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Morning News Demonstrates Tin Ear to West Explosion

Forgive me if the internet has addressed this already. I am only just now looking at Saturday’s paper (having been encouraged to do so by a kind, loving, compassionate FrontBurnervian to whom I owe money). Thursday, the Sacramento Bee published a cartoon by Jack Ohman that depicted Rick Perry, in the first panel, saying, “Business is booming in Texas,” and then, in the second panel, a huge explosion. Ohman was commenting on the business-friendly lack of regulation in Texas. That same day, Thursday, the paper addressed the cartoon on its Trailblazers blog. So far, so good.

That brings us to Saturday’s paper. In the briefs section on page 4A, the News ran an AP item about Perry’s request for an apology from the Sac Bee. Then, on 20A, on the editorial page, the paper ran the cartoon. Understand that the cartoon didn’t accompany the news story. It was the editorial cartoon they chose to run on Saturday.

I have two problems with that. First, it’s too close and too soon. No cartoons about explosions in West in the Morning News. Nope. Just not a good idea. If for no other reason than doing so might cause Zac Crain to kill himself so that he can become a ghost and haunt you until you are driven so insane that you climb the new superstructure being erected for Big Tex and sit there, naked, until a SWAT team has to dart you with a tranquilizer. Maybe you disagree. Maybe you think running that cartoon in a paper this close to West is brave and important and makes the commentary about Texas’ lack of regulation that much more poignant. You’re wrong.

The second problem I have with the cartoon — and this, really, is the bigger of the two problems — is that the Morning News waited until Saturday to run it. If you’re going to insult people and be insensitive to death and destruction, then at least be timely about it.