Volume 91, Issue 51

Thursday, November 27, 1997

Mike the Knife


A gentleman and a scholar

Re: Comix, Nov. 20 and editorial cartoon, Nov. 21

To the Editor:

I have a sense of humour, which is fortunate. The Gazette chose to publish a cartoon on its comics page that was, by their own admission, a personal attack on me. For anyone who missed it, the caption read something like "Here's a hand gesture for you, Peter!" This witticism accompanied a rather charming drawing of the gesture most motorists use to communicate their disapproval. Hardly flattering, but as my last letter to the Editor was rather caustically critical of The Gazette, I will take this retaliation on their part as having some basis. I laughed, they laughed and everybody goes back to their respective business.

That said, the editorial cartoon published on Friday, Nov. 21 was not funny. To refresh memories, it portrayed USC President Ryan Parks and Social Science Councillor Michael Rubinoff as spendthrifts as it concerns student money, as well as chauvinists. This was not cute. It was not simply humourous satire. It was libelous. I have known Michael Rubinoff for some time. He has always impressed me as being an honourable gentleman and someone not afraid of standing up for a cause he believes in. The same goes for Ryan Parks, who, though not slandered to the same degree as Mr. Rubinoff, was not left unscathed by the attack. For The Gazette to portray their characters in such an insensitive light is profoundly offensive.

The Gazette is a publication owned and funded by the University Students' Council. As such, any lawsuit against The Gazette would not harm The Gazette. The organization taking the hit would be none other than your students' council. The money that would get paid out in a settlement would be your money. The people suffering for The Gazette's lack of judgement would not be the editors, but students. The Gazette has obligations. It has an obligation to undertake a critical and skeptical look at matters affecting students. However, it also has the obligation to be responsible in its reporting and publishing.

In short, I ask ofThe Gazette that they apologize to Ryan Parks and Michael Rubinoff for this unwarranted character assassination. I would ask as well that The Gazette take a serious look at its policies and procedures, and make the changes needed such that this sort of stupidity does not darken its pages again.

Peter Ash
Honours Economics IV

To Contact The Opinions Department: gazoped@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997