Region: North America
Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion
Medium: Print Journalism
Artist: Aaron McGruder
Confronting Bodies: The Washington Post
Dates of Action: October 2003
Location: Washington, USA
Description of Artwork: Boondocks is a comic strip that features several African American characters. The young protagonist, Huey Freeman, frequently asserts his political views.
The Incident: The strip in question suggested Rice's single status may be contributing to the continuation of the War on Terrorism, "maybe if there was a man in the world who Condoleezza truly loved, she wouldn't be so hell-bent to destroy it."
Results of Incident: The Washington Post pulled the series on Rice, which ran some five days. The Post, from time to time, decides not to publish a particular comic if it is deemed unsuitable but it has never before killed an entire week's worth of one comic strip. Post Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr. stated: "The Boondocks strips in question commented on the private life of the national security adviser and its relationship to her official duties in ways that violated our standards for taste, fairness and invasion of privacy." As for the lack of an explanation, he says: "We edit all parts of the paper every day, including the comics, and do not usually notify readers about what we are not publishing or why."
While no other newspaper pulled the strip that day, the Post defended its decision by invoking a newspaper policy not to comment on the personal life of political figures; furthermore, they stated, "We had no way of knowing whether Mr. McGruder's assertion that Condoleezza Rice had no personal relationship was true or not."