Cumberland Times-News

November 29, 2013

Paper great, but editorial cartoons aren’t so good

To the Editor:
Cumberland Times-News

— I recently retired and moved to Western Maryland from Baltimore County.

I like my morning newspaper and now have more time to read it, I have been favorably impressed by the Times-News excellent local coverage, and the paper’s West Virginia and Maryland local sports news.

I think the coverage is better than the Baltimore Sun, which I’ve been reading for the past 50 years, in many ways.

Also the Times-News doesn’t seem to be shrinking before my eyes as does the Sun, and the delivery service is far more efficient.

I also appreciate that the Times-News makes a genuine effort to show balance on the Editorial page and as an old Adlai Stevenson Democrat I am willing to endure the inanities of Cal Thomas in order to be refreshed by the insightful comments of Cokie Roberts and What’s-his Name.

But the balance in columnists is entirely lacking in the choice of editorial cartoons.

Most of them appear to be done by members of the tea party and alternate between depictions of President Obama as either Steppin’ Fetchit or Machiavelli. I find this imbalance a bit disturbing but can live with it.

But the Thanksgiving Day cartoon showing the Puritan family gathered around the table with the caption: “And we’re thankful for a small unobtrusive government that doesn’t try to run our lives” is either an outrageous bit of irony (which I don’t believe for a moment) or betrays an amazing ignorance of history.

The massachusetts Bay Colony was a theocracy dominated by the Puritans in which the ordinary lives of the people were dictated by leaders of this church/state to an extent unknown before or since in the America.

Can it be that Mr. Varvel never read “The Scarlet Letter” or heard of the Salem Witch Trials?

Bootz D. Mercer

Frostburg