By: Dave Astor
“Doonesbury” creator Garry Trudeau again listed American war dead in his Sunday comic this Memorial Day weekend.
The strip is titled “Operation Iraqi Freedom — In Memoriam — Since 4/28/04– Part 1.” Included are the names of hundreds of soldiers. So many, in fact, that the listing will continue next week in “Doonesbury.”
The names fill six panels. The first two panels carry a soldier playing taps and a line of soldiers saluting.
Ted Koppel will read the names, and show photos, of 900 American dead on a 45-minute telecast of “Nightline” on Memorial Day.
Last Memorial Day weekend, Trudeau also listed the names of American war dead in his Sunday comic. He told E&P back then that “there is power in seeing actual names instead of numbers. Honor rolls always help deepen our understanding of what has been lost.”
“Doonesbury” appears in 1,400 newspapers via Universal Press Syndicate.
The “Nightline” reading has not yet drawn the protests it gained last year, when Sinclair Broadcast Group ordered its eight ABC affiliate stations not to carry the “Nightline” broadcast, which fell on the Friday before Memorial Day. Sinclair said at the time in a statement that “the action appears to be motivated by a political agenda designed to undermine the efforts of the United States in Iraq.”
Even so, that “Nightline” show last year scored nearly 30 percent more viewers than the program did the rest of that week.
This year, a source within the Sinclair organization, who insisted on anonymity, told The Washington Post that the stations have been told by the parent company that they may run the Koppel reading now “because the reading of the names coincides with Memorial Day.”