Screw the Observer, get Doonesbury online

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The Charlotte Observer's decision not to run Wednesday's Doonesbury cartoon is just the latest bit of soulless, corporate cluelessness to come from That Big, Ugly, Prison-Looking Building on South Tryon. Tomorrow's strip will be set in Iraq, where soldiers watching TV hear that Obama has won the election. According to features editor Mike "Still living in the '90s" Weinstein, the Observer won't run the strip because — get this — if McCain wins, it could be "odd — perhaps confusing" to readers, and only about half of us would find the strip funny. You don't know whether to laugh or cry over this latest bit of kneejerk flinching. First, thank you, Observer, as always, for talking down to your readers and treating them like morons. Second, if you only ran strips that more than half your readers found funny, we'd finally be rid of crap like Family Circle, Hagar and Beetle Bailey. Hey, Editor Mike: be a man and just tell the truth — you don't want to take the calls from pissed off McCain supporters. It's a spineless reason for not running the strip, but at least some folks would respect your honesty.

But here's the real point, Editor Mike: Readers can get the strip at Doonesbury.com — every day! Get a clue, guy: You're not the only source in town for comics, just as the daily isn't even close to being the only source for news anymore. What's truly "confusing" is why the Observer's editors keep acting as if the daily is still the definitive news and features source for the city — the big dog — when, actually, the paper is being whittled down to what we guess will soon be pamphlet size by competition from this era's 24-hour news cycle and the Internet. You'd think the daily would be interested in getting as many eyes to look at the paper as possible, which, in this case, would mean running a popular, politically oriented strip on the day after a big national election. It's hopeless, folks. Soulless, milquetoast corporate mindsets rule the roost at the Observer. This latest Doonesbury idiocy is just one small example.

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