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Why the Washington Post didn’t run Non Sequitur
Last Sunday’s Non Sequitur that didn’t feature Mohammad was replaced in several metro newspapers including the Washington Post. The Post’s Ombudsman Andrew Alexander interviewed Non Sequitur creator Wiley Miller and tries to explain why his paper opted not to run the cartoon.
Still, Style editor Ned Martel said he decided to yank it, after conferring with others, including Executive Editor Marcus W. Brauchli, because “it seemed a deliberate provocation without a clear message.” He added that “the point of the joke was not immediately clear” and that readers might think that Muhammad was somewhere in the drawing.
Some readers accused The Post of censorship. “Cowards,” e-mailed John D. Stackpole of Fort Washington, one of several who used that word.
Miller is fuming. The award-winning cartoonist, who lives in Maine, told me the cartoon was meant to satirize “the insanity of an entire group of people rioting and putting out a hit list over cartoons,” as well as “media cowering in fear of printing any cartoon that contains the word ‘Muhammad.’ “
“The wonderful irony [is that] great newspapers like The Washington Post, that took on Nixon . . . run in fear of this very tame cartoon, thus validating the accuracy of the satire,” he said by e-mail.