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By: Staff reports

Drawing Is Pulled Off Arizona Republic Site

A fire-themed cartoon drew such heated reader response that The Arizona Republic yanked it from its Web site this week.

The Phoenix newspaper first ran the three-panel drawing, by staff editorial cartoonist Steve Benson, in its Nov. 19 print edition. Labeled ?Texas Bonfire Traditions,? it showed flames shooting from the Branch-Davidian compound in Waco, a burning Ku Klux Klan cross in Jasper (where a black man was dragged to death), and logs symbolizing the recent Texas A&M tragedy.

Readers subsequently flooded the Republic with more than 2,000 e-mails and phone-calls protesting the cartoon, according to editorial page editor Keven Willey, who told E&P Interactive that ?the vast majority? were from Texans who saw the cartoon on the newspaper’s site.

Willey said the cartoon should not have been approved by editors and apologized for publishing it.

Benson, who couldn’t be reached for comment yesterday, is a 1993 Pulitzer Prize winner and current president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. He is syndicated to about 200 papers by United Media, which reported no complaints aboout the cartoon as of Tuesday.


Staff reports

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