The Bennington Banner is a newspaper in Vermont that has come under heavy scrutiny recently. The newspaper ran a cartoon that depicted a pile of bodies with the hope to spur debate in favor for gun control.
The cartoon was ran in their Tuesday paper, only two days following the tragic attack in Las Vegas. They faced so much outrage that the newspaper apologized the very same day.
An illustration of dead bodies piled on top of each other was the focal point of the cartoon with a caption floating above that reads, “Whatever Happens in Vegas…”. The Editor Kevin Moran apologized for putting the cartoon in the newspaper. In his apology he said that it was meant to suggest that the federal government will not pass more gun control after the tragedy in Las Vegas.
Moran apologized via facebook saying:
Our interpretation of Randall Enos’ cartoon was that little would be done with regard to gun control measures in the United States even after such an unprecedented tragedy. While we believe that is a conversation that needs to happen in this country, we must first mourn and honor the victims and provide comfort to their families and friends. We regret publishing the cartoon.
He told of the bad timing of the cartoon and that he had family who had experienced loss from the attack. He said, “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Sandy Casey, originally from East Dorset, Vermont, who are enduring grief beyond compare today. We apologize to them and others affected.”
They were not the only paper to run the cartoon. The Telegraph Herald put the cartoon on their website. Shortly after posting the article the Editor, Steve Fisher along with the Executive Editor issued an apology after receiving heavy criticisms. The apology said is shown in part below:
As publisher and executive editor of the Telegraph Herald, we want to address the cartoon that was posted on our website Monday morning and the subsequent statement by one of our editors.
In the past 48 hours, we have made two errors. The first was our error in judgment when we posted a syndicated editorial cartoon by Randall Enos where the intended message was unclear, and as a result, many felt it was insensitive and in very poor taste. Our second error was posting a statement that inadequately apologized for our decision.
Editorial cartoons are social commentary, and we never saw it as an attempt at humor. No one in our organization saw the events in Las Vegas as anything but utter tragedy. We are deeply sorry that it came across as anything less.
At this point the death toll of the Vegas attack sits at 59 innocent people along with over 500 wounded. This article is not only sickening but it shows that some people are willing to do anything to grab the publics attention. These papers knew exactly what they were doing and they did it anyway because there’s no such thing as bad publicity right?