The“Elko Daily Free Press” newspaper in Nevada published this cartoon from Jeff Stahler on 30 October.
In the picture you can see three children. They are dressed up in Halloween costumes and visit a house for traditional trick-or-treating. Among them, one of them is dressed as a ghost with a pointy hood.
The woman looks at them and says:
“How cute! … A witch, a vampire, and a Trump supporter!”.
The newspaper publicly apologised to readers who were offended. They complained to the paper that the cartoon portrayed Trump supporters as racist.
The apology came in the form of editorial published on 30 October(not visible from Europe, you must use VPN) (Capture ) and titled“Trick or treat? Readers don’t see humour in the cartoon”. The paper begins by defending Stahler’s work, giving him the benefit of the doubt on intent, but admits to understanding that readers have made that interpretation, for which it apologises.
“While we cannot pretend to interpret the artist’s intent, neither can we ignore the overwhelmingly negative reaction to his work, and we regret having published a cartoon that so many readers found offensive”
“The Ku Klux Klan’s official newspaper supported Trump in the 2016 election, and the racial context came up again last week when Trump described his impeachment as a “lynching”.
“When it comes to sensitive issues like race and religion, political cartoonists often struggle with where to draw the line. While the reaction to the Halloween cartoon has been extremely negative in Elko, the vast majority of readers who posted comments on Facebook liked it. Although that popularity does not make it suitable for everyone’s consumption.
Our readers have made it clear that they expect more discretion on our part.”
And he closes his text with a warning. Note that I consider a rather shitty punchline as a final flourish because it seems to link the joke in question to a possible hate“crime”.
“We can’t promise that no more anti-Trump cartoons will appear, a year out from the election, but we pledge to do a better job of sorting out those that resort to hate as an attempt at humour.”
At least this time no cartoonist has been hurt, butchered or fired. That’s something.
Related, more than 130 cases worldwide: