The Chicago Tribune has covered yet another act of censorship in a cloak of journalistic purity worn threadbare by its own double standards.
It refused to run today’s “Doonesbury” comic strip, which includes a pitch for the nonprofit Donors Choose, a charity that connects potential donors with cash-strapped public-school classrooms. In a note to readers on page 2, it explained that today’s strip included “a direct fundraising appeal for a specific charity that the author favors. The Tribune’s editorial policies do not allow individuals to promote their self-interests.”
They do, however, allow Tribune editors to exercise hypocrisy.
There is no more evident self-interest in the “Doonesbury” pitch for this charity than there was in the numerous mentions of the same charity in articles, photos, editorials and letters to the editor published in the last several years by the Tribune and its sister publication, the Los Angeles Times. The Trib’s editors also saw no problem in letting one of its staffers launch and publicize a “Book on Every Bed” campaign to benefit the Family Reading Partnership, or in allowing another staffer to devote one of his columns to pitching his book.
So if the self-interest explanation isn’t the real one, what’s going on?
This isn’t the first time the Trib has censored the work of Garry Trudeau. “Doonesbury” habitually (but not exclusively) skewers right-wing politicians and pundits. The Trib, always staunchly conservative, has taken a very hard turn to the right lately, pounding away at union bosses enjoying unearned pensions and decrying illegal immigrants who flee home to avoid facing criminal charges here. This kind of selective demonizing would have warmed the heart of its long-ago publisher, Robert McCormick, who was known for his extreme right-wing views.
The Trib’s false claim of virtue and its petty insult to Trudeau, which sideswiped a worthy cause, will do nothing to enhance its reputation.
Sources:http://www.doonesbury.com/ http://www.donorschoose.org http://www.chicagotribune.com/search_results/?q=donorschoose.org http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-12-08/features/ct-ae-1208-amy-20111208_1_pulitzer-new-book-literacy http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-12-27/business/ct-biz-1227-bf-problem-main-20111227_1_ethics-policy-problem-solver-consumer http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/stripping-doonesbury-tribune-silences-satire,