I think censorship is bad – mmmkay – no matter which side of the fence it lies on.

    ETA – not talking about Rush Limbaugh.

    • freshacconci says:

      Really. This is the same thing as the Rush Limbaugh situation to you? First, Limbaugh isn’t being censored. His advertisers have decided to stop supporting his show. That’s not censorship, that’s free enterprise. Secondly. this isn’t about censorship either. There’s a difference between editors choosing to not run a cartoon and the government banning it.

      As for this being the equivalent to Limbaugh’s scummy comments, well, I don’t know what to say about that.

      • disillusion says:

        You do realize that the government need not be involved for censorship right?  Some companies choose to self-censor without any involvement, like what is happening with this comic strip.  No matter how you try to frame it, it is still censorship.
        From Merriam-Webster:
        Definition of CENSOR
        transitive verb:
         to examine in order to suppress or delete anything considered objectionable -censor the news-; also : to suppress or delete as objectionable -censor out indecent passages-

        • freshacconci says:

          I guess I just see a difference between the word “censor” being used interchangeably with the word “editing”, and the idea of “censorship”. One sort of waters down the impact of the other, rendering the latter increasingly meaningless.

        • Guest says:

          No passages of Rush’s are being suppressed. He is as free to say today what he said then, it’s just now nobody is buying it.

          You can’t blame the effect for the cause.

      • onepieceman says:

        Is there really such a big difference between an advertiser not running an ad because they think to do so would be controversial and would damage the company in terms of sales, and an editor choosing not to run a cartoon because they think to do so would be controversial and would damage the newspaper in terms of sales? Both seem like free enterprise decisions to me…

        You’re right though. This isn’t censorship. It’s either cowardice or disapproval. Not clear which.

      • Mister44 says:

         I am not comparing this to Limbaugh. Rush gets the back lash he deserves for his comments.

        BUT when you have a large group of people saying they won’t support any show that is “controversial” – a far reaching, undefined term – especially when they seem to single out one kind of “controversial” programming, that is a type of censorship.

        In one case you have advertisers possibly killing  a show by unilaterally withdrawing air time (not talking about Rush) – the other is making a unilateral decision to not run a cartoon. Both are well within their rights, but are form of censorship just the same.

    • Ipo says:

      So there is a “left wing media”? 
      Newspapers that censor themselves in a matter that isn’t even particularly left, and involves a cartoon, cannot possibly be considered left wing.

      • Mister44 says:

         “Left-Wing Media” refers to the cartoon itself. Obviously the papers refusing to run it probably have a right-wing slant to them. A cartoon that is poking fun at the absurdity of a right wing/pro-life law some how isn’t “left-wing” O_0  Doonsbury is notoriously left.

    • Brainspore says:

      So now we have left wing media being censored for it’s confrontational topic…

      Rush Limbaugh’s advertisers didn’t desert him en masse because he took on a confrontational topic. They deserted him because he spent three days slandering a young woman as a “slut” and a “prostitute” on the air because she disagreed with him about prescription birth control coverage.

      For what it’s worth I think newspapers should have the right to drop “Doonesbury” if this sort of thing doesn’t fit with their editorial policies… but if they do, they owe it to their readers to explain how it conflicts with their editorial policies. Then those readers can decide for themselves if these papers are really worth subscribing to…

      • Teller says:

        Agree with that pov. Though not sure nsp has to justify why they’re not running a cartoon they’re not running. Why not just boycott the companies who advertise in a paper that’s not behaving the way you like?

      • Mister44 says:

         Not talking about Rush, I am talking about all the others who are lumped in as being “controversial”.  Rush is getting what he deserves, but the others don’t deserve the backlash. I don’t think removing advertising from ‘controversial’ programming – especially with out explaining what that means – is kosher.

  15. skyhawk1 says:

    Some newspaper  editors need a transanal exam to see if their brains are viable.

  16.  My local paper is running repeats on the comics page and running the current series on the editorial page.

  17. grimc says:

    Off topic, but I’ve got to ask: ‘Moot’ is a Britishism for ‘consider’? The headline means the complete opposite in American English.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Entmoot, dude. Moot can mean discuss here in the US as well, although it’s not used much for that meaning. The one that gets me is ‘table’, which means to present for discussion in the UK and stick in the back of the drawer in the US.

      • grimc says:

        ‘Table’–now a line from a song I heard recently makes sense. I can always trust BB for lernin’ and stuff.

      • Editer says:

         Yabbut as grimc points out, the sense that ISN’T obscure produces a meaning directly opposite the intended one. Which makes it a poor choice.

        • Saltine says:

          “Moot” means irresolvable without discussion (perhaps at a “moot,” meaning meeting, the original use for the word, attested around 937AD). The use of “moot” to mean “inconsequential” seems to derive from the SNL Jesse Jackson sketches of the 80s, which, as far as I could tell at the time, were meant to mock Jackson’s mistaken and pretentious use of obscure words.

          Of course, language is a living thing, so we now have a brand new moot.

