Cartoon of 10 December in which Garrick Tremain singles out Otago Daily Times editor Barry Stewart for capitulating to criticism and accuses him of pushing him under the wheels of a metaphorical bus. The duel between the cartoonist and his editor begins.
In early December, the New Zealand newspaper apologised for a cartoon about the measles outbreak in Samoa and suspended cartoonist Garrick Tremain Read story.
Now, the cartoonist has hit back by publishing two cartoons on his website in which he bluntly blasts his editor.
The publisher’s capitulation
The cartoon entitled “An ode to capitulation” shows the image of a man under a bus and the text:
“An editor, so timid, frightened by the PC (Political Correctness) uproar … threw his cartoonist under the bus”.
On the left is the editor running away from the scene.
This is serious, man
A day earlier, he published another cartoon making an ironic direct allusion to the apology the paper published on 5 December on the front page and which was entitled We got it wrong (We were wrong).
In the joke, set in a bar, a customer asks the barman if the ODT front-page story he is reading, entitled “He’s a Dog Tucker“is about something gory about Prince Andrew.
“This is serious, mate … some cartoonist making jokes,” replies the barman.
Cartoon from 9 December.
Apology on the cover, 5 December
It’s going to be very interesting to follow the evolution of this tug of war, if it goes further, between the editor and the cartoonist.
According to the newspaper, which has refused to comment to the local media beyond what has already been said the cartoonist is still in a kind of job limbo.
He’s “suspended” until the company makes a decision on what happened, so technically they haven’t fired him, but they’re not publishing his cartoons either.
If I had to bet, I’d put my money on the “silent dismissal” option to get rid of the cartoonist trying not to make any more noise.
Although seeing the cartoonist’s initial reaction and his response in these new cartoons, not only do I think it’s too late, it’s very likely that, if they decide to fire him, they’ll have to eat a few more hearty helpings of noise.