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ATS: Doonesbury Comic May Be the Latest Victim of Subtle Censorship

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posted on Jul, 21 2004 @ 09:32 PM
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Hello news readers, what kind of content would you like to read today? 1) International news? 2) National news? 3) Humorous stories? 4) Sports? 5) Funny mindless drivel? If these choices seem odd, something just as odd and unprecedented has occurred with the most highly-circulated, political commentary comic strip, Doonesbury. And the results are little more than a veiled attempt at censorship.
 



www.editorandpublisher.com
Wilkerson said he conducted the survey because Garry Trudeau's comic "created more controversy than other strips." In the poll e-mail he sent Continental's newspaper clients this spring, Wilkerson wrote: "(I)t is my feeling that a change in one of the features is required. I have fielded numerous complaints about 'Doonesbury' in the past and feel it is time to drop this feature and add another in its place. ... If the majority of the group favors a replacement, you will be expected to accept that change."


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


So shall we ask our affiliates which news we should be running also? Shall we decide, based on how people react, which stories we publish in our papers?

It seems this is the direction they would like to take.

Related News Links:
www.guardian.co.uk
www.miami.com
www.doonesbury.com


[edit on 22-7-2004 by Banshee]



df1

posted on Jul, 21 2004 @ 09:59 PM
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Show the news censor conspiracy who is the boss, cancel your newspaper subscription. Newspaper subscriptions are already getting killed as more people move to the internet as their choice for news. It won't take much more than a few percent drop in subscriptions to bring back doonesbury.
.


[edit on 21-7-2004 by df1]



posted on Jul, 21 2004 @ 10:12 PM
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The Dallas Morining News recently eliminated many comics from the line up BUT they did it via an online poll at www.dallasnews.com... This makes sense to me considering the cost of a daily stip these days.

I'll admit I am a daily reader of the comics, don't know why, I just enjoy them. I get really TORQUED when one gets pulled, I enjoy the social commentary from BOTH perspectives. BUT if a comic becomes overly expensive (Doonsbury IS very expensive) and the paper doesn't beleive they are getting their money's worth and drop it, I would hardly call it censorship.

I would call it a business decision. The poll you mention in your post is more than likely a cover for an over complained about comic that costs more than 2 reporters salaries a year!

m...



posted on Jul, 21 2004 @ 10:21 PM
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Round here, we like BOTH kinds of music... country AND western.

Sorry, couldn't resist.


df1

posted on Jul, 21 2004 @ 10:24 PM
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Originally posted by Springer
I would hardly call it censorship... I would call it a business decision.

As a subscriber, when a company fails to deliver the product you want, it makes sense to stop buying that product. If the folks at the Dallas paper see subscriptions drop say 2% over Doonesbury being pulled, I would imagine that they will make the appropriate business decision.
.



posted on Jul, 21 2004 @ 10:24 PM
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MA... Does that actually mean something? Country and Western relate to comics/social commentary how?

m...



posted on Jul, 21 2004 @ 10:31 PM
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Genre: Satire

References:

1. capitalized both
2. The Blues Brothers (1980)





posted on Jul, 21 2004 @ 10:32 PM
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Ah, Springer....it was a joke.

A humorous quote taken, transplanted, and aptly used.

Thumbs up for MA,

...And someone get Springer a humour suppository.



posted on Jul, 21 2004 @ 10:33 PM
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Originally posted by df1
As a subscriber, when a company fails to deliver the product you want, it makes sense to stop buying that product. If the folks at the Dallas paper see subscriptions drop say 2% over Doonesbury being pulled, I would imagine that they will make the appropriate business decision.
.


I agree 100%. My point is that comics are a purchased product of the paper just like computers are a purchased product of a service company. If the price gets too high relative to the productivity the company will either buy another brand or get along with what they have. That isn't censorship it's management.

Censorship can't be attributed to a privately owned operation, they can print or not print whatever they want.

*BUT* if the Government stepped in and told that privately owned paper it couldn't publish Doonsbury because it is too liberal THAT would be censorship.

The subscribers will vote with their dollars and that's exactly how a free market is supposed to operate. As long as there are enough papers out there with readers/subscribers that want Doonsbury Gary Trudeau can continue to charge his price for the strip and get it. If the public doesn't want it and the management of the papers cancel it it's NOT censorship anymore than a store dropping a product that hasn't sold.

m...



posted on Jul, 21 2004 @ 10:39 PM
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What you are seeing with this and other stories like it is the check that balances free speech not censorship. Censorship is when a government entity persecutes or restrains the free speech of its populace. Free speech implies that you can express whatever opinion you want without fear of governmental reprisals so long as that speech does not incite riot or threaten violent or criminal acts detrimental to society. This is not to say, however, that anyone has the right to say anything that they want free from all consequence. It only applys to government applied consequences.

