Cleveland Plain Dealer corrects migrant girl cartoon - iMediaEthics

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The corrected Jeff Darcy cartoon

The Cleveland Plain Dealer‘s editorial cartoonist Jeff Darcy drew a cartoon for the paper based on the young Honduran girl shown on Time magazine’s cover.

Darcy now has corrected his cartoon and explained what happened.

“My June 20 cartoon, in which I drew the image of the girl, erroneously stated the girl had been taken from her mother.  Saturday the cartoon and its original post on were corrected and updated.   I was remiss in not confirming, as best possible, the status of the girl and wording the cartoon appropriately when I created it. “

The cartoon shows the young girl in the middle of two text columns. The column on the left is headlined, “What people with a soul see,” and the column on the right reads, “What Trump admin. sees.”

The original cartoon said “traumatized, innocent girl taken from her mother.” It has been changed to read “traumatized, innocent girl detained with her mother at the border.”

Chris Quinn, editor of the Plain Dealer, told iMediaEthics by e-mail, “When the news broke that the girl in the photo had not, in fact, been separated from her mother, several members of our audience asked how we would address that information with regard to Jeff Darcy’s cartoon.”

“Jeff’s cartoon was not inaccurate, really, in that the labeling said that people with a soul see in that girl a child separated from her mother,” he explained. “That’s true.  But, let’s face it, the girl had become a symbol of the separations, and that’s why Jeff used the image in his cartoon. It would be disingenuous to let the cartoon stand through gymnastics of logic. Jeff is one of the most responsible journalists I know, and he immediately realized he should change the cartoon and explain why, which he did. An unwillingness to address an issue like this would harm our credibility.”

Original, uncorrected cartoon

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Cleveland Plain Dealer corrects migrant girl cartoon

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One Response

  1. King Mac says:

    That comment by Chris Quinn is the most unapologetic garbage that I’ve ever heard. I don’t expect a full apology, but at the very least, they should fess up to the fact that they didn’t do their part in investigating the real story. It’s nice to see that they are holding the cartoonist responsible, even if it’s a small gesture like a correction. In this day and age, it’s very easy to get trapped in the political story that’s being told instead of the real one. This is one case of that, where everyone was fooled because someone desperately wanted the fabrication to be true, or at least become someone’s truth and cause outrage. The bottom line is that this cartoon did what it was meant to, it fanned the fires for a particular side, and although I may disagree or agree with the idea behind it, that idea means nothing if it is built on falsehoods.

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