Cartoonists angry, defensive after inane Miranda strip subverted

Editorial cartoonist Daryl Cagle published this strip.

Then he reran it.

Spot the difference? To Ann Telnaes, this is “a clear case of a cartoon syndicate trying to maximize profits by offering the same artwork but changing a few words to address both ideological sides of an issue. An editorial cartoon is supposed to have a clear point of view.”

Daryl Cagle responds: "I remember when the Miranda decision came down in the 1960′s, on a 5-4 vote. It was controversial for a long time; the only area of the law where “ignorance of the law is no excuse” didn’t hold true. I got a large enough sampling of e-mails in response to the cartoon (and you can see from the Facebook comments as well) that I realized the Miranda decision no longer seems to be controversial – Miranda warning to the suspect with the suspect’s overall civil rights; I’ve come to the conclusion that this is a good thing."

Balls to all of this. The change doesn't address the other "ideological side"; it just illustrates the fundamental meaningless of the strip's emotionally triggering bucketful of images and words. Why stop at publishing it only twice? It could support any punchline just as well.

If you are worried about the hard times your profession suffers, I tell you right now that the very last thing you should be doing is publishing work that could be randomly generated by computers.