I just got this interesting email from the editorial page editor of the Pocono Record:

Cartoon by Daryl Cagle of MSNBC.com.

Hi Daryl,

Just wanted to pass along a criticism from a very, very angry white male reader.

On Sunday, Aug. 2 I ran an editorial on prison reform noting the U.S. claim to fame-high prison population and advocating that we look more closely at models where electronic monitoring, parole etc. are used.

This afternoon I came back from lunch to find a real lunatic-fringe, more than 5-minute-long diatribe on my voice mail. The guy ran out of time, so he called back and left another few minutes of vituperation.

To accompany the corrections-reform edit, I had used your March 5, 2008 cartoon of the guys in striped jail suits jumping out of the bursting can. I also ran, small, in the editorial, Adam Zyglis’ cartoon of the same date dealing with the same topic.

This caller was outraged because all the prisoners he could see in the cartoons were white. He took off on that big-time.

Adding fuel to the fire was a story we ran on page 1 that day featuring an interview of a local white woman whose son, a Marine, had been killed along with his black wife, while stationed in California. Four black guys, fellow Marines, have been charged. The guy took off on that, too, saying that if it had been four white guys it would be all over the news (It WAS all over the news, but apparently he missed that page-one point somehow · .)

Anyway I just wanted to pass along this guy’s seething, roiling criticism of the liberal media portraying criminals as white and victims as minorities.

So next time you depict jail birds, if you want to make this guy happy make sure they’re all black, okay?

Right.

Best,
Paula Heeschen
Editorial page editor
Pocono Record
Stroudsburg, PA

Cartoon by Adam Zyglis of the Buffalo News.