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MEDIA WATCH: Tribune censors Doonsberry cartoon on behalf of Sarah Palin, but allows publication of a racist editorial cartoon against Karen Lewis, CTU

There are few Chicago teachers who believe that what the Chicago Tribune prints as "news" reflects any kind of real version of what's happening in the city's public schools. Examples of the Tribune's biases against real public schools and on behalf of charter schools, privatization, and other projects are almost too numerous to mention. But as the 2011 - 2012 school year began in Chicago, the Tribune was even creating a fuss over its cartoons, both on the funnies page and on the editorial page. Here is what happened.

The Tribune cut out a Doonsberry comic because it was too harsh on Sarah Palin.

At the same time, the Tribune was willing to run a viciously racist cartoon attacking Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis.

Here is the story on Doonsberry:

Chicago Tribune Pulls Sarah Palin 'Doonesbury' Comic.

Garry Trudeau's "Doonesbury" comic has been pulled from the Chicago Tribune this week because, according to the newspaper's editorial staff, its content, excerpted from Joe McGinniss's Sarah Palin biography, violates their standards of fairness.

The comic, which ran in full on Slate and in other publications without incident, borrows a passage from the forthcoming "The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin." The comic describes Palin reading People magazine, followed by a thought bubble that reads: "New book explodes myth of Sarah not reading."

The Tribune replaced the comic with another, "Thatababy," which had a neutral, family-oriented message. The strip included an explanation that the "Doonesbury" cartoon violated fairness standards because it included "excerpts from a book not yet on the market and therefore unavailable for review or verification by the Tribune," Poynter reports.

But McGinniss has been open about his collaboration with the Trudeau, whose fictional character, Roland Hedley, has been "stalking" McGinniss throughout his process of researching the biography. Prior to the book's scheduled Sept. 20 release date, several excerpts are due to appear in "Doonesbury" strips -- all with the author's blessing, according to the Washington Post.

Trudeau confirmed that the excerpts come from an advance edition that McGinnis sent him last spring, and the author's publicist at Random House/Crown told the Post "that Joe did like the 2010 ‘Doonesbury’ cartoons, and [that’s] why his agent reached out to Mr. Trudeau.”



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