Notre Dame paper advocates LGBT violence

Cartoon suggests beating gays; paper promises printed apology

by Jessica Carreras

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The Jan. 13 issue of Notre Dame's student-run newspaper, The Observer, has more than sports facts and event updates for the South Bend, Ind. school.

An oft-controversial cartoon featured in the paper, The Mobile Party, asks this question: "How do you turn a fruit into a vegetable?"

The cartoon's provided answer: "A baseball bat."

The original version of the cartoon, which included the gay-bashing response of "AIDS," was rejected by the paper. Both versions were posted on a blog presumably run by the cartoonist, but were taken down on Jan. 14.

This is not the first time Mobile Party cartoons have caused a stir, noted Notre Dame student Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick in an e-mail to Between The Lines. Past cartoons - both accepted and rejected by The Observer's editors - have included racist, sexist and generally prejudiced comments, including jokes about kidnapping, racial profiling, rape and overweight women.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation called for an apology and retraction by The Observer, to which Editor in Chief Jenn Metz replied that she was not present when the decision was made to run the cartoon, and was disappointed in the decision made by staff to run it.

Metz also told GLAAD that the Jan. 15 edition of The Observer would run with a "full apology and retraction."

Past comics by The Mobile Party" can be viewed at http://themobileparty.blogspot.com.

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