Texas governor demands apology over newspaper's plant blast cartoon

Texas governor demands apology over newspaper's plant blast cartoon
Montreal Gazette

POSTED: Saturday, April 27, 2013 - 8:56am

UPDATED: Monday, April 29, 2013 - 1:26pm

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is demanding an apology from a California newspaper that published a cartoon that seemed to link his push for less regulations to the recent fertilizer plant explosion that killed 14.

"The Sacramento Bee published a disgusting 'cartoon' mocking the deadly explosion in West. While I will always welcome healthy policy debate, I won't stand for someone mocking the tragic deaths of my fellow Texans and our fellow Americans. I have written the editor and asked that they apologize to the citizens of West," Perry wrote on his official Facebook page.

An editor at the paper defended the cartoon.

"Jack Ohman's cartoon of April 25 made a strong statement about Gov. Rick Perry's disregard for worker safety, and his attempts to market Texas as a place where industries can thrive with few regulations," said Stuart Leavenworth, the paper's editorial page editor. "It is unfortunate that Gov. Perry, and some on the blogosphere, have attempted to interpret the cartoon as being disrespectful of the victims of this tragedy."

Editorial Cartoonist Jack Ohman also responded to some reader criticism of his cartoon in a column Thursday.

Ohman said he stood by the cartoon and listed many reasons he believes Perry's policies deserve scrutiny.

"The Texas governor's campaigning notwithstanding, should I have used the explosion as a vehicle to illustrate my point? I did. I stand by it," Ohman wrote.

The cartoon, published Thursday, shows Perry standing at a podium in front of signs about lower taxes and lower regulations proclaiming "Business is booming in Texas."

The next frame of the cartoon shows a huge explosion alluding to the April 17 fertilizer plant tragedy in West, Texas, that killed 14 people, injured up to 200 and destroyed more than 100 homes.

Days after the cartoon was published, it was still drawing mostly negative responses on the Sacramento Bee website.

The explosion created a crater nearly 100 feet wide and 10 feet deep, and devastated the small town. Officials are still trying to determine what caused the fire that lead to the explosion.

Perry said he was offended the cartoon was published Thursday, the same day the governor, President Barack Obama and many others gathered for a memorial for the victims.

"Publishing this on the very day our state and nation paused to honor and mourn those who died only compounds the pain and suffering of the many Texans," Perry wrote.

Comments News Comments

Freedom of speech. After all perry went to California telling businesses to come to Texas because we have low wages, low taxes and little to no regulations. The result of low or no regulations is what caused the explosion in the first place. 2006 was the last time that plant was been inspected. If the shoe fits ....wear it.

The improperly trained firemen caused the explosion at West. The last thing you do to burning ammonia nitrate is saturate it with water which causes an exothermic reaction. Had the plant been allowed to burn then odds were good that no explosion would have occurred. I don't expect you, dumber than dirt Don, to understand chemistry so I refer you to Texas City explosion and see how ammonia nitrate reacts when the endothermic reaction turns exothermic with the excess of water.

Around 8:00 a.m., smoke was spotted in the cargo hold of the Grandcamp while it was still moored at its dock. Over the next hour, attempts to put out the fire or put it under control failed as a red glow returned after each effort to douse the fire. The captain ordered his men to steam the hold, a firefighting method where steam is piped in to put out fires. At 9:12 a.m.,the burning ammonium nitrate reached an explosive threshold and the vessel then detonated.

When the housewife calls the fire department to extinguish her kitchen grease fire they are hardly hero's if they use water and burn the house down. The West fire department responders were inept in their actions, endangered the community needlessly, and paid for their stupidity with their lives. Regulate that.

Post new Comment