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McCoy Responds to Critics of Controversial Fluke Cartoon

Last week, following Rush Limbaugh’s now famous comments about Sandra Fluke, our own conservative cartoonist Gary McCoy (view McCoy’s cartoons here) drew a controversial cartoon that has been widely criticized. I’ve posted some of the harsh comments we’ve received about the cartoon.

After receiving volumes of hate mail and some death threats, Gary wrote to me to explain the cartoon:

It’s my job to opine on the issues of the day. I’ll admit, the cartoon in question hit a little harder than I usually do, but here we had a 30 year old woman’s rights advocate, who will make on average $160,000/year after graduation, stating that she had to spend $3,000 over the last two years on birth control, when a trip to her local Planned Parenthood would keep her supplied for free. Or for a few bucks more a day, any local drug store would meet her needs. And on top of it, she thinks that a Jesuit university, which she enrolled in knowing full well that their private insurance doesn’t pay for contraceptives, as it goes against their religious morals, should abandon their beliefs just so she can advance the Obama health care plan, for which she also advocates.

Sandra Fluke side-by-side with McCoy's cartoon (via

And one major detail that the press, and most of the people spewing hate at me didn’t bother to notice or acknowledge, is that the woman in my cartoon A) doesn’t even look like Sandra Fluke (According to many of the people who critiqued me), and B) Isn’t even labeled Sandra Fluke. So basically, it’s a generic woman, saying what many ultra-liberal feminists have said before, specifically that government should stay out of their wombs, but still provide them with free birth control, which is the definition of hypocrisy.

On top of it, many who wrote me said the statement in the cartoon isn’t even something that Miss Fluke has said. So there you have it, a woman not labeled Sandra Fluke, who doesn’t look like Sandra Fluke, saying something that Sandra Fluke has apparently not said. Yet, I’m hit with everything from being labeled a misogynist, to personal threats for calling Sandra Fluke a “slut”. This sort of knee-jerk reactionism makes the Rockettes look like a Tennessee Waltz dance act.

One more thing… it struck me as deliciously ironic that many of the tolerant, compassionate liberals who took issue with my supposedly portraying Miss Fluke as a “slut” and “prostitute”, and with my lack of civility, did so by calling me every vulgar name in the book and making death threats against me (The latter emails go on file at my local police department).

But to summarize, I have the right, and the duty to editorialize, through my cartoons, on any subject currently in the news. That’s what I did. And I won’t back down from intimidation and threats from the same liberals who honor a vow of silence when it comes to denouncing Bill Maher for calling Sarah Palin a c*nt.

By Daryl Cagle

Daryl Cagle is the founder and owner of Cagle Cartoons, Inc. He is one of the most widely published editorial cartoonists and is also the editor of The Cagle Post.

46 replies on “McCoy Responds to Critics of Controversial Fluke Cartoon”

The hairstyle hews pretty closely to hers, like "tracing paper" closely. Try again.

Same hairstyle, same nose.

So a caricature has to look exactly like a person to be identifiable as the same person?

I can't believe what a pile of snivelling, disingenuous ass-covering I just finished reading. I guess we can take pleasure at least knowing he clearly realizes he messed up, or he wouldn't be backpedalling so hard I swear I felt time start to go backward for a second.

He is protesting too much! I think he wishes he hadn't drawn this particular cartoon.

Here's my objection: you're depicting a behavior that wouldn't necessarily map to how birth control is used by women, even women who have a lot of sex. The various formulations of the pill require a woman to take it daily, even if she only has sex infrequently. It's not like a woman will simply gobble a bunch of birth control pills before the big orgy. They don't work like condoms. (Have you had a long term relationship with a woman?) Also, a high percentage of women take birth control for reasons other than as a family planning tool: for women with painful periods or periods with heavy flow, it's incredibly useful.

So, fine, make the point, but you did it with a critique of behavior that doesn't exist, at least in a way that's relevant to this issue. You are pandering to moral high dudgeon, and being dishonest to do it. Defend the 1st Amendment by all means, but if it were me, I'd stick my neck out on an execution that isn't an example of lazy sophistry.

