this morning by Jim Romenesko, next week's Doonesbury cartoons won't be running in some American newspapers. Why? Because cartoonist Garry Trudeau is lampooning the Texas law that requires every woman who's seeking an abortion to get a mandatory transvaginal ultrasound before the procedure can occur.
Here's an example of the barbed humor in the Thursday strip, as described by Romenesko:
In the stirrups, she is telling a nurse that she doesn’t want a transvaginal exam. Doctor says “Sorry miss, you’re first trimester. The male Republicans who run Texas require that all abortion seekers be examined with a 10″ shaming wand.” She asks “Will it hurt?” Nurse says, “Well, it’s not comfortable, honey. But Texas feels you should have thought of that.” Doctor says, “By the authority invested in me by the GOP base, I thee rape.”
A representative for Trudeau's newspaper syndicate, United Press Syndicate, told Fox News that replacement strips would be made available for papers that want them.
The Oregonian of Portland, Ore. — which, like The Times-Picayune, is owned by Advance Publications — wrote a letter to its readers today explaining why it wouldn't be running the strips. Would the T-P follow suit?
Reached by phone this afternoon, Times-Picayune editor Jim Amoss said, "I don’t want to be disingenuous, but we don’t discuss our editorial deliberations in advance." Amoss said he'd read the strips, but didn't say whether the paper would be publishing Doonesbury next week: "I’m afraid you’re just going to have to stay tuned."
The Oregonian article said that the Los Angeles Times and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch were among the papers choosing not to run Doonesbury next week. In an interview late today with The Washington Post, Trudeau said that to ignore the Texas law "would be comedy malpractice."