Free speech, like freedom itself, isn't free. It's held only through eternal vigilance. Since free speech is guaranteed by the first amendment of the Constitution there can be little doubt in the minds of normal, well adjusted, citizens of this nation that the Constitution is fully buttressed by this single amendment. In this cartoon Skrlin tackles the question of a free press in relation to the Reporter and a story in last week's edition detailing how the publisher appears to have run afoul of the powers that be due to the coverage of the Dyster administration. This latest Skrlin rendering isn't so much humorous as it is poignant in its portrayal as to how the newspaper has come under attack as a virtual sitting duck...seemingly targeted by powerful state-wide entities. The Reporter receives both barrels in this graphic episode from those in authority for daring to tread where others refuse to go. We have the visual pun of a liquor bottle containing "proof" and a newspaper that is "free" in that it has no selling price but struggles to be free in relation to the first amendment. While other cartoons by Skrlin routinely bring a smile to the face of the viewer this cartoon causes one to mourn for the troubling attack on the right of free speech...a right that has been treasured since the United States drew its first breath in 1776.
Jonathan Q. Adams