The cartoon below which ran a couple of weeks ago was pulled by, among others, the Washington Post. Matt Welch of Reason.com has a round-up of perplexing and downright bizarre explanations from newsie editors around the nation for not running
Wiley Miller's Non Sequitur offering.
(please click to enlarge and if that doesn't do the trick, please click here for the Reason.com story which also has the cartoon)
You have the standard "deliberate provocation" defense and some editors not running it because they didn't "get it", as in, they did not think it particularly funny. That got us to thinking how it was that Paul Conrad survived for so long as a cartoonist and won so many awards for being one of the bitterest and un-funny political cartoonist of all-time, but we digress.
For the benefit of the newsies, we're going to break down this cartoon, "Where's Muhammad?" in a clear and concise manner in which we hope the newsies can keep up.
1. The fact that Muhammad does not appear anywhere in the cartoon alludes to the controversy over depicting the image of Muhammad. So, in a sense, what is provocative about it other than the newsies' insistence that it is? In that respect, then, the newsies comically parody themselves.
2. The fact that people will be feverishly looking for any signs of Muhammad and thusly for an excuse to become outrageously outraged where one simply does not exist makes a mockery of this whole situation.
3. And the irony of the fact that newsies are refusing to run this cartoon is summed up in the banner across the top of the cartoon. Get it, newsies? By your own actions, you are now part of the humor of the cartoon. Again, thanks for playing along.
In fact, this cartoon becomes self-referential to a degree that it's damn near meta-. And because of that, it is one of the most brilliant cartoons we've seen in sometime.
But here's the response to not running the cartoon that blew our mind:
Said Alice Short, an L.A. Times assistant managing editor: "If they had produced a 'Non Sequitur' cartoon that said 'Where's Jesus?' I probably wouldn't have wanted to run that either."
Good Lord. Is this woman really that stupid? Because, Alice, you blithering idiot, if it was "Where's Jesus?" that would not have made any sense. We aren't aware of any beheadings or fatwas by Christian extremists because of depictions of Christ. See Point #1 above.
We wish we had a subscription to the L.A. Times just so we could cancel it.
And they wonder why they're losing credibility and readership.
Exit question: Are the newsies the densest creatures to roam God's green Earth or are they simply so petrified of the religion of peace, they only sound like they have an IQ a few ticks above a glass of water?