Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Tom Toles: This Year's Winner of the Ted Rall Award for Excellence in Satirical Cartooning

Thanks for the Memory to Harry Callahan at Ace of Spades HQ.

Apparently, on Sunday, cartoonist Ted Toles published a cartoon using a caricature of a wounded American soldier to represent the state of the US Army.

I was a little offended when Trudeau had a Doonesbury character lose a limb, then used him to spout anti-war rhetoric, as if he was actually speaking for the war wounded. But this one is beyond the pale. This cartoon lowers itself to treating the military with the same level of contempt as Ted Rall. It's disgusting.

And the Joint Chiefs of Staff agree. They've written a letter to the editor regarding this cartoon.

Now, the US military is required to keep its nose out of domestic political affairs. But this more than a political issue. This cartoon was mean-spirited and hurtful towards the troops. And the Joint Chiefs, the highest ranking military officers in command of the US Armed Forces, were right for standing up for their enlisted ranks. that's good leadership, that's what an officer does -- look out for his men.

Furthermore, I applaude the civil, respectful tone the JCOS took in the letter, but I was equally impressed with how clearly they communicated their displeasure.

Shame on Tom Toles. And Kudos to the Joint Chiefs.


Apparently the WaPo is considering a response.

If it doesn't include the phrase "Tom Toles is fired", it's too little too late.

Thanks for the Memory to Mark in Mexico.

Don't hold your breath for an apology. In fact, the WaPo is defending the cartoon. Slime.

Here's the part that really chafes my hiney:

Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt, responded. Hiatt said, "While I certainly can understand the strong feelings, I took it to be a cartoon about the state of the Army and not one intended to demean wounded soldiers.
and Toles says:

Talking to Kurtz, Toles cited recent remarks by Rumsfeld about "battle-hardened" troops and "what came soon to mind was the catastrophic level of injuries the Army and members of the armed services have sustained . . . I thought my portrayal of it was a fair depiction of the reality of the situation. I certainly never intended it to be in any way a personal attack on, or a derogatory comment on, the service or sacrifice of American soldiers."

You may not have been making a derogatory comment about the troops themselves, but by depicting their suffering in such a glib manner, you did demena their sacrifice.

Thankfully, we live in America and have First Amendment rights, so you have the right to print that garbage. And, by the same token, I have the right to tell you what pieces of filth you are, and we ALL have the right to refuse to line our birdcages with your rag, let alone READ it.

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