Tuesday, January 13, 2004
This from Dawkins:
John Sherffius, The Post-Dispatch's editorial cartoonist since 1998, resigned last month, the culmination of disagreements with Ellen Soeteber, the editor of the newspaper, over what she viewed as excessive criticism of President Bush and Republicans, according to senior staff members.And, here, the offending cartoon, in its revised and much less "one-sided" form. (Note the much less "forlorn" donkey. In fact, he's a wearing a little grin, smoking a cigar, and seems to be quite enjoying himself at this party, in such an agreeable "nonpartisan" way!)
The catalyst for his resignation: a cartoon about the appropriations bill passed last month by the House. Mr. Sherffius's original drawing, which he delivered on Dec. 9, featured Republican elephants partying. One elephant rode a pig representing pork-barrel projects. The caption read, "The party of fiscal discipline.''
William Freivogel, deputy editor of the editorial page, asked Mr. Sherffius why there were no donkeys. Mr. Sherffius said he did not include donkeys in the cartoon because Republican projects received most of the funds, citing an article in The Los Angeles Times. That explanation satisfied Mr. Freivogel.
At the request of Christine A. Bertelson, the editor of the editorial page, Mr. Sherffius redrew the pig, transforming it into a donkey, but Ms. Bertelson said the donkey looked too forlorn for the celebration. The discussion ended up in Ms. Soeteber's office. That was when she said the cartoon was "too one-sided,'' according to people with knowledge of the conversation.