[cifnmedia] Cartoon Pokes Fun Of Fire Dept.

  • From: Sean & Kimberly Aaron <cifn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: CIFN LIST <cifnmedia@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 20 Mar 2004 07:36:50 -0800 (PST)

Updated: 03-19-2004 04:22:10 PM

Controversial Chicago Newspaper Cartoon Pokes Fun Of Fire Dept.

Courtesy of WBBM 780 

Chicago) -- Members of the Chicago Fire Department, from the firehouses on up 
to the top firefighter at City Hall are hopping mad over a Tribune editorial 
cartoon that ran Sunday. 

The cartoon depicts three white Chicago firefighters shooting water at three 
black men up against a wall with their hands behind their heads. A couple of 
dogs with the firefighters snarl at the black men and a fourth firefighter 
shouts to the others, "No, guys...the fire's over there", as he points to a 
building in the opposite direction. 

Chicago Fire Commissioner Jim Joyce says he's outraged by the cartoon and says 
it conjures up reminders of the excesses by police in the Deep South in the 
1950s. Joyce says "there is nothing like that that has ever taken place in this 

Joyce says he has "fired the Tribune" and canceled his subscription. Chicago 
Firefighters Union president Jim McNally says he has heard from a number of 
firefighters who have also canceled their subscriptions to the paper because of 
the cartoon. 

McNally calls the cartoon a "desecration" .... a "slap in the face to 
firefighters". Commissioner Joyce says "to put a scare in the citizens that our 
firefighters would ignore their emergencies is just wrong". 

The cartoon was a "special to the Tribune" drawn by Pulitzer Prize winning 
cartoonist Doug Marlette whose biography says draws for New York Newsday. 
Chicago Tribune Public Editor Don Wycliff could not be reached for comment by 
WBBM, but he tells the Sun-Times he does not think the cartoon "crossed the 
line", that it was "satire". 

The cartoon followed weeks of stories about racial slurs uttered over the 
Chicago Fire Department radio system. Two firefighters were suspended because 
of one of the incidents. The fire department says it has not been able to trace 
the origin of the others and suggests some of them might have been from hackers 
breaking in to the fire department system. 


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More Racial Slurs On Chicago Fire Radios Reported 
Mayor Wants Illinois Firefighter Disciplined For Slur 
Authorities Investigate Racial Slur On Chicago Fire Dept. Radio 
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Sean A. Aaron (CIFN*1)
Central Illinois Fire Network

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