A cartoon by Chris Britt about then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh that depicted his daughter praying upset many readers, the Washington Post reported.
The cartoon showed Kavanaugh’s daughter saying, “Dear God, forgive my angry, lying, alcoholic father for sexually assaulting Dr. Ford.” Kavanaugh mentioned during his Senate testimony last month his daughter said “We should pray for” Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who accused him of attempting to sexually assault her in high school.
“The cartoon was posted to Britt’s Facebook page, where the liberal cartoonist responded to some critics before deactivating his account. Britt told The Washington Post in an interview that he had received thousands of comments attacking his cartoon,” the Post reported.
Britt told the Post, “The cartoon is not about his daughter — it’s about Brett Kavanaugh’s possible heavy drinking, his anger and his possibly sexually assaulting Doctor Ford.”
The Illinois Times‘ name was on the cartoon, but the Times posted on social media that it didn’t publish the cartoon. In a Facebook post, the Times wrote, “While Chris Britt is a regular contributor to Illinois Times, he is not an employee and also engages in work for other publications across the country. The recent cartoon involving Kavanaugh’s daughter was posted on Chris’ own Facebook page; it did not appear in our publication or on our website The Illinois Times name should not have appeared on the cartoon in question and we have asked Chris Britt to remove it.”
Michelle Ownbey, the publisher of the Illinois Times, told iMediaEthics by e-mail that “we did not publish the cartoon in our newspaper or on our website, but it went viral on social media under the presumption that we had.”
According to Ownbey, the paper “had more than 1300+ comments on our Facebook page, plus hundreds and hundreds of calls and emails over the course of the week.” She added:
“Chris Britt has been a regular contributor to our paper for many years, and we do anticipate continuing to use his work. However, we have asked him not to tag us in other cartoons that we do not publish, which was what happened in this case.”
In an editor’s note Oct. 4, the paper’s editor and CEO Fletcher Farrar added,
“This needs to be a country that does not go crazy over editorial cartoons. That happens elsewhere, where free speech is not so well understood, or so deeply ingrained as a defining value. Chris Britt, whose work appears weekly in Illinois Times, has been the target of an over-the-top hate mail campaign after a cartoon he posted on Facebook went viral. Calm down, people. It’s his job to provoke. If you disagree, or even if you’re outraged, that’s OK. Take a few deep breaths and thank God it’s a free country.”
Clarification regarding the Judge Kavanaugh cartoon by Chris Britt:
While Chris Britt is a regular contributor to Illinois Times, he is not an employee and also engages in work for other publications across the… https://t.co/xeZNmn4yDi
— Illinois Times (@ILTimes) October 1, 2018