Friday, February 17, 2006

Wronging Scooby-Doo

So, am I just too sensitive or is the reference to “Cartoon Protestors” in many news headlines simply wrong?  News editors can’t be oblivious to the silly nature of that phrase, which always brings to mind Yogi Bear and Fred Flintstone among an angry mob of fellow animations.  I mean, this is a very serious issue, and yet that reference seems intended to emphasize how absurd these “cartoon protestors” are regarding their anger.

So what’s up with this?  Is this really the best they could come up with, or is this an underhanded slam at folks they deem as being anti-free-speech?  And if it is a slam, I wonder if it’s possible to get more professional news editors who don’t abuse their position of power in order to attack those they don’t like.  But it’s not just the editors.  It seems as if any semblance of objectivism flies out the window whenever a journalist-type becomes part of the story.  Or am I just reading too much into this?


trilobite said...

As the mohel said in the old joke, "Vat vould you suggest I put on de picture?" Saying "Moslem protestors" would be even worse, surely. And the grammatical demands of headline speech require a descriptive gerund.

Besides, how objective do you have to be before you stop believing that this level of protest over a cartoon looks silly? I don't think that's even "objectivity," it's a sort of super cultural relativism to which newspapers have never pretended.

Doctor Biobrain said...

Trilo - As I wrote a few days ago, I don't think this really is about the cartoons at all. I think the cartoons set-off something that's already been building for awhile.

Besides, I don't see what's so wrong with "Muslim Protestors". It's not like that suggests that all Muslims are protesting; and the only problem would be if there are multiple Muslim protest groups and that readers might be confused as to which issue this group was protesting. But "Muslim Protesters" is often used to describe them. Similarly, the phrase "Christian Protestors" is often used to describe anti-gay protestors. So I really suspect that "Cartoon protestors" is meant to be an insult.

Anonymous said...

Doc, 'Cartoon protesters' is really the best underhanded slam they could come up with.
They try. They really do.

Kári Tulinius said...

Nothing makes me laugh more than when the headline writers use the phrase "cartoon violence"

Anonymous said...

Well, how about "Anti-cartoon protestors"?

In any event, I disagree here, and think the protestors are in the wrong.