So the two Chicago dailies have one more thing in common, in addition to being in bankruptcy and cutting staffs and news holes.
Both papers now have right-of-center political cartoonists. Each paper employs only one staff cartoonist, so that's a mighty megaphone.
With Tuesday"s hiring of Scott Stantis as staff cartoonist to replace Jeff MacNelly, who died nine years ago, the Chicago Tribune has given the platform and a seat on its editorial board to a man who, according to the Tribune's media writer, Phil Rosenthal, is a "self-described libertarian conservative." Rosenthal reports that Stantis considered running as a Republican for the Alabama state Senate.
Currently with the Birmingham News, a once-a-week contributor to USA Today, and syndicated to some 400 newspapers, Stantis is also creator of the "Prickly City" comic strip which, interestingly, the Tribune dropped a couple of years ago.
The Tribune's editor told Rosenthal that Stantis' cartoons will, at times, be "used on Page one."
The Chicago Sun-Times has long had a no-holds-barred conservative in Pulitzer Prize (1989) winner Jack Higgins. His recent cartoon on Bill Clinton's trip to North Korea to bring back the two, young, imprisoned American journalists shows a jovial Big Bill walking and chatting with the smiling, diminutive North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-il Bill asks him:
"Why me? Why here? I dunno. Maybe it's just because I'm so good at picking up chicks."
Another shows the crash of one of the the teleprompter-dependent Obama's teleprompters: "The teleprompter has left a suicide note."