Social consequences are meant to be the check and balance on the government garunteed freedom. If a person stands up in the middle of a gay pride march and starts screaming slurs and epitaphs at the marcher that person will be socially persecuted by the demostrators. In like fashion if someone were to start passing out leaflets in the American heartland proclaiming that all people should be single, divorce their spouses and move into communes of single genders, that person would be ostracized from the community and many business owners would refuse to do business with them because of their detrimental use of free speech. So these forces are playing out on a national level. People who go too far with their rhetoric are having to pay a social penalty that translates into a finacial penalty for what they said. It is not government implimented and therefore is not censorship.

It should be said that social pressure works both ways in that while the pressure is being brought to bear, the message of the one being pressured is even more widely diseminated by the attention that it gets. Thus there is a check to the use of social pressure in that if the majority of the population agrees with the one who has expressed their opinion then new pressure will be brought to bear on those who are attempting to exert pressure on the speaker. Thus is the circus court of public opinion. It is our best and only available counterbalance to radicalism and propaganda. I take no stand on doonsbury since I do not often read the column. I simply wish to explain the mechanism at work here and how it is different from censorship but is rather an essencial balance to our right to free speech.



posted on Jul, 21 2004 @ 10:49 PM
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A newspapers decision to drop a comic = censorship? So if your local paper drops Garfield is this a vast anti-feline controversy?

Thank you Springer for your excellent points. If I owned a paper I would try and please as many of my readers as possible.

I must assume the reason this is news is because it's Doonesbury. I'm sure the same folks that are crying foul here would be cheering if it were say Bill O'Rielly on the op-ed page that was dropped.


df1

posted on Jul, 21 2004 @ 11:31 PM
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Originally posted by Johannmon
What you are seeing with this and other stories like it is the check that balances free speech not censorship. Censorship is when a government entity persecutes or restrains the free speech of its populace.


I do not agree.

When a corporation gives millions of dollars to a candidate in order to get the candidate elected it is not only a matter of the line between government and the corporation being blurred, government and the corporation have effectively merged with both sharing the same interest in keeping the office holder in power. The relationship is in fact "quid pro quo", the office holders gets money for his campaign and the corporation gets access to government and favorable legislation that it otherwise would not receive.

When the corporation is a media company it will protect its interest by censoring the office holders opponents for the purpose retaining the political access they have purchased, all with the office holders full blessing.

Explain to me how silencing the critics of a government official via the merged common interest of the government official and corporate media is not government censorship in fact?
.



posted on Jul, 21 2004 @ 11:40 PM
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You must first prove the connection between said corporation and said government official. The simple fact that an editiorial comic strip is anti administration does not put those who find its content offensive in the playbook of the president. What I have read of Doonsbury they go over the top with some of their stuff to the point it becomes offensive to many people, not just the hard right. Thus it is reasonable for a media entity to respond to that if they so choose. Prove the connection and I will cry foul as loud as you. Make some baseless accusation in order to curb social consequences on an issue and I simply say prove it and move on.


df1

posted on Jul, 22 2004 @ 12:13 AM
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Originally posted by Johannmon
Prove the connection and I will cry foul as loud as you. Make some baseless accusation in order to curb social consequences on an issue and I simply say prove it and move on.


I mentioned no specific candidate, corporation, actor, singer, writer or cartoonist; but obviously you have some questions in your own mind about some specific political/corporate relationship or you wouldn't of asked me to prove something. I have no idea whether this happened concerning Doonesbury or in the Alladin/Linda situation in Vegas.

Tell Nader to send me along a couple million dollars and I will hang 95% of washington out to dry. The foul is inherent in the system of campaign funding which allows corporate conributions to be laundered and otherwise manipulated beyond the public eye and the media giants which control our news go along with it.

I think it would serve us all better to demand a transparent campaign funding system rather than expecting an economically poor ATS poster to prove what you must know is happening.

Heck, if you can just talk tom delay into giving me a couple hours on the computers of his campaign organization in texas, I am sure I can give you all the proof you need.

Aussie Bloke, when was that your asteroid was suppose to level the playing field?
.



posted on Jul, 22 2004 @ 12:20 AM
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Considering that Trudeau is a member of Skull&Bones just like Bush/Kerry (and that he was a classmate of Bush's at Yale), I don't think he has much to worry about:

www.yaleherald.com...



posted on Jul, 22 2004 @ 10:15 AM
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Originally posted by df1

I have no idea whether this happened concerning Doonesbury or in the Alladin/Linda situation in Vegas.


