Target: Idaho Falls Post Register Editor and Publisher Roger Plothow
Goal: Stop censoring Dilbert comic strip’s LGBT content
A few bloggers recently noticed that the Dilbert comic strip run in the local Idaho Falls paper the Post Register differed from the strip published on the official website for the comic. While Dilbert normally features office drama and politics, including “bosses micromanaging, oblivious employees obtaining promotions and tech-savvy professionals mocking the digitally impaired,” creator Scott Adams took the opportunity to comment on the recent recriminalization of homosexuality in India via a Supreme Court ruling. The first of the two successive panels, neither of which was run by the Post Register, shows Dilbert’s talking dog denouncing the decision as “hopelessly ignorant” and outing the Indian intern Asok. The second features Asok worrying about never being able to return to India and about the state of the Indian nuclear program; it concludes with Dilbert speculating that “[t]hey might nuke the Taj Mahal” and Asok agreeing, “I know! That place is so gay, right?”
The Sandusky Register reported that the syndicate that distributes the comic sent two sets of strips for those days, the second set in each case being a neutral strip from 1995. While the Ohio paper printed the originals meant for publication, the Idaho Falls paper silently censored the anti-homophobia strips. One blogger pointed out that LGBTQ issues could not be more relevant to Idahoans currently, seeing as the “legislature made international news by arresting the ‘Idaho 44’ and forcibly removing them from the statehouse for a silent protest asking Idaho to add 4 anti-discriminatory words to the constitution.” Refusing to print the intended Dilbert strips in the Post Register is a mistake that validates the censorship of LGBTQ activists in Idaho and around the globe.
By signing this petition, you are calling on the Post Register‘s editor and publisher Roger Plothow to stop censoring content that addresses current events that are relevant and compelling to locals.
Dear Roger Plothow,
As the editor and publisher of the Idaho Falls Post Register, it is your duty to ensure that information about current affairs is disseminated fairly and responsibly among your subscribers. Your recent refusal to publish the Dilbert comic strips intended for publication, which addressed the recent recriminalization of homosexuality in India, amounts to a failure in fulfilling that duty. Censorship is damaging to the population, and unthoughtful censorship without explanation or acknowledgment is even worse. By silently refusing to run the intended strips, you have acted to further remove the rights and voices of LGBTQ individuals in Idaho, who continue to suffer at the hands of the legislature.
I am calling on you to acknowledge the censorship undertaken by the Post Register recently with regard to the Dilbert strips that were replaced with panels from 1995. I am urging you to apologize for censoring these highly relevant panels, and to refrain from censoring the content of the Post Register in the future, for the benefit of your subscribers.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Time3000 via Wikimedia Commons