This week the comic strip Doonesbury, is running a story arc based on the the new book on Palin by Joe McGinniss. There are some very serious allegations in this book and Gary Trudeau grabs a few of them and addresses them in his strip.

The story here though is not Doonesbury but the Chicago Tribune who has decided not to run the strip this week.

The “Doonesbury” strips refer to allegations purportedly contained in an as-yet-unreleased book about former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. The book is not yet available for verification or review by the Chicago Tribune.

To be sure, “Doonesbury” is a satirical cartoon, but the remarks are serious enough that we cannot publish the strip without more information, context and a response from Palin.

Readers have offered the following comments, and we respond to them here:

I looked at Monday’s strip online and didn’t see anything objectionable.
True, the storyline begins slowly, but as the week progresses, the remarks become increasingly serious. Rather than interrupt the narrative, we decided not to run any of the strips.

This is censorship.
This is a judgment call, and we make them every time we have sensitive stories as well as cartoons that do not meet our standards of taste or fairness. And, of course, “Doonesbury” can be found easily online.

I find it extremely troubling when newspapers engaged in censorship. I know they denied censoring the material but when its ok one day and not the next, it is censorship pure and simple. They have decided what is “appropriate” for their (dwindling) readership and that is indisputable. I wonder if every time a politician has been mentioned in a newspaper if they have been given a chance to respond or if the Tribune is just hiding behind that? No wonder people do not read newspapers anymore.

the full feed for the week can be found here.

Here is one of the strips:

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