Today’s cartoon is based on one of my oldies that was based on a famous cartoon by the great British cartoonist, Steve Bell. I’m a big Steve Bell fan.
Editors don’t like poop in cartoons, and this one isn’t likely to get much ink, but it makes me happy. Here’s the Steve Bell cartoon it is based on. Bell told a funny story at an old editorial cartoonists convention about how he had to negotiate with his editor about how many poops on the wall would be acceptable. I’m my own editor, and I can have as many poops as I want – still, I envy the British cartoonists who can get away with much stronger, nastier cartoons than American cartoonists can.
One more thing … I think editorial cartoonists who use labels are sissies, and I used a lot of labels here, but I didn’t label Ted Cruz, I only labeled his poop – an important distinction.
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Bell’s cartoon depicting Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu was killed, prompting Bell’s mass email. The cartoon depicts British Labour Party deputy secretary, Tom Watson as an “antisemite finder general” calling Netanyahu an “antisemitic trope.”
“Last June, (Bell) emailed all journalists to say he felt “unfairly traduced and censored” after the paper would not run his cartoon of Theresa May meeting Benjamin Netanyahu while Palestinian Razan al-Najjar, who had been shot and killed by an Israeli soldier, burned in the fireplace behind.”
‘He accused Guardian editor Kath Viner of not speaking to him because she “did not really have an argument” for spiking the cartoon.”
“I suspect the real cause is it contravenes some mysterious editorial line that has been drawn around the subject of antisemitism and the infernal subject of antisemitic tropes.”
“In some ways this is even more worrying than the specious charges of antisemitism. Does the Guardian no longer tolerate content that runs counter to its editorial line?”
Here is the complete text of the letter that Bell wrote to The Guardian’s “Head of Features” Kira Cochrane, and forwarded as a mass email to all of The Guardian’s staff journalists:
After our bizarre telephone conversation yesterday, I feared you might not publish today’s strip, but still cannot understand why the attached should be more liable to legal challenge from Tom Watson than either of the previous two strips that you have already published. You said the ‘lawyers were concerned’, but what about? It’s not antisemitic, nor is it libellous, even though it includes a caricature of Binyamin Netanyahu. If Watson chose to object he would make himself look far sillier than he does in the cartoon.
I suspect that the real problem is that it contravenes some mysterious editorial line that has been drawn around the subject of antisemitism and the infernal subject of ‘antisemitic tropes’. In some ways this is even more worrying for me than specious charges of antisemitism. Does the Guardian no longer tolerate content that counters its editorial line?
Why in today’s paper has the Guardian published a highly partisan and personally insulting (to the leader of the Labour Party) advert on page 20 that uses the Labour Party logo, but is clearly not a Labour Party approved advert? I would have thought that there would be far more reason to expect a legal challenge on that than on my my cartoon. Or is it that you don’t want to offend poor Tom but are quite happy to offend poor Jeremy?
Why on earth did the Guardian publish, then unpublish, a letter in support of Chris Williamson signed by 100 persons identifying themselves as Jewish, including Noam Chomsky? Were they the wrong kind of Jews. The paper’s contortions on this subject do not do it any credit. If there is a reasoned position on this highly contentious issue, then I would dearly love to see it laid out clearly so we all know where we stand. Or are there some subjects that we just can’t touch?
Here is my last week of cartoons. Today I’m headed out for the editorial cartooning convention in St. Just, France, with my brilliant cartoonist buddies, Steve Sack, Bob Englehart and Pat Bagley.
Here’s my most recent cartoon, with the GOP all tied up in a knot. They seem to be pretty dysfunctional right now, gumming up the government for everybody. (I was just drawing the heels of his shoes with the old fashioned nails and gripper on the back, I wasn’t think of his heels having happy faces. I guess I have to think of everything.)
I did a second GOP knot cartoon this week, which makes the point more about the split in the Republican party.
I’m trying to do more texture in my cartoons. I’ve been asked why I do the yellow backgrounds so often in my cartoons. I like the yellow because it is intense and light so that it doesn’t draw away from the line art.
I drew a THIRD Republican knot cartoon this week. This is my knotty Republican week. Here is the GOP hanging himself on the medical Caduseus (Obamacare).
Enough of knots. When Ted Cruz was doing his useless filibuster, reading from Dr. Seuss, and the other cartoonists were all making Dr. Seuss metaphors, I was rather more annoyed with Cruz, so I drew him as a monkey throwing his poop.
I know that there won’t be many newspapers that will print this (if any will at all). I guess that is one of the perks of being my own editor – I can draw whatever I want even if nobody wants to see it. This cartoon is actually a homage to the great, British cartoonist Steve Bell, who drew a famous image of George W. Bush in a similar pose. I’m a big Steve Bell fan.
The last one for the week is this Republican suicide bomber cartoon. I’m leaving for the convention in France at a difficult time, with all the wonderful, crazy politics going on now. I won’t be drawing new cartoons for a week or so, but when I come back I expect to have some pent up angst, ready for the drawing board.