Jos Valdman, a cartoonist from the Adelaide Advertiser, published a cartoon called “Another Greek Tragedy” that appears to portray ancient Greeks collecting tears and putting out a fire.
The Australian newspaper is under the media empire of Rupert Murdoch, which includes numerous tabloids in the U.K. as well as the U.S. cable network Fox News.
See the cartoon below.
Gregory Pappas, publisher of The Pappas Post, has written the following open letter to the newspaper, as well as the cartoonist.
Dear Mr. Valdman,
85 people were burned to death, including a friend’s grandmother who was inside the comfort of her family’s home.
Of these 85, two dozen were found in a field hugging in groups, each with children as young as four years old in the center.
I wish you would have seen the news reports of the charred bodies and the pain from the survivors.
Perhaps your cartoon would have been different.
I wish you could see the regular reporting of devastated Greek families who are still searching — begging for information from strangers about missing loved ones.
Perhaps your cartoon would have taken a different twist.
I wish you could have seen dozens of people jumping off cliffs — some to their immediate death — into the ocean so they wouldn’t be burned alive.
Perhaps you wouldn’t have published a cartoon at all on this subject.
I wish you could have seen the TV report I just saw that showed a grandmother who lost all of her grandchildren in the fires.
Perhaps you could have shown some self-dignity and let the dead rest in peace.
I wish all of these things because sometimes crass and insensitivity needs to be checked with a dose of reality.
Perhaps there in far-away Adelaide, you’re not privy to the reports coming out of Greece and you haven’t experienced the pain and suffering of these victims, not to mention the bombardment of visuals coming from the 24-hour reporting in Greece.
Or perhaps it’s just part of the sickening culture where you work and you’ve lost all sense of civility, decency and self-dignity.
I’m fully aware of the Murdoch-owned rags. We have some of your boss’s “media” organizations here in the U.S. too and I’m far too familiar with their divisive and crass nature.
Either way, Mr. Valdman, your disgrace of a cartoon has already started making its way around Greece and the various diaspora communities of Greeks in your home country of Australia, in North America and throughout the world — where thousands are showing solidarity by helping victims and raising hundreds of thousands of dollars.
So I’d like to offer you and your entire organization an invitation — an invitation to not only rethink your erroneous decision to publish something so repugnant at the peak of a national crisis, but also to perhaps see if you can even offer a helping hand to the victims after already dealing such an injurious one.
Maybe you can make an announcement on your Twitter page once you’ve donated.
Oh, and don’t worry about the amount — $10, $25, $50, $100, etc. — anything will go a long way to help those you already disparaged with your… “funny” cartoon.
Since you’re here… I have a small favor to ask.
More and more people than ever before are reading The Pappas Post and despite increasing costs to maintain the site and provide you with the quality content that you deserve, I will never “force” you to pay for our website or add a paywall. I believe in the democracy of the internet and want to keep this site and its enriching content free for everyone. But at the same time I’m asking those who frequent the site to chip in and help keep it both high quality— and free. We’ve implemented a “free-will” annual subscription for those who want to support our efforts. I guess it’s fair to call it a philotimo subscription… because you don’t have to do it but it’s really the right thing to do if you love the site and the content we publish. So if you like The Pappas Post and want to help, please consider becoming a “philotimo subscriber”. Click here to subscribe. If you’d rather make a one time donation, we will gladly accept any amount, with appreciation. Click here to donate any amount.