Briefs: Laziness/Self-Plagiarism, Newspaper Endorsements

Did Sunday’s editorial cartoon by Journal-Clarion artist Jeff Norwood look familiar? Longtime readers may have noticed that it was identical to the cartoons printed in the paper on the week of Halloween in 2004 and 2000.

The cartoon features a trick-or-treater wearing a scary-looking hockey mask, standing on a porch holding a flashlight under his chin. He is attempting to frighten a nonplussed homeowner labeled with the word “VOTERS” on his backside. In the 3 times the cartoon has been used, only the name on the hockey mask and the word balloon over the trick-or-treater has been changed.

2008: Name on mask is “McCain.” Word balloon: “WooOOOoo…William Ayers…ACORN…Rev. Wright…Tax Increases on Small Businesses, my friends!”

2004: Name on mask is “W.” Word balloon: “WooOOOoo…Flip-flopper…Gay Marriages…Weak on Homeland Security!”

2000: Name on mask is “Bush II.” Word balloon: “WooOOOoo…Stem-cell research…A third term for Bill Clinton…Didn’t really invent the internet!”

The City Desk contacted Norwood for a comment on his work. We asked if readers would be justified in assuming that he had cut some corners out of laziness, or was guilty of perpetuating a hackneyed cliché.

“That assumption would be undermining the irony of my artistic vision,” said Norwood in a terse e-mail. “The real message is that every election season the voters are submitted to the same mud-slinging and same underhanded tactics. The more things change, the more they stay the same.”
- Ray Ingraham

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This weekend also featured several papers’ endorsements in national and local races. The breakdown:

:: Journal-Clarion: Presidental candidate Barack Obama (D), mayoral candidate (“with reservations”) Maribeth Cosgrove (R)

:: News: Presidential candidate Barack Obama (D), mayoral candidate (and imcumbent) Joseph Wilders (D)

:: The Evening Press: Presidential candidate John McCain (R), mayoral candidate (“with some reservations”) Maribeth Cosgrove (R)

:: The Broadsider: Presidential candidate Bob Barr (LP), mayoral candidate Leonard Pierce (Indep.)
- RJ White

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