I guarantee you will not see this cartoon by Sandy Huffaker in your local newspaper:
Jun 8, 2011
American editors are ever so careful these days not to offend. They're not so worried about the blue-haired ladies who might cancel their subscriptions in a huff as they are about advertisers who will cancel their advertising for fear of the wrath of Blue-Haired Americans for Decency Dot Org.
Editors in Europe are less prudish than their American counterparts. Here's a cartoon by Giorgio Forattini. The subject of the cartoon is Italian Prime Minister Giovanni Spadolini, who was about to succeed himself as head of a second coalition government:
Editors, advertisers, and cable TV newspersonalities would be shocked, shocked, I tell you, to see that cartoon on the editorial page of an American newspaper. Would you believe that the cartoon ran on the front page of a prominent newspaper?
(front page of La Stampa, Turin, August 17, 1982.)
The Denver Post killed a 2000 cartoon by Mike Keefe depicting the state of Florida dangling from Uncle Sam's groin ("Electile Dysfunction"). The St. Petersburg Times spiked a Clay Bennett cartoon in 1994 showing Bill Clinton wearing an "I'm With Stupid" t-shirt with the arrow pointing down at his crotch -- and the cartoon didn't even show any portrayal of anything penile. These, and other classics, found the light of day in David Wallis' Killed Cartoons: Casualties from the War on Free Expression (2007, W. W. Norton & Company). It's a wonderful read, and I thoroughly recommend it.