ORIGINAL: Did you see the cartoon in the Times-Picayune on Monday? If not, here it was…
The reaction to the cartoon hasn’t been good. Here was St. Tammany Parish sheriff Randy Smith, who was so exercised he actually put out a statement about the cartoon…
During a time when our country is in dire need of unity, The Times Picayune decided to publish this racially divisive political cartoon in an attempt to insert an even bigger wedge between law enforcement and our citizens. Even worse, they decide to publish this in the middle of a natural disaster when all first responders, and citizens alike, are pulling together to help one another.
We have worked extremely hard to bring our community together during this trying time in our nation, and we have been extremely successful here in St. Tammany Parish. This is not appreciated and not accepted in our community.
I will not support The Times Picayune and encourage all of my constituents to do the same. There is no place for this in our community.
Social media is pretty exercised about it, mostly because of the timing.
A few items of background here. First, the cartoonist, Mike Luckovich, is not local. Luckovich works for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, but he freelances nationwide. The cartoon in question first appeared at the Boston Globe.
So the Picayune didn’t have to grab the cartoon in question. Luckovich isn’t a house cartoonist – he was the Picayune’s house cartoonist from 1984-89, but that was a long time ago.
Second, the Picayune is owned by Newhouse Newspapers, which operates out of New Jersey. It’s not locally owned anymore. One would think a locally-owned paper wouldn’t run a cartoon like that, which has to do with the Milwaukee race riots emanating from a police shooting of a suspect who pointed a gun at a black policeman, in a Louisiana paper. Not after the massacre of three Baton Rouge cops last month, and certainly not while half the state is under water. Nobody in Louisiana gives a damn about the race riots in Milwaukee, and nobody in Louisiana has any appetite for race-baiting and cop-hating right now.
This level of out-of-touch can be expected from remote, absentee-landlord ownership of media. If you pay attention you can see it every day, but once in a while it will hit you square in the face. And that’s what Luckovich’s cartoon did Monday.