Faced with an advertiser boycott over a pretty mild cartoon, a newspaper decides not to upset anybody by being at all relevant anymore:
The editorial staff and management team of the Bucks County Courier Times respect the work of law enforcement and appreciate the risks they take and sacrifices they make each day.
The editorial cartoon that was published in our newspaper on Sunday, Dec. 7, was a commentary about the broad and complex relationship between black youth and police in America. It’s a relationship that has room for improvement, as has been acknowledged by members of both communities.
Though we don’t know what was in the heart and mind of the award-winning syndicated cartoonist who penned the cartoon, it was selected for publication for thoughtful reflection on that relationship. It in no way was intended to indict the law enforcement community.
If we had recognized prior to publication that the cartoon would have caused unintended offense, our editors would have selected a different one for Sunday’s newspaper. Editing a newspaper is not easy and we don’t always get it right.
Yeah. Let’s not make anybody think. Let’s not make anybody worry. Let’s not, for the love of God, give anybody any reason to read us and FEEL anything. Let’s just run cartoons about Christmas. Let’s just try to be less and less useful and interesting and vital and real, until nobody reads us at all anymore. That will be best. If nobody cares, nobody will be angry and we won’t have to defend anything we do.
Fucking hell. If you are looking for an example of what killed newspapers, look no further than this kind of gutless pandering to the loudest common denominator, this under-knuckling to the slightest objection, this total abdication of the responsibility to set an agenda or provoke a discussion.