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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Opinion
Walters: Bennington Banner Faces Backlash Over Las Vegas Massacre Cartoon

Posted By on Wed, Oct 4, 2017 at 5:42 PM

An image of the cartoon in the Bennington Banner - WCAX
  • WCAX
  • An image of the cartoon in the Bennington Banner
Updated on October 5, 2017.

The owners of the Bennington Banner were trying to tamp down a firestorm of criticism over a political cartoon in Tuesday's paper that addressed the Las Vegas mass shooting. Top executives of its owner, New England Newspapers, have written public apologies, and the firm's president made a quick trip from company headquarters in Pittsfield, Mass., to Bennington Wednesday to meet with offended readers.

The cartoon, by syndicated cartoonist Randall Enos, included the legend "Whatever Happens In Vegas..." above a drawing of a haphazard pile of bodies, drawn in outline without features, scattered on the ground. More than 1,000 people posted comments on the Banner's Facebook page objecting, in very strong terms, to the publication of the cartoon.

The story has brought widespread attention to the paper — so much so that when you Google "Bennington Banner," the first autofill option is "cartoon." Not only have national media picked it up, but so have papers in Great Britain and Australia.

Enos is an illustrator and cartoonist with more than 60 years of experience. When reached at his Connecticut home Wednesday afternoon, he was apparently unaware of the controversy he had sparked.

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Former AG Sorrell Skips Deposition, Sparks War of Words

Posted By on Wed, Oct 4, 2017 at 5:03 PM

Former attorney general Bill Sorrell - FILE: MATTHEW THORSEN
  • File: Matthew Thorsen
  • Former attorney general Bill Sorrell
Former Vermont attorney general Bill Sorrell didn’t show up Wednesday morning for a deposition related to a case brought by the industry-funded Energy & Environment Legal Institute, which claimed Sorrell flouted court procedure by skipping the proceeding.

For more than a year, the Washington, D.C.-based group has sought records from Sorrell and other state attorneys general regarding a potential investigation of ExxonMobil. The organization twice sued the Vermont AG's office while Sorrell still held the post, and the cases have continued since his departure. Among other issues under dispute, E&E Legal argues that Sorrell must hand over files from his private email account.

Current Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan, whose office is also a defendant in the case and is representing Sorrell, told Seven Days that Sorrell didn't show up Wednesday because the judge had yet to rule on their motion to dismiss the case.

“Our position is the motion to dismiss has to be adjudicated first,” Donovan said. “We’re not saying, ‘Hey you don’t get to depose the guy,’ but that threshold question has to first be answered by the court.”

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