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Friday, August 11, 2006

Coulter Cartoon Offends Burqa Fans

Technorati tags: , , , the is afraid that in a will offend someone, somewhere

The comic strip below has been censored by the International Herald Tribune (click it to enlarge).



According to Judy Burt, IHT's Deputy Features Editor, "We know the name of this comic is 'Non Sequitur.' Nevertheless, we felt it was obscure to many of our international readers as well as potentially offensive to some of them." The IHT is an international newspaper based in France.

Editor & Publisher reports that the comic's creator, Wiley Miller, responded in an email, "It's the right, even obligation, of every editor to run or censor anything they deem appropriate for their newspaper, no matter how vague the rationale might be... Under the reasoning they've stated, every cartoon could be deemed inappropriate... . So I think they've been less than forthcoming on the real reason they're afraid to run this rather mild satire. But that's their right." Miller will submit a comic from a year ago in place of the offending strip.

Here's the thing, who's likely to be offended here? As far as I can see, two groups - people who think burqas are a good idea and people who like Ann Coulter. As far as I'm concerned, either group can go screw themselves, but I'm not running an international newspaper. My media empire gets North American and European hits - I don't have to worry about burqa fans very often.

Burt said that the strip 'was obscure to many of our international readers', which I assume refers to Ann Coulter. If Coulter's relatively unknown outside the US, that'd be pretty good news. I'd hate to have her ideas seen by people outside the US as typical (aside to anyone reading this outside the United States - we all think she's psychotic. I think most of her book sales are to libraries and homes for the mentally helpless).

Which leaves us with concerns over the burqa fans. What's the offense, that it's absolutely true? As the Danae character says in the strip, "I guess the right to vote and own property is overrated for some people." Doesn't that pretty much sum things up nicely?

On the other hand, maybe they do know who Coulter is and being compared to such an obvious mental patient is where the offense lies.

In which case, who can blame them?

--Wisco


(Comic strip courtesy of Universal Press Syndicate)

6 comments:

David McCabe said...

"I think most of her book sales are to libraries and homes for the mentally helpless."

If only that were true. Isn't acknowledging the problem of mass ignorance and backwardness in America the first step in solving it?

Anonymous said...

While I agree that Ann Coulter is a raging jackass, offending people who wear burgas is probably not real tolerant...and exactly the kind of "America knows best" thinking that has made us a target of extreamists, and objects of scorn on the world stage.

Having said that, I think the cartoon is amusing and don't think it should be censored...but only because free speech is essential, not because people in bugas can go screw themselves.

Anonymous said...

Europeans don't get it because the term "liberal", in this context, refers to American liberalism. That's why it was cut, duh. Trust me, there's nothing the rest of the world loves to do more than laugh at how backwards the US is. You just have to make sure the joke makes sense to them.

Wisco said...

"Europeans don't get it because the term "liberal", in this context, refers to American liberalism. That's why it was cut, duh."

That may be one reason why it was cut. But, remember, the features editor said, "We know the name of this comic is 'Non Sequitur.' Nevertheless, we felt it was obscure to many of our international readers as well as potentially offensive to some of them."

It was the 'offensiveness' of the strip that was the subject of my post.

Andy Dabydeen said...

Well said. I say we offend them.

Anonymous said...

"The IHT is an international newspaper based in France."

That's a bit vague. It's owned by the NY Times.