41 Years Later, The Post Publishes Spiked ‘doonesbury’ Watergate Comic For The First Time. Here’s Why…


The plot twist was, The Posts spiking of Doonesbury did not pass unnoticed. On the contrary, It was a very big deal for me at the time, Trudeau tells Comic Riffs this week. Id never been booted from so many papers at once, and the Post was such a surprise. So what was The Posts rationale? In his editorial at the time titled A Comic Strip Isnt a Court, Maynard quoted Post managing editor Howard Simonss explanation: If anyone is going to find any defendant guilty, its going to be the due process of justice, not a comic strip artist. We cannot have one standard for the news pages and another for the comics.(That last sentence, well let just sink in for a moment.) Maynard concluded in his editorial that there is a line across which responsible expression cannot step without running the risk of excision. Trudeau, in my opinion, stepped across that line in having Mark speak as he did. Doonesbury was carried in about 300 newspapers at the time, and more than a dozen pulled the Mitchell strip, including the Boston Globe, the Baltimore Sun and the Los Angeles Times. Maynard quoted Globe editor Tom Winship as saying: Its a beautiful strip, but I have no trouble with this decision. And a Times executive was quoted in news stories as saying his paper did not run the strip because it in effect convicts John Mitchell. So what was the up-shot of the thumbs-down?
41 years later, The Post publishes spiked ‘Doonesbury’ Watergate comic for the first time. Here’s why…

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