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Appalling Cartoon at Newspaper Guild Site Is Evidence That Its Members Are Incapable of Objective Coverage

Tom Blumer's picture

The undisguised bias of a dispatch tonight by Associated Press reporter Laurie Kellman, with help from Scott Bauer, about Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's appearance before a Congressional committee may have as its source two items found at the Newspaper Guild's web site (seen after the jump).

One is an announcement relating to a possible deterioration in the Guild's negotiations with AP, where union members have been working without a contract since November. Immediately below the announcement is an extraordinarily mean and spiteful cartoon produced by "alternative" comic Tom Tomorrow directed at Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan which has no place at the site of a group wishing to at least maintain a fig-leaf pretense of objectivity.

First let's look at several of the sentences seen in the 10:26 p.m. version of the pair's report (saved here at my host for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) -- after the headline ("Wisconsin governor defends hobbling unions'), with which the AP pair may have had help:

  • The opening -- "Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker defended his school of union hobbling as a route to fiscal discipline ..."
  • Paragraph 5 -- "Walker's budget for Wisconsin is just the opposite (of bipartisanship -- Ed.) - an explicit act of partisanship."
  • Paragraph 7 -- "Walker's assault on the public employee unions roiled Wisconsin politics, inspiring widespread protests and a walkout by Senate Democrats in the legislature."
  • Paragraph 8 -- "Former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is set to attend a tea party rally this weekend at the Wisconsin Capitol, the site of recent protests over legislation that would strip union rights for most public workers." There they go again, implying that all union rights are stripped for those involved (in an earlier paragraph, the AP writers claim that Wisconsin's pending law "ends collective bargaining on everything except wages for state and local government employees").
  • Paragraph 9 -- "The bitterness followed Walker to Washington on Thursday. The hearing, billed by Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., as a look at the choices faced by budget-strapped local governments, was more a coming-out for the Republican governor."
  • Paragraph 11 -- "Governors all must balance their budgets, (Vermont Governor Peter) Shumlin, a Democrat, said, and most do it without sparking the kind of animosity roiling Wisconsin."
  • Paragraph 19 -- "(DC nonvoting Congressional Delegate Eleanor Holmes) Norton suggested Walker should take a lesson on civility from Congress, of all places. Though she often disagrees with Issa, for example, 'I have always felt that this was somebody I could talk with and we could have a civil conversation.'"

Now let's get to Guild's home page (it also refers to itself at the "News Media Guild"). It opens with an update published today on the labor dispute with AP:

The News Media Guild launched a nationwide investigation into possible illegal coercive anti-union conduct by The Associated Press after receiving reports this week that managers threatened mass layoffs at the news cooperative. The Guild told AP on Wednesday that it had reports from its members that some managers may have violated the anti-coercion provisions of the National Labor Relations Act. It demanded that AP produce a summary of all management contacts with staff about the ongoing labor negotiations.

Gee, I'm no fan of AP management, but I suspect that the "threats" might really have been suggestions of the possibility that a lot of people might get laid off if a resolution isn't reached. I don't believe AP is required by law to execute a contract with the Guild, which would appear to indicate that if they want to lay Guild members off, they are within their rights to do so.

Below the update on the Guild's home page is the real topper, Tom Tomorrow's cartoon. I've copied the first half, and I'll type the text of the rest, again for fair use and discussion purposes only:


The text of the cartoon's final three frames runs as follows:

  • Frame 4 --
    Heading: "Step Two: Serious people applaud the seriousness of the plan.
    One Man: "Processing the elderly into snack crackers has always been the third rail of American politics."
    Second Man: "It's extremely courageous."
  • Frame 5 --
    Heading: "Step 3: Left-wing critics are portrayed as naive, unrealistic ideologues."
    Man: "If they had their way, government would be required to provide cradle-to-grave ponies and rainbows."
    Woman: "They are so unserious, it is barely worth acknowledging their existence."
  • Frame 6 --
    Heading: "Step 4: The window of acceptable debate is shifted ever further toward outright lunacy."
    Man: "Perhaps we could take a more moderate approach--and simply abandon the elderly in the desert to fend for themselves!"
    Second Man: That's about what I'd expect--from a big government socialist like you!"

It is very difficult to imagine how the members of a union that is in what looks like a death match with the entity which may be its largest employer and whose leadership would publish hateful garbage like the Tom Tomorrow cartoon detailed above can relay news, especially news directly relating to management-labor relations or government finances, in anything resembling an objective manner.

And usually, as with Kellman and Bauer tonight, they don't.

Cross-posted at


#1 I've Always Preferred Tomorrow's Work To Ted Rall's Anyway...

Sounds like some people's skins are too thin, regardless of which side of the aisle they're on. Apparently, if it's more offensive than an Archie, Blondie or The Family Circus cartoon (which I would estimate is about 99.99 percent of every other cartoon) it must be hate-filled. Heck, maybe even Mallard Fillmore may be too much for this website because the main character is a duck.

#2 Yeah sure, pal

We should just stand by while the supposed guardians of journalistic standards and integrity who give us the news every day happily publish a cartoon on their web site which accuses a specific, named conservative of really wanting to euthanize the elderly and turn them into snack crackers.

