Political cartoons out of bounds

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To the Editor:

Over the years that my family has subscribed to the Keizertimes, I had always been under the impression that its editor, a trained journalist, held to that most basic tenet of reporting the facts without bias. These last three weeks of editorial comics, however, have been a great reminder to me that even a seasoned veteran such as Mr. Lyndon Zaitz is prone to being impressed upon by the sway of popular opinion.

In the Aug. 8 edition, he published an essentially anti-Semitic and derisive ‘comic’ depicting Israel as wantonly targeting civilians just to look like “the good guys” in their conflict with Hamas fanatics. Fortunately, the following week some good citizen had the decency to rebuke the editor for allowing such a comic to appear in our own city newspaper, reminding him of the vast difference between the careless extremists and their Israeli counterparts, who take no such commensurate joy in the death of their neighbors (except for a very small minority).

Even so, that same week (Aug. 15), Mr. Zaitz chose to publish a ‘comic’ reflecting the viewpoint that the people of Gaza deserve protection just as much as Israel (via Iron Dome), which is true. Hamas, however, has no real interest in such measures, taking a more cynical approach that uses the people they are supposedly helping as PR for their genocidal jihad, as outlined by their own charter. That Gazans have no anti-missile defense is not the fault of their Jewish neighbors, nor of the international community; indeed, these all have poured significant funds into Gaza for the building of schools, hospitals, and other needed infrastructure. Instead, Hamas has taken those contributions and used them to build underground tunnels, which they then use to smuggle weapons or carry out sneak attacks on the civilian population of Israel without provocation.

Most recently, though, in the Aug. 22 edition, he put forth a ‘comic’ regarding the shooting in Ferguson espousing the notion that the deceased, Mr. Brown, was shot solely because of his skin color and labeling the policeman as a thug. What has become clear in the last couple weeks, however, is that there is more to this situation than was initially thought, and that Brown could have been the aggressor is plausible based on the convenience store surveillance tape and eyewitness accounts. A recent similar case in Salt Lake City, where the races of the officer and the deceased were reversed from the Ferguson incident, illustrates that the claims of racial profiling are absolutely ridiculous and demonstrably fallacious; worse still, such a claim unnecessarily induces fear and hatred when none needs to be present, and gives leeway to race hucksters and charlatans like Al Sharpton who prey on such animosity.

In his Aug. 20 Talking Points, Bill O’Reilly reported that, according to the most recent FBI records, just 400 out of 12 million arrests involved fatal shootings by officers (for those of you at home, that boils down to 1 out of every 30,000, which is overwhelmingly less than 1 percent). Statistics also show that the vast majority of African-American murders are committed by non-whites, especially other African-Americans (see: Chicago); therefore, this idea that policemen target black men to be shot according to skin color is totally absurd and contrary to fact.

When the Founding Fathers formulated the First Amendment, they sought to protect the press from the government so journalists could report in integrity without fear of reprisal. Unfortunately, it seems that Mr. Zaitz, as the party ultimately responsible for publishing these heinous ‘comics,’ is slowly joining the large number of media members who are surrendering said traditional journalistic values like fairness and accuracy, thereby giving his readers cause to question his reliability. If he does not put an end to this loss of principle and begin repairing his credibility, I believe this paper will see its readership decline and deprive our community of a valued source of otherwise reliable information.

David Cheney
Keizer

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