The Montana Standard has elected to replace the “Non Sequitur” comic panel and strip in daily and Sunday editions. The change will be made as soon as production requirements allow.
The reason for the cancellation is that the cartoonist, Wiley Miller, inserted a profane message in very small lettering in last Sunday’s cartoon.
The message was directed against President Trump, although the target of the message is not the reason for the cancellation. The issue is that inserting a note containing profanity into the comics represents a violation of the relationship of trust between the cartoonist and us, and is abusive to the relationship we have with our readers.
The preservation of our credibility makes it essential to sever ties with the cartoonist. The comics pages are no place for such offensive messages.
To readers who noticed and were disturbed by the message, we apologize.
And to fans of Non Sequitur, we apologize for having to take this step. Again, it’s not about whether or not we approve of the President. It’s about standards. If a reporter or photographer were to deliberately slip such a message into his or her journalistic product, that reporter or photographer would be dismissed. The same standard applies to all contributors to The Montana Standard.
Obviously, children read comics; and this item was all the more egregious, in our eyes, because it was presented as a part of a panel that was offered as a crayon coloring project.
The credibility of journalists and journalism itself is under greater scrutiny than ever before. We believe much of the criticism of mainstream journalism as biased is incorrect and incredibly damaging – and, in fact, designed to do damage. But an incident like this calls our credibility into question all over again – unnecessarily. We cannot overlook such a glaring lapse.
Thanks for your understanding.