Trojan Free Speech of the Day

Abortion Debate,Doonesbury,Garry Trudeau,Pat Bagley,Salt Lake Tribune
- -

Though the Salt Lake Tribune did run most of Garry Trudeau's controversial Doonesbury story arc concerning the ultrasound bills making the rounds in state legislatures across the country, it opted out of publishing today's strip, which features the purposely contentious line, "By the authority invested in me by the GOP base, I thee rape."

The Tribune's staff cartoonist Pat Bagley felt the decision was a blatant first amendment violation on the part of his paper, so he "snuck" the strip in by tacking it on to his own riff on Trudeau's feather-ruffling plotline.

For the sake of context, Bagley's strip is referencing disgraced former Utah House Majority Leader Kevin Garn, who was forced to resign after it was revealed that he had gone hot-tubbing in the nude with a minor.


Comic Strip Controversy of the Day

Abortion Debate,Comic Strip Controversy,Doonesbury,Garry Trudeau
- -

Comic Strip Controversy of the Day: Several newspapers are reported running "flashbacks" -- i.e. old strips -- in lieu of this week's Doonesbury, which deals with the recent spate of anti-abortion ultrasound bills.

"We thought the strips were over the line for the comics pages and won’t be running them," Oregonian features editor JoLene Krawczak told Jim Romenesko. "We’ll tell readers where they can read them online."

The more controversial strips, expected to run Tuesday and Thursday, contain the lines "Do your parents know you’re a slut?" (directed at the strip's protagonist by a "state legislator" after she tell him she's been using the health clinic's contraceptive services) and "By the authority invested in me by the GOP base, I thee rape" (announced by the doctor administering the pre-termination sonogram).

The first strip in the series has gone live, and can be seen above (click to embiggen).

This will be the first time in Doonesbury's 42-year history that artist Garry Trudeau has used the strip to poke poignant fun at the abortion debate.

"I chose the topic of compulsory sonograms because it was in the news and because of its relevance to the broader battle over women's health currently being waged in several states, Trudeau told the Washington Post.

He continued:

For some reason, the GOP has chosen 2012 to re-litigate reproductive freedom, an issue that was resolved decades ago. Why [Rick] Santorum, [Rush] Limbaugh et al. thought this would be a good time to declare war on half the electorate, I cannot say. But to ignore it would have been comedy malpractice.

[romenesko / wapo / bleedingcool.]