Editorial Cartoons Illustrate America’s Partisan Divide

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By: Dave Astor

The partisan way people react to editorial cartoons was discussed in a column by Grand Junction (Colo.) Free Press Managing Editor Josh Nichols.

He noted in a Friday piece that the paper received many angry complaints about the Pat Oliphant cartoon several weeks ago that showed Sarah Palin speaking in tongues. Then, last week, the Free Press received many irate calls and e-mails about a Mike Lester cartoon with “Obama for America” scribbled out to read “Bomb America.”

Nichols observed: “Those people who called in to complain about the Obama cartoon, for the most part, used the same words and the same argument as people who called in weeks ago to complain about the Palin cartoon. Funny thing is, not one person opened his or her criticism by saying: ‘First you run that Sarah Palin cartoon, and now this!’

“Nope. No one calling this week to complain about the Obama cartoon even mentioned the Palin cartoon. And no one who picked up the phone to complain about the Palin cartoon a few weeks ago called again this week to complain about the Obama cartoon.

“So from this seat, what I see is people being very selective about what they get offended by, depending on whether they have a preference for donkeys or elephants.”

“And to answer the questions of those who have asked me, ‘Did you actually find those cartoons funny?’ My answer is ‘No, I didn’t.’ I personally think it’s tacky to poke fun at someone?s faith. And the Obama cartoon represents a desperate attempt by a desperate McCain campaign to paint a picture of an honorable man as a terrorist. It’s sad to see. But those viewpoints are out there….”

Nichols’ entire piece can be seen here.

Oliphant’s cartoons are distributed by Universal Press Syndicate, while Lester’s Rome (Ga.) News-Tribune cartoons are syndicated by United Media.

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Check out E&P’s blog here.

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