The needler in the haystack.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Courier on Doonesbury and Sharon


One of a series of Gary Trudeau's Doonesbury panels
which the Courier News chose not to run this week.
Plainfield's hometown paper, The Courier News, was joined by two other Gannett New Jersey papers -- the Home News Tribune and the Asbury Park Press -- in not running Gary Trudeau's several strips slated for this week that took up Texas' transvaginal probe law and women's rights. (See one online list here.)

Not all papers chose not to run the series; some ran it, some moved it to the OpEd pages (from the comics section) and some are running the series complete as a special section all on the same day.

The topic is part of a general brouhaha being kicked up by a combination of right-wing legislative moves by Republican conservatives in various statehouses including Texas and Virginia, and revulsion at the misogynistic vulgarity of Rush Limbaugh and his ilk.

It is personally saddening to me that the Courier flinched and I quite agree with reader Larry Golbe of Metuchen that the series should have been left to run.

Here is a link to one of several versions of the complete series that can be found on the Internet (see here). Whether posted as OpEd pieces, or as comics, the point is that readers should be free to read, react and draw their own conclusions when important topics of the day are touched upon.

As for the Courier's ability to project some sort of consistent editorial point of view, let me close with this observation by longtime Plainfield Today reader Frank D'Aversa: A couple of weeks ago, the Courier excoriated Plainfield Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs when she sued the City Council over their recent dust-up.

D'Aversa called the paper's newsroom to remind them that while they had bothered to go all the way back through her six-year career as mayor in their bill of particulars, it was they themselves -- those same editorial page writers -- who had endorsed Robinson-Briggs for Mayor in 2009.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose?


-- Dan Damon [follow]

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1 comments:

Bob said...

Sometimes I think the Courier is a rag, and with failing to run the Trudeau cartoons and giving Sharon the nod in her last election, I'm convinced they are a wishy-washy rag. The fact that they insist you must be on Facebook to comment on an article on line, also confirms their "rag" status with me and many others. I'm not so sure now if their closing would be such a bad idea.