Pounding Pritchett

It's pretty obvious that Weekly cartoonist John Pritchett's no fan of Gov. Ben Cayetano -- or the Democratic "machine" that he regularly lampoons in his Page 3 comic. Pritchett, in fact, touted Cayetano opponent Linda Lingle in his panels during the last elections, and won the affection of many Republicans in return.

In the last days of campaign '98, Cayetano and Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka publicly accused him of "racism" for a comic he authored in 1987, depicting kids at TheBus stop who all happened to be using the word "fahk." See the Cartoon

The charge came up again last week, when the governor's communications director, Jackie Kido, raised the issue in a letter Cartoon Controversy responding to a Pritchett cartoon on state Transportation Director Kazu Hayashida's recent troubles. Circle of Money

Hayashida aside, we'd like to point out that the Weekly ran the "racist" Pritchett in question (alongside an award-winning piece on riding TheBus on March 4, 1998), and so the editors do not agree that the comic was racist. (Maybe the politicians in question haven't been at the bus stop lately?)

Almost exactly a year ago, on Nov. 1, 1998, Inouye and Akaka held a press conference to denounce Republicans as racist for linking their Web sites to this Pritchett comic. Troublingly, Inouye went on to say that while he was "familiar with" the First Amendment, this comic went "too far."

If you didn't hear about this last year, that may be because the press didn't bite; the allegations never got much play.

--Elizabeth Kieskowski, Editor, Honolulu Weekly (11/3/99)

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