I was refering to the topic of this thead and simply assumed that your post was also doing so. My bad. I recognize that there is a problem in the system and agree that something needs to be done to reform it. What I refuse to do is come out condemning one side or the other in our current system. The left exerts its social pressures both popular and corpoarate and the right does the same. The two are, IMHO, fairly evenly matched right now though the left will scream that the right has the advantage and the right will foam and rant how the left controls all the major media. I think the system has been hijacked but at least for the time being it is hijacked by both opposing viewpoints. Unfortunately these two extremes tend to drown out the more rational voices of the minority who are not sheeple on either side of the isle. I would support reform that removes all corporate funding from political parties and only allows individual donations. I would also support mandatory release of all financial records of both political parties to confirm that corporate swindling does not happen.

This has the potential however to swing the balance of power to the right since the Repubs have an advantage in individual giving to the party of the Dems, who rely on more large donations from wealthy corporate influences. I do not say that to make any judgements on either party but simply to point out the difficulty in reforming the system so long as there is a disparity between the two. Perhaps this thread could come up with some innovative ways to balance the transition from corporate to private donations. I hate to beat this idea to death but I will mention here that if the EC were a voting body rather than a rote yes man organization then campaining on a national level could be drastically reduced and not require the hundreds of millions of dollars it does today, thus allowing a smoother transition to a corporateless election process. (like the new word I just made up? could become a catch phase "corporateless")

Tell Nader to send me along a couple million dollars and I will hang 95% of washington out to dry. The foul is inherent in the system of campaign funding which allows corporate conributions to be laundered and otherwise manipulated beyond the public eye and the media giants which control our news go along with it.

I think it would serve us all better to demand a transparent campaign funding system rather than expecting an economically poor ATS poster to prove what you must know is happening.

Heck, if you can just talk tom delay into giving me a couple hours on the computers of his campaign organization in texas, I am sure I can give you all the proof you need.

Aussie Bloke, when was that your asteroid was suppose to level the playing field?
.


df1

posted on Jul, 22 2004 @ 02:24 PM
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Originally posted by Johannmon I hate to beat this idea to death but I will mention here that if the EC were a voting body rather than a rote yes man organization then campaining on a national level could be drastically reduced and not require the hundreds of millions of dollars it does today, thus allowing a smoother transition to a corporateless election process. (like the new word I just made up? could become a catch phase "corporateless")


If the EC is to become an elected body, how will you keep the corporate dollars from buying the EC with campaign dollars. It appears to me that an elected EC is just another of level corruption.

Your really stuck on this EC issue, where as you already know I consider an elected EC just another of level bureaucracy at best. Don't you think that corporate campaign reform greatly out weighs any EC change?
.



posted on Jul, 22 2004 @ 02:49 PM
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Originally posted by df1

It appears to me that an elected EC is just another of level corruption.

Your really stuck on this EC issue, where as you already know I consider an elected EC just another of level bureaucracy at best. Don't you think that corporate campaign reform greatly out weighs any EC change?
.


I feel I have addressed the first issue raised under the EC thread here.
Link to Electoral College Thread

I will try not to get off on that tangent in this thread since this thread is about corporate corruption of the political process. Now as to how the EC and corporate campaign reform relate to one another, I think that one can be part of the vehicle for another. I believe that corporate reform is an important issue to address in the next decade. Otherwise we risk loosing our voice as citizens of this nation to the intersts of big money corporations. I also believe that the EC can bring a level of accountablility and to the electoral process that would make it much harder for a corporation to influence elections. It is much easier to spot payoffs to small time candidates that it is to big national ones. Hence background and finacial checks on all EC delegates could more easily spot corporate sell outs. Whereas 50,000 dollars to a national political figure is a needle in their budget haystack, $50,000 to a precinct official is a big payday and makes a noticable impact.

The problem with corporate reform is it is such a huge issue that it will likely not be tackled by any single piece of legislation. Instead it will happen a little at a time piece by piece. It is far too easy for big corporations to block landmark changes in the nation definition and rights of a corportation. It is march harder for them to stop the nibbling away at their influence bit by bit. As such I think that the EC proposal in the above thread would be a nice nibble out of corporate America's power. It is certainly not the whole solution and is still vulnerable to corruption but then again any system we devise will be.

I must take a moment to say that I do not believe that corporations are in and of themselves evil. They have a place and a purpose and are part of the great standard of living that we all enjoy in this country. Anyone who does not recognize the positive influence that corps have had on this nation is either a fool or a fanatic communist/marxist. The problem comes when corporations forget their proper place and purpose and begin to hoard more and more power, wanting to control their shareholders and customers lives rather than the other way around. We need reform but we do not need to throw out the corporate baby with the corrupt bath water.

See also this interesting thread on Corporate America by df1
www.abovetopsecret.com...

[edit on 22-7-2004 by Johannmon]




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