Thursday, February 16, 2006

Cartoon Wars come to Champaign-Urbana

via Hugh Hewitt

Looks like the Cartoon Wars have reached Champaign-Urbana and the Daily Illini. Illini editor Acton Gorton published a few of them and the board suspeneded him over it. Here's the start of Hewitt's interview with him,

HH: Joined now from Illinois by the editor, or at least the former editor, of the Daily Illinis, that is the student newspaper at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, Acton Gorton. Acton, welcome to the program. I gather you are suspended?AG: That's true. Suspended for two weeks, pending an internal investigation.

HH: Not suspended from the school, but suspended from the newspaper, from your editorial duties?

AG: That's right. The newspaper's independent from the university.

HH: All right. Now who made the decision to suspend you, and why did they suspend you?

AG: Well, it appears that it was a decision made by the board of directors, in conference with the publisher, Mary Cory. And the reason that I'm being told I'm suspended is for it to allow for a two-week cool-down period, pending an internal investigation made up of senior students in the newsroom. However, I'm not allowed to step foot on the property, and I had to clear my office out.

HH: And the fact that this is all occurring after your decision to publishe six of the twelve Danish cartoons, including the one with the prophet Mohammed wearing a bomb as part of his turban.

AG: That's right.

HH: Why do they think it's necessary to suspend you? Have they given you
any indication?

AG: Well, they just say that...it seems a lot of people in the newsroom are very upset with my decision to this, is my opinion. And I think that from everything I understand from talking to people is that they're major concern was that I've put everybody's life at risk by having published these cartoons, because they are afraid that Muslims were going to come into the newsroom and start shooting people, and blowing bombs up, or something else.

My first reaction to this cartoon business was to recall Alderman Dorthy Tillmen storming the Art Institute over the painting of Mayor Washington in Lingere. The same Art Institute that sponsed the exhibit where patrons could walk over the American Flag. My thought then was good for Tillmen.

Watched the Arab reaction to this though and realize modern people just need to toughen their hides about insults. It's not worth a riot over.I'm not sure how I would react if I was on the board here though.

Should Blagojevich or the Legislature get involved?

cross posted at Illinoize

2 comments:

John Ruberry said...

This story won't be going away.

jack fulasofy said...

Would papers that publish the cartoons of Muhammad also publish cartoons that show the hypocrisy in Christian and Jewish cultures and risk offending their audience and advertisers? NO.
Check the taboo out at http://www.expensivespeech.com/