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Trayvon Martin Cartoonist Apologizes for Being 'Ambiguous'

The editorial cartoon that sparked a national backlash, printed in Tuesday's edition of The Daily Texan.
Image courtesy
The editorial cartoon that sparked a national backlash, printed in Tuesday's edition of The Daily Texan.

As we reported earlier, a student political cartoonist at The Daily Texan has received national attention for a cartoon on the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida. The cartoon by Stephanie Eisner has received criticism from across the country as an offensive depiction of national media coverage.

Eisner has now issued a statement on the furor her cartoon caused, saying she believes the news coverage of the shooting has been biased because Trayvon Martin was black - and that was the point she was trying to get across:

“I apologize for what was in hindsight an ambiguous cartoon related to the Trayvon Martin shooting. I intended to contribute thoughtful commentary on the media coverage of the incident, however this goal fell flat. I would like to make it explicitly clear that I am not a racist, and that I am personally appalled by the killing of Trayvon Martin. I regret any pain the wording or message of my cartoon may have caused.”

Syndicated editorial cartoonist Ben Sargent tells KUT News he thinks the cartoon missed its mark. But he says  the daily grind of turning out material can often lead to cartoons that do so.

"I think when you're doing editorial cartoons there's a point at which the way you express the message gets to be so over the top that you sort of spoil the message because you direct all the reader's attention to that and the visceral reaction to it and you don't get your message across,” he says. “And I think this cartoon kind of erred in that direction.”

Wells has been a part of KUT News since 2012, when he was hired as the station's first online reporter. He's currently the social media host and producer for Texas Standard, KUT's flagship news program. In between those gigs, he served as online editor for KUT, covering news in Austin, Central Texas and beyond.
Ben Philpott is the Managing Editor for KUT. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @BenPhilpottKUT.
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