@Brigette Reed Rodriguez:

I have read it, three times now, and it still sounds like an excuse to avoid possible libel. Look at the language used in the cartoon as well as the styling of the caricature (hairstyle, 'Georgetown' sweater, et al.); given the preponderance of the evidence, it's reasonable to conclude that the cartoon was targeted specifically at Sandra Fluke.

I'd also be interested in who said they expect the gov't to pay for their birth control; please provide a reference link or shut up. The expectation is for the insurance carrier to pay, not the gov't. But I guess the truth is of little use to you. Want to cry freedom of religion? Fine, but then expect to be taxed when politics are preached from the pulpit.

One final point: the Republican party held both houses of Congress as well as the Presidency from 2002 to 2008. Why didn't they fix it all then? What happened to the economy on their watch? It took 'em 6 years to destroy what Clinton built; don't expect Obama to fix it in 4, especially when the Republican leadership has stated that their main goal was to make him a 1-term president when it should have been job creation.

Sandra Fluke is not asking the government to pay for her birth control. She is asking her insurance company to pay for it using her insurance premiums. Unfortunately, her employer makes these health decisions for her. This is her complaint. She is not asking for a handout or free anything. She is asking for control over her health.

The opening response Is solely in regards to Sandra Fluke and paints a negative light towards her. The artist then makes some BS excuse by questioning his own work with questions?!?! Finally, he wraps up by attacking "liberals" in his emails……Rush is that you?

Georgetown + Hair + Nose = Sandra Fluke…..quit lying to yourself

The fact that conservatives STILL believe birth control is only used for controlling birth shows their complete disinterest in and misunderstanding of women's health. Maybe we should start calling it hormone therapy, since so many women use it for medical purposes unrelated to family planning. Every woman in my immediate family has had a hysterectomy for reproductive problems, and birth control may be the answer for avoiding this same genetic fate.

As gurenteed in our constitution, until Obama takes away, EVERYONE has a right to their opinion. So as you all express yours, him the same respect. Nuff said.

@Michael – Just because one has the right to one's own opinion doesn't also mean one has the right to be immune to criticism, or even to be free from insult. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences.

McCoy, you've just demonstrated you are a snivelling puke with that B.S.

Considering that at NO point did she state or implay the GOVERNMENT should be paying for the birth control – just that insurance should – you're as guilty of libel as ol' Rushbo.

Please, everyone, calm down. Death threats? From liberals? How embarrassing that is to us. Leave the clinic bombings and other nutty behavior to the conservatives. McCoy has the right to publish his conservative nonsense and we have the right to dismiss it for the junk that it is. BTW, I was not aware of Bill Mahr's comment. That is shameful, too. He is correct 99% of the time, but I would never defend something like that.

McCoy's an inveterate liar, what makes you think he's telling the truth about the death threats, rather than just making a convenient exaggeration to paint himself as the victim?

Also it's Bill Maher. Not Bill Mahr. Not Bill Mahar. Not Bill Mehr. Bill Maher.

The entire point of the cartoon is to take a cheap shot at someone for expressing a position.

Get real and grow up. If this had been about any conservative woman it would have been accepted by every liberal in the land as defendable political rhetoric. Since it is about someone's sacred (dare I say it) cow on the liberal side, it's open to all sorts of attack as hateful or uninformed. If you are going to dish it out, be sure you can take it. Sauce for the gander is sauce for the goose, people.

BTW – my impression was she said it cost her $3K per year. Even if it was over 4 years that comes to about $63 a month – less than her cell phone, satellite tv, or most other payments. Surely if she is going to a big name, high-priced school like that she can come up with $63/month without complaining too loudly. For those who need help with the cost, it is evidently available.

"…can cost a woman over $3,000 during law school. For a lot of students who, like me, are on public interest scholarships, that’s practically an entire summer’s salary." Or about $80 a month.

If there's one thing I'll say about conservatives, it's that they're very very good at marching in lockstep when it comes to talking points. (See "Yeah, well Bill Maher called Sarah Palin a c***!")

