Thursday, May 10, 2007

Comic strip politics

Newspaper readers are passionate about comic strips. I learned that the hard way in 1983, shortly after I became editor, when I decided to flex my muscles and make a couple of changies on the funny pages. Wow! Did the you-know-what hit the fan.

Actually, readers don't like any changes in their local newspaper and they let us know about it when we make them. Eventually, they become used to the new things and move on ... then scream again when the next alteration is made.

But the editors received an e-mail the other day with a new twist. A guy was unhappy with two new comics just launched in the paper. He called them "liberal balderdash imposed by an all-knowing Freeman staff. ... We need liberal elites like you to tell us the right PC view of the day."

Fact is, the "all-knowing Freeman staff" (in this case the managing editor) selects strips already popular in other newspapers around the country, or new ones aimed at attracting demographics we may not be reaching.

"Liberal balderdash"? Maybe in some of our editorials. On the comics page? Sorry, no sale.
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