Letters to the Editor: Cartoons tell story TV does not

Letters to the Editor: Cartoons tell story TV does not

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Cartoons tell story TV does not

Two recently published political cartoons in this newspaper conveyed extremely important messages, neither of which would appear on our most watched TV network, FOX.

It appears we need a print medium to get the fullest picture of what's going on in our world if all we do is look at the cartoons. A tiny example of print's value is a cartoon in the Jan. 4 edition of this paper where we see Trump holding impeachment papers and beating war drums with his foot.

How far Trump is willing to go to avoid impeachment may not occur to non-readers, and possibly going to war does have a certain significance. We need newspapers. This information would never appear on FOX news.

A prior but recent cartoon also conveyed a profoundly meaningful message. A husband and wife are shown watching separate TV shows, one FOX, one MSNBC. She says, "we used to watch the same news at the same time," calling to mind such names as Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, Huntley and Brinkley, Tom Brokaw, and others who were widely watched and trusted.

The message here is that great damage was done to a shared political vision in America with the advent of cable news. How many of us have been sensitive to its being such a destructive force in polarizing our nation politically? For total objectivity, serious viewers now turn to NPR, for which federal funds are cut each year by Trump, a truth hater since facts always make him look bad.

But how many of us watch NPR news? Meanwhile, newspapers whose investigations have protected us locally and nationally for centuries, are dying out or losing readership all over America, putting our democracy at great risk.

Consider this: FOX is most watched despite the fact that it makes no pretense of being an ethical news channel, having chosen to become Trump's personal PR station. Does that mean we are already a second rate nation with significant press controlled by a President? Is America no longer the world's moral and ethical leader? We'll know the answers this time next year.

Jack Miles

Santa Maria

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