Bill Maher is kind of a douche, but mostly because he's provided fuel to the fire of the crazy anti-vaccination movement. But when he said what he did about Sarah Palin, he was talking about a vice-presidential candidate who had starred in a reality show and had accused Barack Obama of "palin' around with terrorists." Fluke was a law school student who testified before Congress once about a medical issue her friend was having. BUT LET'S PRETEND THEY DESERVE THE SAME AMOUNT OF PRIVACY AND RESPECT!

Anyway, the great part about being in America is that if you really want to get Bill Maher off the air, and you get a big enough movement started, you can. And not too many people would care that much. If you think that Bill Maher is some sort of Limbaugh of the left, then you're pretty ignorant. Don't you remember awhile back when the RNC had to cowardly grovel and apologize to Rush, the de facto voice of the party?

Please tell me why a comment I wrote and submitted less than a minute ago has already been deleted.

McCoy, you can't draw worth a damn, and your message is misogynistic, hateful, and flat out wrong. Good job backpedaling when called out, and pandering to everything that is wrong with conservatives. Get a new job, you utter hack.

Hey "Brick", at least I have the balls to leave my real name. Isn't it dark underneath your mommy's apron?

In what world do these people live in where birth control is "just a couple of bucks at the drug store"? How can the public and so many Men be so ill informed ? Recently my 27 yo daughter told me that many of her friends cannot afford birth control. FYI, when I worked for a Catholic institution in the early 90's there was NO problem with them paying for BC through the health insurance they subsidized for employees. This is just another case of re litigating settled matters for political gain – shameful.

Seems I struck a nerve, eh? It's unfortunate you can't handle criticism without resorting to childish insults.

That ain't the Real McCoy, Brick. I happen to know both Gary and Glen – really nice guys in person who hide their hate behind their acid pens.

Gary wouldn't have the stones to come on here and actually confront the folks calling him out for lies and libels.

Post Script: Affordable, readily available birth control is the best way to combat unwanted pregnancy and unwanted abortions. Why wouldn't we all support this? BMc

What libel, Peter? Cartoonists do unflattering drawings of people all the time, but there is no name calling in the cartoon. It simply made a valid point about hypocrisy. Feminists demand complete control of there own bodies except they want others to pay for it. If Fluke wasn't asking the government to force others to pay for her birth control, why was she speaking in a government forum?

The Republican Party lost control of both houses of Congress in 2006 (not 2008). That's when Pelosi and Reid came to power. It is no coincidence that the economy began to tank shortly thereafter in 2007. Bush still holds the all time record for the longest period of continuous job growth of over 50 months from 2003 to 2007. It ended with a bang after the Democrats took over congress. Funny how it always seems to work out that way. Who controlled congress during the FDR era depression, or the Carter recession? Democrats did by a big majority. The job growth and budget surpluses during the Clinton years took place after Republicans took control of Congress and demanded welfare reform and other fiscal reforms.

Obama can't fix the economy in 4 years and he won't be able to do it in 8 years either. Elect a republican president and Senate to go along with a Republican Congress and I predict that the economy will be humming in under two years. People won't be complaining about having to pay $10 a month for birth control because they will have good paying jobs and won't need others to pay their way.

The entire point of your own comment is to take a cheap shot at someone for expressing a position. One person's "cheap shot" is another person's opinion. Shouldn't you have the right to express yours? Then McCoy should have the right to express his. He didn't use any of Maher's hateful vocabulary in his cartoon.

And your insults were not childish? I guess it was wrong for him to stoop to your level.

This idiot Gary McCoy e-mailed me this…Why do I have the feeling that you look a lot more like the drawing of Sandra Fluke than Miss Fluke actually does? so there is you proof that the little coward is telling a big fat lie.
Who's the Hypocrite now Gary? So funny he is trying to say it is a generic woman, trying to walk it back. LOL

He also said he can not stand ugly women, assuming I was ugly of course. Well find a picture of him and you will understand why he is a bitter, hateful, mean little rodent.

