Why I hate the Star Tribune, part MMDXXI [With Comment by John]

The Star Tribune observed the death of Rush Limbaugh with an editorial cartoon that is a variation of the old joke I first heard from Moms Mabley. “They say you shouldn’t say nothin’ about the dead unless it’s good,” she said. Referring to her husband, she added: “He’s dead. Good!”

By editorial cartoonist Steve Sack — I think of him as Steve Sack of — the cartoon could perhaps be ignored. We’ve grown accustomed to his disgrace. But Star Tribune editorial editor and company vice president Scott Gillespie added his endorsement of the cartoon in the daily Opinion email to subscribers today:

Good morning,

Our most-read piece at Star Tribune Opinion this morning — “If you can’t say anything nice…” — is only seven words long.

Cartoonist Steve Sack reacted to the news of Rush Limbaugh’s death with restraint, in my opinion, given the controversial talk show host’s impact on our culture and politics during his long and groundbreaking radio career.

Some of our anonymous online commenters were quick to criticize Sack for being insensitive. “Why would you post something so terrible of a person who has just passed away? Very inconsiderate of you!” one wrote.

But others thought the cartoon was on the mark. “Considering the damage he did to public discourse, not saying anything is wildly generous,” one observed.

Like a bylined columnist, Sack’s cartoons reflect his view of the world and not necessarily the opinions of his colleagues or his employer….But in this case, although we never discussed Limbaugh, he captured exactly what I was thinking.

One commenter toward the top of the posted comments really got in the Gillespie spirit: “Sending sincere thanks to whoever came up with this whole mortality deal. You really did us a service yesterday. Much-appreciated.” That comment made the cut over at the Star Tribune. I commented to the effect that it was good of Gillespie to provide readers their daily reminder why so many of us hate the Star Tribune, but my comment hasn’t seen the light of day over there. I’m taking the liberty of letting it hang out here.

JOHN adds: The Sack cartoon and Gillespie email were graceless even by the low standards of the Star Tribune. I would wager my life’s savings that Scott Gillespie has not spent a single hour listening to Rush Limbaugh, and his reference to “the damage he did to public discourse” is merely an expression of party loyalty. Scott chose not to post Sack’s disgraceful cartoon. Here, in its place, is Michael Ramirez’s comment on Rush’s death, which, unlike the viciousness that rules at the Star Tribune, manifests a sense of humanity. Click to enlarge:

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