There's an old proverb that says years from now no one will remember what you said, or what you did. They will only remember how you made them feel.
If that's the case, Wednesday's editorial cartoon made people feel a great deal of anger. Since the Standard has received some comments on this cartoon, I thought I would explain the process.
In case you're wondering, I'll end the suspense. I am the one who picks the editorial cartoons we use. Occasionally someone will be in my office while I'm building the Opinions page and I'll ask for their input, but typically it's just me looking over the options.
You might be surprised to know that in 18 years as editor of the Standard, editorial cartoons have been the root of more complaints than any other segment of the newspaper. Court cases rank No. 2.
We buy our editorial cartoons from a national syndicate which provides 10 per week. Since we publish three times a week that gives me seven extra -- and I need all that wiggle room.
The vast majority of editorial cartoons sent to us, I'd estimate 75 percent, are about President Trump. This isn't unique because when Obama was president, I'd say 75 percent of the cartoons were about him. The same goes for George W. Bush and certainly Bill Clinton since I was editor for over a year of his presidency.
I've been told by many readers they don't appreciate constant cartoons about Mr. Trump. With this in mind, I try to steer clear of Trump cartoons when possible, although a couple do make the paper, just like all the Obama, Bush and Clinton cartoons did. I often run cartoons, and columns, I don't agree with to present another point of view.
On balance, the purpose of editorial cartoons is not to be funny. On occasion they are clever, but the underlying purpose is to make a statement on an issue.
All this brings me to the editorial cartoon we published Wednesday. It's a cartoon which has been called distasteful and insensitive, among other things.
I've heard those comments and can tell you it's never my intent, or our intent at the Standard, to offend. It's our goal to provide relevant information and create meaningful dialogue about issues facing our community and our nation.
Since several people have asked what I was thinking in publishing a cartoon where a florist offers a discount to mass shooting victims, I'll provide my answer.
Our reaction to mass shootings, as a nation, has become remarkably mechanical: 1) pray for the victims, 2) take no action, 3) repeat. The cartoon was a commentary on that cycle and based on reactions it was very offensive and insensitive.
It was never my intent to belittle mass shooting victims, who are innocent people attending a concert in Las Vegas, a church service in Texas, or elementary school in Connecticut. It was never my intent to be distasteful or to demean. I apologize if this was inferred.
Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.