There's a reason almost no one will publish Ted Rall (though apparently the Guild is open to his work if they find it "funny" enough).

You cannot possibly be that dense.

#3 Tom, surprisingly , some

Tom, surprisingly , some people are that dense!

"The enemy of my enemy is my friend, unless my friend is more evil than my enemy."

#4 I always preferred a one brain, one account policy.

It gets a little tiring seeing a troll get banned just to have him pop right back in and start spewing the same bull that got him banned the first time.

Look at the subject line of this troll. Every word is capitalized.

Why Would Reid Hide It If There's Nothing Wrong With It?
October 29, 2009 - 22:30 ET by The7Sticks

I Don't Know How It Makes You Liberal To Defend Polanski...
September 29, 2009 - 00:03 ET by The7Sticks

They Ought To Get Rid Of The Three-Strikes Law & Jessica's Law
May 20, 2009 - 01:58 ET by The7Sticks


Please.We do our part knocking these trolls around. Why do we have to beg to get a troll banned again when it was banned for cause at least once already? This troll was banned for cause after a really nasty post insulting the Pope and Catholics. And he is here brazenly using nearly the same name making hostile post after post insulting the site and its contributors.

Get rid of this troll so we can move on to new trolls that keep popping up thinking they can lie to the stupid right wingers.

#5 I agree Sir

7Sticks needs to be nuked... pronto!

_____________________________________________________________ I'm not too drunk to dance! It's just that people keep stepping on my hands!

#6 No Worry

There is nothing to worry about here no one actually believes that AP has any journalistic integrity. Base on your comment though I would say the thin skin is not on the side of this website.

#7 Are you serious?

Then you must think Doonesbury is a regular riot! I know why your nickname is the real7sticks-cause everybody here would like to take real7sticks and shove up up your sick, demented, liberal ass!

When will liberals WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE! -Me

#8 Someone should create a

Someone should create a cartoon portraying Pres. Obama as wanting to to institute Solyent crackers as "end of life care", with a death panel deciding what color crackers people will be, submit it to AP, and see if they run it.

I'd wonder if you would think objections to that would be the result of 'too thick skin'. I don't think you're being objective at all.

#9 The guild has a perfect opportunity

At this point in time, when their value is in question, the Guild should be presenting their best face to show the quality they represent. It is very odd that some of them would do the exact opposite. Those who prove their lack of worth this way should simply be unloaded. Quality, integrity, honestly and objectivity have been difficult to find in the MSM, perhaps this could be the beginning of getting rid of the dead wood.

#10 Seems like...

Seems like the kind of cartoon the Nazis used against Jews 75 years ago...

..or like one Hezbollah would use against Israel today.

#11 They Simply Illustrate...

These people simply simply illustrate a known fact: If they ever spoke the truth, practically no one would want to be a part of their far out [To the left!] ideas. Instead, they get their cover by coming up with such deceitful and malicious garbage. To quote the Bible, "By their fruits, you shall known them"!

"Old Soldiers never die, they just fade away"!

#12 It's a breeze

If you want to make the left happy it only takes two steps:

  1. Give the government all your money
  2. Give the government control over every aspect of your life
Americans keeping their own earnings is a Civil Right! Demand your Civil Rights!

#13 I was afraid of that

I think I will deny them anyway

Seek Truth, Defend Liberty

#14 Even THAT wouldn't satisfy

Even THAT wouldn't satisfy the Obama regime.

#15 Correct.

The Left's answer to "How much do you want?" is "More".

#16 They have no argument so they resort to personal attacks

Collective bargaining was given to public employee unions by an act of the legislature in each state where they have that privilege. It is not a human right. What the legislature gives a future legislature can take away.

It is a pathetic tactic developed in the 60's to emotionally derail any discussion of the subject by the side which has no logical argument


Madison and Jefferson and Franklin built a Republic - Roberts killed it! 

#17 The cartoon

That cartoon is from a vile and vicious Neo-Bolshevik political bomb thrower named 'tom tomorrow.'

Apparently, Lefties get a big endorphin rush from tom's bright crayon colors and hate monger scribbling.

Petulant children. Go figure.

As for 'media guild' and 'objectivity' in the same sentence, I have no idea what you're talking about...

#18 Well

he did get one part right. LIberals do expect cradle to grave ponies & rainbows.

President Obama is a Muslim (from his own lips), Kenyan (read it from his publicist) a homosexual (read it on a news magazine cover) and a Socialist (I'm alive and can see it for myself)

#19 Tom Tomorrow is slipping

No mention of Haliburton or the Koch Brothers in that cartoon strip.


"You can’t go take a trip to Las Vegas...on the taxpayer’s dime." Barack Obama

#20 Policy Problem

While I heartily endorse the suggestion of a "one brain, one usrid" policy as suggested above, I have a few serious doubts concerning implementation. In the interests of space I'll mention only the one I see as impacting the largest number of Progie-posters. The hugh & cry of "unfair" from the Progies would be deafening... Only 1 usrid for all those people? To argue it as a natural exchange for using a single brain in common... communistically, if you would — it is hardly satisfying. Indeed, it strikes me as somewhat like sitting down to a dinner of stale crusts while your overseer drips with rib-sauce and waygu beef au jus while incessently lecturing you that you eat too richly.

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