published Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Letters to the Editor

Cartoon caused additional grief

As a journalist, I am keenly aware of the Fourth Estate's right to freedom of expression. However, as a member of the extended family of Judge Bob Moon, I was "speechless" after viewing the editorial cartoon in the Times Free Press the morning of his memorial service.

I believe the timing of the cartoon showed very poor news judgment on your part, akin to something a tabloid rag such as the National Enquirer might do, and not a stalwart news organization such as the Times Free Press, having read your newspaper every day for a decade while I was a public servant in Washington D.C., working for two of Tennessee's United States senators.

At the very least, the publication of the cartoon on the day of Judge Moon's burial, I believe showed a total lack of compassion for a family in mourning. Every public servant, as should be expected, has supporters and well as detractors who have their right to their opinions, as this country is first and foremost a democracy.

But, shame on you for causing a family additional grief we should not have had to bear on the day we were putting our loved one to rest.

LINDA COOPER, Millington, Tenn.

* * * * *

Bennett foes need democracy course

I've reached the end of my patience with right-wing extremists slamming Clay Bennett's thoughtful, insightful, informed, intelligent, artful liberal cartoons, on my side of the Times Free Press editorial pages.

These ugly diatribes are just so much right-wing superfluous verbosity from those lacking an understanding of democracy. For their edification, democracy is: Rule of the majority, with the right of the minority protected.

Also, the First Amendment of the Constitution guarantees the right of free speech and press. It's a no- brainer, Clay Bennett has the right to express himself in these excellent cartoons and I have the right to enjoy them.

If Clay Bennett's cartoons increases your blood pressure, you have the same First Amendment right not to read them. Simply stay off my side, which is the left Chattanooga Times side of the editorial pages.

I resent uninformed people's attempt to eliminate my First Amendment right to enjoy a free press.

WELDON R. MARKHAM, Member Tennessee Democratic Party Finance Council

* * * * *

Cartoon on judges cruel, insensitive

Having been repeatedly upset by the inappropriate and mean editorial cartoons of Clay Bennett, I was outraged by the cruel, insensitive parody of Judges Moon and Bales.

Starting my mornings by reading the newspaper has long been a highlight for me, but the Times Free Press makes it harder and harder each day to enjoy. I can only hope you put a stop to the ever-increasing offensive content before forcing me to stop subscribing.

LYNDA WALKER, Signal Mountain

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
Livn4life said...

To Weldom Markham, Mr. it's okay for my free expression but not someone who opposes me: 1)I'll bet you enjoyed the tasteless cartoon on the day of Judge Moon's memorial service. There was nothing thoughtful, insightful, informed, intelligent etc. about that. For you and all who insensitively laughed, it's pathetic. And if it was one of "your side" being ridiculed you'd be screaming "FOUL!" 2)The last time I looked all pages of the paper belong to all people. Your "my side" comment of ownership suggests there must be nothing to any of the not your side articles. Now that is a respectful way of existing. And your barking against someone else expressing their contrary views is a slap in the face to the true word liberal.

February 1, 2012 at 6:46 a.m.
rolando said...

And there, in Markham's posting, is the epitome of the Democrat Party's wish to destroy our constitution by limiting to whom it applies. He believes it applies only to those who think as he does. HINT: It doesn't -- it applies equally to us all.

If Bennett has the right to draw whatever he wants [and he does] whether in good taste or not, the rest of us have the right to tell him what we think of his scribblings.

A couple things more; For Markham's "edification" [and other like thinkers], contrary to his uninformed belief this country is not a democracy...we are a representative republic. Let me repeat that. We are a representative republic.

Further, Markham -- in the true Democrat spirit -- apparently detests and will not abide any criticism of his precious Party...all the while denying the loyal opposition their right to express their opinion through the "equal time" concept by refusing to publish, on this website, a political cartoon from the "right" side of this "newspaper".

"I resent uninformed people's [sic] attempt to eliminate my First Amendment right to enjoy a [truly] free press."


February 1, 2012 at 7:33 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

If the editorial staff of the Free Press want to hire a conservative cartoonist and post his/her cartoons on this website, they may do so. Perhaps these comments need to be directed at them. Either that, or pay for a subscription and read ALL the cartoons presented, left and right.

February 1, 2012 at 7:42 a.m.

So it's ok to call for something to be silenced, but not to call for the silencing of the calls for silencing. And it's completely acceptable to silence the latter!

Somehow I think your position is shaped by partisanship.

That said, I agree with lkeithlu, if you want another cartoon online, take it up with the editorial staff, not Markham. Try finding another cartoonist willing to offer their efforts online, and see how much it will cost to pay them.

February 1, 2012 at 9:17 a.m.
riverman said...

Ah, did little Weldy get his feeling hurt? Typical liberal, can dish it out but can't take it.

