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? If so, how?

cross posted at Bill Baar's West Side

27 comments:

ap 7:17 AM  

Some things are worth rioting over.

Bill Baar 7:26 AM  

Party on dude... Thanks for the link AP.

Anonymous,  7:53 AM  

This issue is as overblown as the Cheney hunting accident. Funny how the media doesn't hesitate to show footage of our troops hitting Iraqis (which is wrong, believe me). But, that footage just pours gasoline on the fire, so to hold back from showing these cartoons makes no sense.

Anonymous,  8:05 AM  

Is the Daily Illini owned, indirectly, by the state of Illinois? If so, then perhaps printing them there would not be the best idea. However, if it is a private newspaper, then they have every right to print it.

Skeeter 8:40 AM  

With all due respect, your post implies they were suspended for the content of the cartoons.
That is not the case.
This is a case where they were suspended because two editors decided what to print, and did not consult others on the editorial board. They were not supposed to do that.
By no means am I saying the decision to print was wrong. I am suggesting that the board was justified for acting against people who did not follow procedures.

Anonymous,  9:24 AM  

The content of the cartoons is what the board and faculty didn't like...using this excuse fit in nicely when they decided to suspend these two individuals. Don't be fooled by their logic.

Pat Collins 10:58 AM  

Did the Daily ilini show a picture of Mirth & Girth? Piss Christ?

The hypocracy meter is being pegged here.

I won't live under the rule of PC, nor will I live under Sahaira.

Buy Danish! I have

Skeeter 11:40 AM  

You all are missing the point.
Why didn't these kids follow the procedure?
Don't make it into something that it isn't.
They walked into this by doing something stupid.
This will teach the kids to act like grown-ups -- follow the procedures your company sets up.

JB Powers 12:22 PM  

Wondering if anyone told Jack Welch or Tom Siebel while they were at U of I..."Just follow the procedure, act like a grown up" so that they would refrain from taking any initiative and live happily in skeeter's world of corporate rules and regulation.

JBP

Skeeter 12:30 PM  

Jb,
Yes, they did.
"Iniative" is saying "let's print this."
"Insubordination" is printing something without authority.

Corporate rules and regulation? Yes they exist. When you graduate high school Jb, you will learn all about them.

Skeeter 12:58 PM  

One final note:
I love the conservative view on this.

They do NOT want state government to get involved to provide pre-school education to Illinois children, which would reduce poverty and reduce abortion

They DO want state government to decide how many editors it takes to form a quorum to vote on running a cartoon.

That's a fascinating look at conservative thinking.

It pretty much sums up in a paragraph the reasons I usually do not vote for Republicans.

Bill Baar 12:58 PM  

Skeeter... you would have been a hit in Berkely in the 60's during the Free Speech days....

Anonymous,  1:11 PM  

Love how Skeeter turned this into a liberal/conservative debate. Where is the ACLU and other first amendment crusaders in defending the Daily Illini? Hyporcits, all of you.

Skeeter 1:23 PM  

Anonymous said...
Love how Skeeter turned this into a liberal/conservative debate. Where is the ACLU and other first amendment crusaders in defending the Daily Illini? Hyporcits, all of you

Response:

Bill and Anon:

THERE IS NO FREE SPEECH ISSUE!
THIS IS A CASE OF TWO KIDS TAKING ACTION THAT THEY HAD NO POWER TO TAKE.

Do you both realize that?
Get your facts right.
Quit whining.
If those two kids were too dumb to get a quorum, they sure should should not be entitled to a U of I degree. We have SOME standards in this state.

Anonymous,  2:09 PM  

What these two kids should have done was call it art...could have gotten some NEA money and they would have been ok.

Oh, and Skeeter....give me a break...if you think these two aren't being made scape goats you're dumber than I thought.

Get your facts straight...although that would be a first.

Pat Collins 2:34 PM  

Buy WHY did those two feel the need to do so? Because the paper was "self censoring"?

And WHY has no mainstream paper/magazine published them? They for sure did Piss Christ. Mirth & Girth was harder to find.

You DO know that fakes showing Mohammed screwing a pig are out there? And being used to wind up the crowds?

And of course you DO know the sorts of cartoons that Arab papers run regularly?

Maybe if they had shown mohammad aborting a baby (preferably blond) you'd be more happy?

Pat Collins 2:35 PM  

Had the real cartoons been widely shown, then at least the fakers would be more easily exposed.

Skeeter 4:57 PM  

Anonymous said...
"What these two kids should have done was call it art...could have gotten some NEA money and they would have been ok.

Oh, and Skeeter....give me a break...if you think these two aren't being made scape goats you're dumber than I thought.

Get your facts straight...although that would be a first."

Great. People too cowardly to sign their names are insulting me. That hurts.

Here's a question for my nameless friend:
1. Did the students own the paper?
2. Did anyone prevent the students from just photocopying and distributing the cartoons?
3. Did the kids follow procedures?

Of course we know the answers to those questions. It sure is easier to scream about those damn liberals than to address reality, isn't it?

grand old partisan 5:41 PM  

"People too cowardly to sign their names are insulting me"

Skeeter.....is that your first name, or last? Or are you like Cher?

Skeeter 5:54 PM  

Neither, but at least people know where to find me. If they want to direct comments to me, it is pretty easy, and as you know, I tend to respond. Just click on the name and it takes you right to it.

It sure beat someone who makes inflammatory comments as anonymous.

Acthung Baby 7:48 PM  

These threads always turn into mindless dribble....thanks everyone.

Anonymous,  7:52 PM  

You're all idiots....even using a fake name makes you anonymous.

What's gotten sad about Illinoize is those who posted on the Leader trying to stir things up have come here...I guess this where they like to validate themselves.

Oh well, this was a good thing at the beginning.

Bill Baar 5:36 AM  

anon 7:52 I'm amazed at some of the comments. But somehow, telling everyone we're all idiots doesn't raise the quality.

Pat Hickey 8:12 AM  

I'll say this for Skeeter - he has the courage of his convictions - not real keen but he's quick to cut.

Skeeter 11:25 AM  

Hickey said...
I'll say this for Skeeter - he has the courage of his convictions - not real keen but he's quick to cut."

Classic. You are too much of a coward to respond to points I raised, but you attack me here. That is just the sort of conduct I would expect from somebody who posts rants defending a Bishop who condones child molesters.

Pat Hickey 11:48 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pat Hickey 12:02 PM  

Skeeter,
Try not to mistake ignoring a pusilanimous twerp with cowardice moral, physical, or literary.

You do not have the credentials for any of the three aforementioned modifiers and your childish howls have gone beyond the amusement of your elders and betters.

Try to remember:

Before you can stand up for principles you had better get in some leg-work doing for others.

Fact Non Verba, Skeeter, Facta Non Verba!

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