Tuesday, January 11, 2005

CARTOON ROUNDUP

A while back I recall the Bee printing a cartoon from a South African paper that depicted American soldiers raising a flag on a pile of dead, nude Iraqi civilians. The cartoon was a takeoff of the World War II image of marines raising the American flag on Iwo Jima's Mount Sunbachi. Sacramento Bee publisher Janis Heafy said in response to the protest that "publishing cartoons such as this one is part of the newspaper's responsibility, because they give our readers a sense of how the United States is viewed in other parts of the world." (Source)

I thought that was a squishy answer, especially the referral to the abstract notion of the paper's "responsibility." Where exactly does this responsibility come from? Anyway, I also thought it silly because the Bee's cartoons are an excellent view into the mindset and bias of the Bee. Therefore, a regular feature of this blog will be a weekly cartoon roundup characterizing the cartoons that appeared in the previous week.

January 1: 1 anti-American consumerism; 1 anti-Bush/military
January 2: 1 anti-"West"; 2 anti-Bush; 1 anti-military; 3 neutral
January 3: 1 critical of pharmaceutical industry; 1 poking fun at Bush
January 4: 1 neutral (memorial of Matsui, by Rex Babin); 1 critical of Social Security
January 5: 1 neutral (Rex Babin); 1 depicting social security exploding
January 6: 1 anti-fire department transgressions/Mayor Fargo; 1 anti-Alberto Gonzales
January 7: 1 anti-Bush/Administration/social security policy

There you have it. Not fancy. The characterizations are as accurate and short as possible. Over time the trends will be obvious. Rex Babin is the Bee's in-house cartoonist who has a history of being extremely caustic at anything not liberal.

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