* The Southern Illinoisan has taken a huge amount of local heat for publishing a political cartoon (click here to see it) deemed offensive to local sensibilities. The publisher apologized for publishing the cartoon…
The Southern Illinoisan regrets the editorial cartoon selected to run in Sunday’s paper. The syndicated cartoon was offensive to law enforcement and those of us who support law enforcement. Though we respect diverse opinions, we do not believe this was in good taste, nor constructive for dialog at the national or local level. We value the service of law enforcement officers serving southern Illinois, who put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe. Though editorial cartoons are rooted in satire to provoke thought, the selection of this cartoon was not vetted through our usual editorial process. We have implemented measures to prevent this in the future.
We apologize to those we offended, communities that we serve and our local law enforcement.
* A subsequent editorial explained more…
The purpose of our Opinion page is to create a thoughtful forum for a community conversation that includes the exchange of ideas, viewpoints and emotions about difficult issues.
It’s never our intention to make readers unnecessarily uncomfortable, though recent events in the world and across our country have had that effect on all of us. We do intend to provide commentary from a variety of sources that brings into a logical focus the most unsettling issues and debates.
An editorial cartoon we published Sunday on the Opinion page didn’t live up to those desires nor did it advance the conversation beyond the emotion of another police-involved shooting.
Social media has exploded in anger (as usual in stuff like this), with lots of calls for boycotts.
* And now Rep. John Bradley’s Republican opponent says he doesn’t want the paper’s endorsement…
Dave Severin, candidate for state representative in the 117th district, released the following statement today announcing his refusal to seek the endorsement of The Southern in the aftermath of their attack on law enforcement officers:
“I was scheduled to be interviewed by The Southern Illinoisan’s editorial board on October 6th in the hopes of receiving their endorsement. Today I am announcing that I do not wish to receive their endorsement and will disavow it should I receive their recommendation. On Sunday, September 25th, The Southern’s editorial board decided to publish an offensive and inappropriate “cartoon” attacking the men and women who serve and protect our communities every day as law enforcement officials. These brave men and women deserve our respect and our gratitude – nothing less.
I do not want The Southern’s endorsement and I will not seek it.”
The campaign does not wish to restrict access to the candidate and will make the distinction between opinion editorials and reporting. Mr. Severin will continue to provide statements and interviews to reporters from The Southern.