Sunday, December 27, 2015

Sunday morning toons: Short and sweet

(Updated below.)

Since a number of cartoonists are taking a little time off this week (although a few managed to do so while still sending out work, if you know what I mean), we're going to keep this edition of the p3 Sunday toon review short, too.

Part One:

Whatever they're paying Fred Hiatt, the nominal editor of the editorial page at the Washington Post, not to do his job, I bet I could not-do it just as well for a lot less money. Seriously, guys – call me.

It all began innocently enough on Tuesday. Washington Post editorial cartoonist (and p3 favorite) Ann Telnaes had responded to a surprisingly-sleazy-even-by-the-contemporary-standards-of-the-genre TV ad that Ted Cruz was running in Iowa. You can see her cartoon here at the Post's site.

Well, actually no – you can't see it there at all, because Hiatt decided to dodge any heat coming down the pipe by pulling the cartoon, admitting in the process that he hadn't bothered to look at it, you know, before it went out. It must leave him more time to carry out his editorial duties if he spends less time actually carrying them out. Think about it.

If you want to see the Telnaes cartoon, and the original Cruz ad that it responds to, you can go to Comic Strip of the Day, who correctly points out that Telnaes' piece was a fair hit because it was not directly about the children; it's about the utter cynicism on the part of Cruz himself when he put them front and center, using them – as Telnaes points out – as little more than performing monkeys to attack his rivals.

Meanwhile, the board of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists issued a statement supporting Telnaes and concluding with this astonishing bit of understatement:
While the editors at The Washington Post are free to edit how they see fit, in our view it would have been best to defend the cartoon once it had been published. Retracting it risks the appearance of caving to political pressure.
"The appearance of caving"? Gee, you think? Good lord. What would the reality of caving have looked like?

The Right Wing Cult of Victimhood is indeed a wonderful thing to watch in operation. Step 1: Cross the line with something offensive -- ideally it should be red meat for the base, but simply tactless and crude, or even just obviously untrue will do fine. Step 2: Shed a bitter tear when you're called out about it publicly. Step 3: Point to the calling-out as proof that the Liberal Media, as usual, has treated you unfairly. Mention "political correctness" at every opportunity. Repeat this claim in every venue in your considerable media armory, again and again and again. Step 4: Continue repeating it and trumpeting your victimhood forever, even after the object of your displeasure buckles, takes it back, accepts blame, begs forgiveness, and where possible hangs some convenient target of your wrath out to dry for it.

Telnaes' fellow cartoonists Darrin BellClay BennettSteve Benson, and Clay Jones – all of whom are presumably able to do their work without fear of being Tuesday morning quarterbacked by Fred "Tower of Jell-O" Hiatt – proudly Stand With Ann. We at p3 do too. So should you.

Part Two:

And we've got year-end reviews! Bob Gorrell cuts directly to the chase with a primal-scream economy of word and image. Clay Bennett, Matt Weurker and Adam Zyglis each serves up a collection of his 2015 high points. Dave Barry, with an assist from ex-Oregonian Jack Ohman, presents a 2015 review which -- he swears! -- he is not making up.  Kevin Kallaugher finds a disturbing sense of going around and coming around in a large and lush piece. And Tom Tomorrow makes it to mid-2015 in his annual multi-part Year in Review.

Update: Ann Telnaes has posted her year in review. Only thing missing is my favorite image of hers: The Evil Old Bastard. Maybe her 2016 review will feature the EOB getting dragged into The Hague. One can always hope.


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