On Monday, talkback shock-jock Howard Sattler gave our newspaper a
public bollocking after he got wind we were going to run a cartoon in yesterday’s edition on Geoff Gallop’s resignation.

Our cartoonist – Jason Chatfield, the Bill Mitchell Memorial
Award-winner for 2005 – had posted the toon on his website prior to
publication (the boy has been whipped for his impudence) and Sattler
got wind of it.

I don’t listen to 6PR talkback myself but the two taxi drivers and
ex-One Nation voter who do apparently agreed with Sattler that the
cartoon – which they hadn’t seen – was disgraceful etc and made light
of Gallop’s
battle with depression.

I received a call from two senior Gallop staffers who’d heard about
Sattler’s broadcast and they asked me not to run the cartoon, saying it
would be insensitive and in poor taste.

I said I would take it under advisement but I was pretty sure I was
going to run it, as I didn’t think it crossed a line. But I can well
understand the staffers’ strong feelings on the subject; they worked
closely with Gallop, genuinely like and respect him because he is a
thoroughly decent person, and their protective instincts are naturally
in over-drive.

I’ve forwarded a copy of our article and the front-page toon to you so
Crikey’s army of intelligent, discerning readers can make up
their own minds. For context: Gallop is famous in WA as “Good News
Geoff” or “Good News Gallop” because he was always around for happy
snaps and TV shoots but left bad news announcements to other ministers.

And the thought of being lectured on media ethics by Howard Sattler –
the man who cheered the deaths of three Aboriginal teenagers in a car
accident as “good riddance to bad rubbish” – is just too much.

CRIKEY: And the Fremantle Herald isn’t the only paper to use Gallop’s resignation as inspiration for editorial cartoons. Today The Australian‘s Bill Leak (view it here) and The Age‘s Michael Leunig (below) both draw on the subject of politics and depression.