McCoy's totally free to express his beliefs, even if they're founded on lies, misogyny, misinformation, and disingenuousness. And similarly, everyone else is free to call him on his bullshit. Freedom of speech is not freedom from consequences.

yes. so why get upset over the rare conservative cartoonist who DARES to criticize government mandates which would compel isurance companies and colleges to cover elective measures of reproductive behavior.
So its ok for you to bash conservatives but then conservatives defend themselves you lecture them to take the criticism.

hey genius, the point raised here is that Obamacare would institute government mandates to compel insurance companies (those who service Jesuit universities) to pay for it. WHY? Because Obama deems it?
also, not any of you, address ANY of the points raised by the cartoonist. Oh BTW, wheres all your ingination when the vast majority of liberal cartoonists BASH and character assassinate any conservative women? People laugh at all you liberals because it has NOTHING to do with your santomonous lscture over women's rights (as if only YOU care about women's health), but its a typical intolarance against anyone who DARES criticize your ANOINTED ONE.

well Mahr's nonsense is 24/7 against conservatives and thats includes character asssasination. So its hard to take you seriously when you say, in Gomer Pyle fashion…GEEZWIZ I never heard Bill Mahr say that???

Spare me….let's compare intolerant rhetoric from conservatives to liberals… guys win hands down

so riddle me this liberals……since you're SOOOOOOOOO upset over the one of the few conservative cartoonists (Darryl Cagle the man and the site is overwhemlingly liberal and quite harsh, borderline vicious) who draws one critical piece over your new liberal princess, Sandra Fluke (about whom you wouldn't know if she fell on you), why don't you get address the FACTS brought up by the cartoonist and other who genuinely oppose this issue of public policy? Stop painting this as some bogus woman's rights issue. Fluke is a 30 year old Democrat pro-choice advocate pure and simple and if she wants to enter the public domain giving testimony to a congressional commitee then she becomes part of the story and is subject to cross examination. Dispute any of that, without resorting to insults.

I honestly believe the only reason Mr McCoy can deny the image is Miss Fluke is because he is such a poor artist

Gary McCoy, I hope you spend the rest of your life getting kicked in the crotch by your mother, sister, daughter, wife, and every other female who has the bad luck to be associated with you.
Because that is exactly what you did to them with your disgusting, malicious and slanderous lie.
F you and the elephant you rode in on.

"enter the public domain giving testimony to a congressional commitee then she becomes part of the story and is subject to cross examination. (Dispute any of that,) without resorting to insults."

subject to cross examination()without resorting to insults.

This is where you prove your dirty hypocrisy CJ.

What is it about Republicans that when they step in crap, they cry foul when the mean nasty Liberals point out that they stink? But let's for a moment compare and contrast Bill Mahers and Rush Limbaughs transgressions – Bill Maher called a public figure a c*nt in a stand up comedy club that patrons had to pay to get into affecting an audience of what? 200 maximum per incident? Rush Limbaugh called a private citizen (and up until the right decided to pillory her that is exactly what she was) a slut and a prostitute, intimating that she had so much sex she couldn't walk, suggesting that she should provide videos of her having sex if she wanted Rush to pay (a strawman argument) for her contraception and did this on the publicly owned airwaves available to any age group to an audience, if anyone can believe his inflated calculations, of nearly 20 million mouth breathing imbeciles. But multiply that by at least, now how many days did he spew his bile for, seven days? Nine days? More?

Did Maher say a bad word about a woman who spends her days in front of television cameras saying awful things about LOTS of other people… yes. But no matter how bad the word, his actions were far less reprehensible than Rush if only because it was said to so few people making much less of an impact. If it wasn't for the wounded shrieks coming from the Republican noise machine most people would have never have heard of this incident. The problems with Republicans as always boils down to the fact that they don't understand scale, they can't differentiate between apples and oranges, and they can't seem to get that maher might be distasteful on occasion in front of small groups of people while Limbaugh has a long history of racism, misogyny, and political hate speech that can be picked up around the world by anyone unlucky enough to tune a radio to an AM Talk station.

It's like comparing a firecracker to the Fukishima Nuclear complex. A loud pop versus a toxic radioactive disaster zone that will remain poisonous for generations. Yeah, fair comparison.

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