Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Thursday, May 31, 2007

"Day By Day" In Boise Newspaper

The 'net comic strip Day By Day has been a huge favorite among mil-bloggers over the last several years (the writer, Chris Muir, did a strip for Project Valour-IT last November); while there's no doubt that it's a "conservative" commentary, it's smart -- it doesn't need to hit the reader over the head with the points it's trying to make.

The other main "conservative" comic strip out there is "Mallard Fillmore". Personally, I've always thought that strip lacks one thing I normally look for in my comics -- humor. Our local Boise newspaper has been running Mallard Fillmore alongside Doonesbury on the editorial page for some time; I've always hoped that Day By Day would try to make the transition to hard copy, and hopefully replace the duck here. However, our paper, the Idaho Statesman, is a little bit "slow" when it come to web-based content (the few "blogs" they have on the paper's website don't even allow comments or have blogrolls; of course, we in Idaho are spoiled by the excellent Huckleberries Online up in the northern part of the state), so I didn't expect them to be an early Day By Day adopter.

Therefore, I was happily surprised today when I saw in my morning paper that Day By Day had replaced Mallard Fillmore on the "right" side of the editorial comic strips; the change was accompanied by an explanation that they were testing the new strip. I figured that everyone would immediately recognize the superiority of the new offering.

I guessed wrong. Kevin Richert, the Statesman's editorial page editor, posted on his blog today that the initial response he had gotten was negative -- the people who were writing in wanted the duck back:

One e-mailer suggested we're dumping the duck in an attempt "to enforce your liberal agenda on us even more." (Not so. "Day by Day" actually strikes me as a pretty good counter to "Doonesbury.")
One e-mailer suggested we were caving in to a couple of milquetoast critics who don't like "Mallard." (Also not so. We've run "Mallard" for a shade over a year, and I've been surprised at the number of calls and e-mails I've gotten criticizing the strip. No scientific polling, but "Mallard's" negative approval rating seems to run much higher than "Doonesbury.")
Anyway, I'm hoping you give "Day by Day" a close look; as we've said, this is a trial run. Just judge it on its merits and give it a fair shot. I'll look forward to hearing from you.
Thinking about it more carefully, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. Idaho has a lot of "Bill Sali Republicans" (represented in the Idaho blogosphere by Trish and Halli) who share the following characteristics: they generally lack military experience, have a pathological distrust of the U.S. government (to the point where they think that President Bush is trying to give away our sovereignty to a "North American Union" and that he ordered the 9/11 attacks), and lack a sense of humor. I figure these are the types of people who would oppose Day By Day and would want to keep the duck.

If you live in southwestern Idaho and don't consider yourself to be this kind of person, I urge you to contact Kevin Richert at the Statesman and tell him to keep Day By Day. If you're a liberal, I'm sure you won't, because Day By Day presents the conservative case much more effectively than Mallard Fillmore ever could. However, if you're not a liberal, and you have a sense of humor, you'll want to send that E-mail.

Update 0029 04 Jun: Adam defends the duck! He indicates that he, if fact, does have a sense of humor, but likes Mallard Fillmore anyway. He also risks his membership in the 101st Fighting Keyboardists by saying he doesn't like Day By Day. Completely absent is any indication that his sense of humor extends to understanding the concept of "sarcastic hyperbole" with respect to my description of "Bill Sali Republicans". (He didn't seem to understand my "SPUD-LIB Initiative" either, so he's consistent. An alternate explanation is that, as I've suspected for a while, I'm just not that funny. I think the latter is more likely.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it should be in there. But, I'm a little biased.

It's very nice of Kevin to give it a shot, can't be fairer than that!

6/01/2007 10:04 AM

Blogger Old Gary said...

Another good conservative cartoonist is....

Michael Ramirez

6/01/2007 10:48 AM

Blogger Chap said...

A Chris Muir comment! Cool!

The dynamic there is the same one that keeps zombie comics like Mary Worth alive--lots and lots of people get really really squeaky when their pet comic is threatened. And if it's an "either-or" proposition, the old comic almost always wins.

6/01/2007 1:44 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chap, with the hours from the day job and DBD, I'm half zombie now...!

6/01/2007 2:59 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

Wow... Two Chris Muirs and a Chapomatic comment, all in one post! This is the biggest thing to hit my comments since the time Liberal Larry showed up to call me a fascist.

6/01/2007 10:24 PM

Blogger John McGimpsey said...

If you're a liberal, I'm sure you won't, because Day By Day presents the conservative case much more effectively than Mallard Fillmore ever could.

As someone who's been termed a liberal by the Trish & Halli crowd, I'd say you couldn't be more wrong, Bubblehead! ANYTHING that raises the debate above the level of the duck, or a T&H blog-bite, should be welcomed by every thinking person.

6/02/2007 7:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I lean towards you not being funny as well. :) Or maybe we just have a different taste in humor. My sense of humor is part of why they keep around at my day job, so it has to work.

It wasn't so much a defense of the duck (on 5 out of 7 strips I found Day by Day slightly more funny. Though, lets be clear neither rated more than a 5 on the Laugh meter.) as a critique of Day by Day and the idea that it's a serious or semi-seriousdebate over which goes in the paper. My stance is, "Who cares?" You can read either online if the paper doesn't do what you like. Really it's a dead tree paper debate. The one thing against Day by Day going in is that it includes a lot of inside blogging jokes. For example, today's has got a reference to Michael Yon. We both know full well who Michael Yon is (a blogger who has gone over and covered what's really happening in Iraq.) but does your average Boise resident who reads the Statesman? Given the fact that newspaper readers are an older demographic, I doubt it. One thing they'll have to accept if they want to be in newspapers is that probably 99.5% of the population they're writing to has no clue who these blog celebrities are.

6/04/2007 6:37 AM

Blogger raymond pert said...

I'm liberal.

I long for, yearn for good conservative political humor and am going to start seeking out Day by Day. I wish the duck were funny. I think those whose world view I tend to agree with are often foolish and ripe for satire, mockery, and parody. If Day by Day does this, wonderful. I'm all for it. FWIW!

6/05/2007 10:48 PM


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