Morning News Demonstrates Tin Ear to West Explosion, Ctd.

An Aggie-loving FrontBurnervian called to remind me of something. This hubbub about the West cartoon must feel familiar to Keven Ann Willey, the editorial page editor of the Dallas Morning News. Let me take you back to 1999, when the A&M bonfire collapsed, killing 12 students. The next day, the Arizona Republic published a cartoon that compared the bonfire accident to the 1993 Branch Davidian fire and to the 1998 dragging murder of a black man in Jasper, Texas. The cartoon called them “Texas Bonfire Traditions.” I can’t show you the cartoon because the paper pulled it from its website (and all others, apparently) and apologized for its poor judgment. The paper also offered to make a $10,000 donation to a memorial fund (which offer A&M declined). The editorial page editor of the Arizona Republic at the time? Keven Ann Willey.


  • Peter Kurilecz

    here is an interesting link about it,2815343

    maybe you should post a reward for anyone who can find that cartoon online

  • Tim Rogers

    I checked the Wayback Machine. For some reason, the URL for the Arizona Republic has been excluded from it. Perhaps this is something larger newspapers do as a matter of course, to protect their content. Not sure.

  • Peter Kurilecz

    very orwellian to say the least. check with the DPL interlibrary loan dept and request the microfilm for the AZ Republic for that time frame. wonder if the ed cartoon was microfilmed?

  • Bill Marvel

    The cartoon was fair comment regardless of how it plays to the home audience. The question is, should it have played to the home audience?
    Unfortunately, the News, along with many other daily papers, saw fit to eliminate the position of editorial cartoonist as an unnecessary expense, and so it is dependent upon offsite — and usually out-of-state — sources. Would a local cartoonist have drawn so boldly? Perhaps, perhaps not. But jobbing in a cartoon from an outsider pretty much leaves the paper with no excuse. It now has to stand behind that cartoon.