1. Every tatoo represents one of Kissinger’s war crimes. My editor’s reason for censoring it: “It’s a cheap shot.”
2. The editor killed this perfect image for intellectual property on the Internet by saying, “The Times can’t publish a bare breast and a nipple!”
3. The “mildest winter in 16 years” preceded the blizzard of 1888. Despite reading 97 degrees, a thermometer was covered with ice and surrounded by falling snow. Why then — in the last seconds before the page closed — was this innocuous, two-inch square drawing killed? The incontestable verdict from editorial page editor Howell Raines? “It looks like an ejaculation.”
4. Bloated government subsidies to big corporations became a placid Holstein whose black spots formed a U.S. map. A sharp-suited businessman guzzled the bountiful flow from a big bovine’s Florida-shaped teat. “That’s a riot!” chuckled the Op-Ed editor. And it’s spot on. But there’s no way we can run it.” I know their prudish reasoning: the metaphor was too human and humid.
5. A manuscript on the neglect of black Korean War veterans recounted the courageous behavior of one heroic African-American corporal who stood alone on a hill after his entire company had fallen. Ammunition exhausted, he bravely flung rocks at the enemy, who, in awe, captured rather than killed him. Yet his own country’s army denied him the Congressional Medal of Honor. Here was the perfect embodiment of this flagrant racism. My editor’s assessment of the drawing before “killing” it: “We can’t picture the army as racist!”