February 1, 2012 at 9:21 a.m.
sandyonsignal said...

Riverman, Weldon is never going to get his feelings hurt by you. No way! Irritating the Tea Partiers is a reason for Weldon to live. Gotta love the ole Yellow Dawg Democrat. He's the best in this area. Weldon grew up in Alabama, the son of a Baptist preacher, and is a true Democrat through and through. God Bless Weldon Markham.

February 1, 2012 at 9:30 a.m.
sarasmiles said...

Please. Read up on your First Amendment. There is no government action here. These are private citizens expressing their opinion that the cartoon was in bad taste. And it was in horribly bad taste.

February 1, 2012 at 12:34 p.m.
PinkSalmon said...

It's terribly hypocritical to be bashing Clay Bennett over the Judge Moon cartoon when many of his bashers have made cruel insensitive jokes and comments over the death of people they felt didn't deserve to live. As someone who knew Judge Bob Moon I think he would be disgusted by these apparent right-wing Clay Bennett haters exploiting his death in order to justify the attacks on Mr. Bennett. All of you attacking Clay Bennett and who claim to have loved and known Judge Moon so well are a disgrace to his memory. You're the doing disrespecting Judge Bob Moon, his family and his memory. You're all disgusting hypocrits!

These wacko right wingers are attempting to force the TFP hands to get rid of Clay Bennett. Didn't these same fakers have a hand in running of the last cartoonist TFP had? They think all they have to do is operate in groups. If TFP will check the complainers, they likely all come from basically the same area. They do everything as a group, even lie, because they know if the same lie is told by a group that makes that lie more believable.

February 1, 2012 at 3:14 p.m.
riverman said...

Welby is a white trash Alabama redneck just like Bennett. Both of them should move back.

February 1, 2012 at 3:17 p.m.
PinkSalmon said...

Well from your post, riverman, it's apparently clear that even a white trash Alabama-redneck_ has more class than you.

February 1, 2012 at 3:24 p.m.
PinkSalmon said...

And to all the Clay Bennett haters. I understand Chattanooga is the south and educational opportunities are lacking down there, but most everyone across the nation I forwarded the cartoon to, along with the hater remarks, thought the cartoon represented a big chair for anyone to fill who took Judge Moon's place. They said they actually saw the cartoon as a compliment to Judge Moon's years as a judge. As in the term A tall order to fill." Ever heard of that one? The person filling the position would have a difficult time living up to Judge Bob Moon position as a judge. But this isn't about the Judge Bob Moon cartoon, is it? It's about right wingers dislike of Clay Bennett for prior cartoons they felt were too liberal. The Judge Moon cartoon just presented the right opportunity. We* gotcha y'all pegged just right. ;)

February 1, 2012 at 3:30 p.m.
riverman said...

Well why don't you come, "down here," and educate us you arrogant jerk.

February 1, 2012 at 3:51 p.m.
PinkSalmon said...

LOL!! So some o' y'all southerners can dish it out but y'all cain't take it back? Typical. LMAOAU!!

February 1, 2012 at 4:50 p.m.
rosebud said...

To Clay Bennett's Band of Liberal Loonies: your doodle-boy has every right to express his opinions, and spew his venom, no matter how wrong-headed he is. But if he was a man instead of a mouse, he would publicly apologize to Judge Moon's family and friends for the unbelievably bad timing of this cartoon's publication. On the day of a man's funeral? Inexcusably insensitive.

February 1, 2012 at 8:57 p.m.
shen said...

rosebud, where are you right wingnut lunatics rantings when the right side of tfp portray demeaning and derogatory cartoons? You guys 'n gals can dish it out but you can't take it when the spit flies back into your face. I doubt very seriously if any of you have even approached Judge Moon's family and asked how they felt about the cartoon. This is all of you spewing all of your right wing conservative hatred as usual.

February 1, 2012 at 9:37 p.m.
CheriMC said...

Weldon Markham is my father, and he wrote and posted his letter to the editor via the US Postal Service (he doesn't use the internet, so he hasn't read any of these derogatory slurs) a WEEK before Judge Moon's sad and sudden death. His letter was in reference to an earlier publication, and IN NO WAY referred to the "cartoon" depicting Judge Moon. I whole-heartedly agree that it was in DEPLORABLE taste to publish such a thing on the day a family's loved one was being laid to rest, and my heart truly goes out to the Moon family. That said, the publication of my Dad's letter on that same day, when the editors ABSOLUTELY knew that he had not written in reference to the Judge Moon piece was, at the very least, poor judgement - and I rather suspect that it was published to promote further enmity and controversy, at the cost of further pain to the Moon family and vilification of my father. DESPICABLE.

February 3, 2012 at 12:07 p.m.
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