      • awjt says:

        “Tabled,” from way wayyyyyy too much debate in high school and a stint on the town’s board, is meant to keep an item up for discussion, albeit LATER.  As in, STILL ON THE AGENDA.  Technically.  Now, we casually toss it out there to mean, let’s discuss this never.  Such a shame, because tabling is key among a very small collection of Chairmen’s tools.  Chairmen usually don’t have much power – other than to shepherd discussion… much like… aherm… someone I know on BoingBoing. 

        • Jonathan Badger says:

          Yeah, that Mao guy who was a chairman in China had hardly any power other than relying on obscure techniques from “Robert’s Rules of Order”. Ditto for chairmen of major corporations…

          • ocker3 says:

             They’re referring to the technical position Chairman of the Board, not an actual chairman, who may have other non-technical powers.

          • awjt says:

            Exactly.  I’m not referring to the Chairman Emperor of the Universe.  I mean “chair of the discussion at hand” in a run-of-the-mill democratic process of sitting around a table talking things over while adhering in some form to Robert’s Rules.

      • Josh Jasper says:

         All this Mott hawlering is taxing, I tell ya.

    • Wreckrob8 says:

      Not according to Websters. The verb has only the sense consider. The adjective has two apparently opposite senses open for discussion and of little significance. Beautifully ironic.

  18. Eark_the_Bunny says:

    I certainly wish these folks would try doing something to improve things instead just making things worse and worse.

    ” Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.”~~~Desiderata

  19. johndberry says:

    Cory – This is a nitpick, but you mean “that newspapers will drop or replace the strip,” not “substitute” it. They’ll substitute a phony, or old, strip for the current one.

  20. noah django says:

    people still read Doonsbury?

  21. Damien says:

    The sad irony of the situation is that newspapers have the choice to drop the comic, but some women don’t have the choice to drop the invasive transvaginal ultrasound, and many woman don’t have the choice to have an abortion.

  22. Thorzdad says:

    This isn’t anything new for Doonesbury. Not by a longshot.

    Throughout the long history of the strip, Trudeau has introduced topics that various papers deemed objectionable. They have either not run the strips in-question, or moved the strip to the editorial pages.

    Sad to see editors (or their owners) still operating with small minds.

  23. WillieNelsonMandela says:

    The thing I find most shocking is the fact that Doonesbury is still in print. I thought that strip ended in the 1990s.

    • Teller says:

      The far superior Gary Larsen retired in ’95, if that’s who you were thinking of. If not, sorry. And speaking of Gary Larsen, I miss him.

      • Brainspore says:

        That’s Larson. Better at witty single-panel art, not as good at informed contemporary political commentary. Which is fine, it would be silly to expect all comics to serve the same purpose just because they share a common medium.

        • Teller says:

          I was JUST coming back to fix that. gd you.

          Anyway, I know Gary Larson’s a different kind of cartoonist than Pierre Trudeau.

      • Baldhead says:

         For myself I don’t think I’d make that judgement. Gary Larsen was a non political absurdist. Trudeau’s work has always been political, topical, and not always funny. Aside from the medium they work in it’s apples and oranges.

        • Teller says:

          WNMandela was musing about a cartoonist who retired in the 90s. My first mistake was wondering aloud if he meant Larson.

    • squidfood says:

       Relevant: Doonesbury was one of the first conglomerate comics to really “get” new media:  early and strong online presence, continuously contemporary and tech-savvy content, archives, etc.  Maybe its stars are Boomers but they live in the present. 

      (Though I’ve been reading it as webcomic so long it’s a little surreal when it’s meta and refers to it’s “newspaper readership”).

  24. Brainspore says:

    My favorite irony: in the early days of newspaper comic strips back in the late 19th/early 20th centuries, many in the newspaper industry looked down on the inclusion of silly and irreverent content as a stain on the “serious” nature of a journalistic periodical. But for most of the history of the medium any (non-editorial) cartoonist who actually tried to discuss current events in a serious matter has been raked over the coals for putting “inappropriate content” in a family newspaper.

  25. BBNinja says:

    Cory, I fixed your headline: Newspapers moot

  26. GDK_in_DFW says:

    I heard the announcement watching the morning news on WFAA-TV (A Belo property – which also owns the Dallas Morning News).  The talking heads announced that the Fort Worth Star-Telegram would not be printing the Doonesbury strip during the course of the story arc, but that the Dallas Morning News would print Doonesbury.
    The laughable thing was that the talking heads tried to locate the Doonesbury cartoon in the color comics section from the Sunday paper.  However, Doonesbury has always been located elsewhere in the paper in the section with the other political cartoons.

  27. PeterArgent says:

    Zombie Logic Press Webcomics addressed this two weeks ago with their strip Single Zombie Female. But that’s a feminist webcomic that’s way ahead of the curve. One of the advantages of being a DIY artist is that no one can tell you what to do.

  28. redjon says:

    So, some newspapers won’t publish particular Trudeau comics, but won’t drop Trudeau entirely because that might mean losing a reader or three.

    Nothing like taking a stand, is there?

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