A note from Opinion Page Editor Tony Fins:
Following our Reject Corner posting this week, Chan took issue with my version of events. He points out, rightly so, that his comment about Obama and not seeing anything to criticize referred to the previous few days worth of news leading up to the drawing of the cartoon and not the entire campaign. That's true. Chan has drawn critical cartoons of the Democratic nominee throughout this election.
The larger point I was trying to make is that, as editor of the Opinion pages, one of my duties is to look at the broad menu of viewpoints and topics that we offer day-to-day. It's my role to make sure that the paper offers as comprehensive a take on political commentary as possible.
This is why I shot down the Palin cartoon. I felt that we needed more diversity of topics and themes that week. For the record, I thought the cartoon was effective and funny. Just ill timed, considering what we had printed the few days leading up to this one.
I think Tony’s statement provides an effective response to those who feel that the Sun Sentinel rushes headlong into so-called doctrinaire editorial positions. Our Opinion staff and I, personally, have been accused of holding irrational viewpoints at all ends of the ideological spectrum. In fact, we arrive at the Sun Sentinel’s institutional positions through a collegial process that reflects the varied backgrounds of the members of our staff. Tony, as he has mentioned, maintains a sense of our overall balance and direction as our editor.
In my particular case, since I sign my work, my cartoons reflect my own point of view rather than that of the institution for which I work. I am not so irrational as to dismiss out of hand the viewpoints of those who disagree with me. In fact, a commentator’s maturity derives from his ability to incorporate new thinking and opinion into his worldview when it appears to make sense. This is essential to maintaining one’s credibility as a provider of meaningful opinion. I do not dispute that I have leaned more heavily, of late, on the candidacy of John McCain. This is because he has done such an effective job of executing the news-grabbing turn of strategy that begs for an editorial response (the choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate being one of them).
As a testament to Tony’s remark about timing, the cartoon presented here--which was the subject of the aforementioned Reject Corner--will be running, appropriately, on the Sun Sentinel’s Opinion Page on Thursday, the day of the Vice-presidential debate.