Yesterday we posted about the utterly tasteless cartoon the News-Gazette chose to publish. It received a lot of backlash throughout the community, and now a group of Democratic candidates have pulled out of an upcoming Candidate Forum hosted in part by the News-Gazette. Here's the statement from the Champaign County Democrats:

All Democratic Champaign County Board candidates will not be participating in the upcoming Candidates Forum. They have chosen to withdraw their support of the forum scheduled for Friday, September 28th co-hosted by the Champaign League of Women’s Voters, the NAACP and the News-Gazette due to a recent inappropriate, offensive and sexist cartoon in the News-Gazette.

This cartoon advocates for sexual assault while dismissing rape victims and their supporters as humorless scolds. This cartoon is a callous and dated attempt to make a joke of the serious issues of sexual harassment and assault. It is a mockery of the #MeToo movement which is more than a hashtag but an open testimony of women’s plight of sexual harassment in our country.

In addition the Democratic County Board candidates call on the League of Women Voters and Champaign County NAACP to issue a statement denouncing this disgusting behavior by the News-Gazette and seriously reconsider their partnership with them for these forums.

Since the News-Gazette has demonstrated time and again they are unable to provide unbiased or ethical media coverage, alternative plans for a public forum are being organized. It is imperative voters have an opportunity to talk to all candidates and learn more about their stances on issues important to Champaign County.