die usa humpeln noch ein bisschen, holen aber bestimmt auf, behaupte ich. ich bin da optimistisch, vorab laesst es sich gut an einem noch unbedarften collegeschueler, der sich in einem provinzblatt versucht, trefflich ueben.
dass gb trudeau letztes jahr aus einem bedeutenden syndikat, angeblich wegen minderqualitaet, herausflog hatte ich, glaube ich, irgendwo erwaehnt?
auf die schoene idee des embedded journalism folgt die noch schoenere vorgehensweise des embedded mind, ein gepasteter artikel beweist alles oder auch gleichzeitig nichts und ersetzt auf jeden fall den ganz eigenen gedankengang. es bleibt spannend (nein).
The Cavalier Daily
Monday, September 11, 2006
Cavalier Daily comics spark religion controversy
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, individuals send nearly 2,000 letters in response to two comics
Kristin Hawkins, Cavalier Daily Associate Editor
The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights and individuals from across the country have sent nearly 2,000 letters to The Cavalier Daily and to the University administration in response to the publication of two controversial comics Aug. 23 and Aug. 24.
Both comics were drawn by third-year College student Grant Woolard. The first comic was titled "Christ on a Cartesian Plane," and depicts the Crucifixion with a parabolic graph superimposed on the figure of Christ. The second comic is titled "A Nativity Ob-scene" and features dialogue between the Virgin Mary and Joseph about an "immaculately transmitted" rash.
Catholic Student Ministry chairman Kevin Simowitz, a third-year College student, said he personally thought the comics were tasteless, but within the bounds of free speech.
"In my personal opinion, The Cavalier Daily can publish cartoons like that if they want to," Simowitz said. "But a paper that wants to be good and quality needs to be sure good and quality things are drawn."
Simowitz said he believes all students at the University deserve an apology from The Cavalier Daily.
"If the newspaper doesn't have the good sense to not run things like that, it should have the good sense to apologize to everyone," Simowitz said. "It wouldn't just be Catholics that would be offended by something like that."
The Catholic League cited the precedent of a previous Cavalier Daily apology in Nov. 2005 for a comic that was offensive to the queer community, according to the League's Web site.
Cavalier Daily editor-in-chief Michael Slaven said a journalistic apology differs from a personal apology in that the paper will not apologize simply because someone takes offense to something that was published.
"We cannot apologize for something that did not violate any policies that we have," Slaven said.
In an April 24 lead editorial, The Cavalier Daily unveiled a new policy stating how comics and columns are to be evaluated for censorship on the basis of three criteria. First, editors determine whether a verifiable historical or contemporary situation is truthfully depicted. If this standard is not met, two other criteria are evaluated: whether the author makes a "serious, intentional point, the censoring of which would constitute viewpoint discrimination" and whether the author criticizes a group "for any reason other than their own opinions or actions."
According to the editorial, "this policy seeks to limit material that criticizes people for traits or situations they cannot change."
Slaven said The Cavalier Daily takes responsibility for its decisions. Those who disagree with the policies are encouraged to contact him, Slaven said, but will not necessarily sway the decision-makers' choices.
"At the end of the day, any decision we make about censoring or not censoring, or apologizing or not apologizing, will be made on principle, and not on the number of letters we receive," Slaven said.
The Cavalier Daily apologized for the offensive Nov. 2005 comic because there was "really no satirical point or political point," and because of errors in the oversight process, said former editor-in-chief Patrick Harvey, who oversaw the paper at that time.
Catholic League president Bill Donohue stated on the League's Web site that when the queer community was offended, The Cavalier Daily apologized, "yet when it comes to Christians, not even a shallow apology can be mustered."
"So it can be implied that the Mother of Jesus has a sexually transmitted disease--and that's okay with the editors--but making flip comments about homosexuals is unacceptable," Donohue stated.
Woolard said he believes in the freedom to mock a person's beliefs.
"Religion is something you can choose, unlike homosexuality which was mocked last year," Woolard said.
University spokesperson Carol Wood said the University administration has received close to 2,000 letters about the comics.
Wood said the University has responded by informing concerned citizens that The Cavalier Daily is an independent organization and by recommending they contact Slaven.
Wood said the University is supportive of The Cavalier Daily's independence and emphasized that she believes a quote from Thomas Jefferson is relevant to the situation.
"Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter," Jefferson wrote in 1787.
Wood added that the University sees The Cavalier Daily as a learning opportunity for its students.
"The students understand the accountability of their actions, and I expect they will respond accordingly," Wood said.
Woolard said the two cartoons in question were his first published in The Cavalier Daily. His comic, entitled Quirksmith, is intended to present a "single situation or quirky graph that people can just look at and understand."
Woolard said he thinks the outrage stemmed from the fact that both of his first two comics satirized Christianity.
"People thought this was going to be the recurring theme ... bashing Christianity every day of the year," Woolard said.
The comic strip is designed to present "juxtaposed situations" like his first drawing of Christ on a Cartesian plane, he added.
"Sometimes it's going to be outrageous," Woolard said.