I think it’s time for a bit of an education for some folks about what an editorial cartoon is.
The cartoon is the opinion of the artist, just like a column is the opinion of that particular columnist, or a letter to the editor is the writer’s opinion.
Instead of words, the artist draws.
All of these are not necessarily the opinions of the newspaper. The go on the page to spark thought, encourage debate.
When we place an editorial cartoon in The Voice, it is the opinion of the artist. Most of our cartoons these days are done by Theo Moudakis, a respected Canadian editorial artist.
In the past five weeks, his cartoons have been critical of Justin Trudeau, praising of Doug Ford, making light of the basic irrelevance at the moment of the federal NDP, and of two kids who are out trick or treating near the white house. One says to the other, “Keep walking. That’s where crazy old man Trump lives.”
And we received a few e-mails about the latter cartoon, but one stood out in particular, accusing us of having “petty political bias” that is “very disturbing.”
I replied with a review of our recent editorial cartoons and how they pretty much went after everyone across the political spectrum.
The reply: “You live in a liberal fantasy bubble.”
This newspaper has at times been accused of being anti-conservative, anti-liberal, and probably anti-NDP.
That means we’re doing our job if we’ve irked folks across the board politically.
There’s a simple process to holding elected officials accountable. When you are in office and in leadership, your decisions are dissected and criticized. We here at The Voice also believe in pats on the back as well, when warranted.
Since our editorials are almost always focused locally, the provincial, federal and national opinion commentary on our opinion page is usually found in the editorial cartoon and letters to the editor.
We’re a hyper local publication and believe in focusing on the good and bad that is taking place in Chatham-Kent.
When it’s election season here, be it federally or nationally, our focus expands to include the platforms of candidates seeking office in Chatham-Kent Leamington and Lambton-Kent-Middlesex ridings, but we don’t go much further than that.
Again, we are a local newspaper. For those seeking a broader national and international political platform, there are many options available to you in print and online.
So, when someone urges me to “consider a more juvenile occupation such as finger painting,” I laugh.
And when an e-mail asks if we’ll be posting a cartoon about “Sleepy Joe,” well, it depends on what the cartoonist supplies. It’s his opinion, after all. We just select from what is offered, based on humour, relevance and, yes, what reaction it might elicit.
For “old man Trump,” mission accomplished.