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In a move eerily foreshadowed by my complaint about Steve Bell and The Guardian, the Washington Post has announced that they will no longer carry Ted Rall's despicable editorial cartoons. After a career of crude scribbles conveying even cruder sentiments, Rall's cartoon depicting a developmentally disabled student taking over a classroom as an allegory for the election provided the final straw for the Post:
WashingtonPost.com is no longer running the cartoons of hard-hitting liberal Ted Rall.
Rall said he thinks the site dropped his work because of a Nov. 4 cartoon he did showing a drooling, mentally handicapped student taking over a classroom. "The idea was to draw an analogy to the electorate -- in essence, the idiots are now running the country," he told E&P.
"That cartoon certainly drew a significant amount of negative comment from our users," said WashingtonPost.com Executive Editor Doug Feaver when contacted by E&P. But he added that the decision to drop Rall was a "cumulative" one that had been building for a while.
"Ted Rall does very interesting work," Feaver said. "Some of it is not funny to an awful lot of people. We decided at the end of the day that it just did not fit the tone we wanted at WashingtonPost.com."
That's an understatement. Rall's work wasn't funny to almost anyone except Rall, and perhaps not even him. An undercurrent of hatred runs through everything Rall produced, marking him not as a cynical observer but as a seething demagogue who didn't give a damn who or what stood in his way of making his point. He portrayed the 9/11 families as nothing more than greedy widows worrying about nothing more than making a buck; he went out of his way to insult Pat Tillman's memory after his combat death in Afghanistan. We bloggers complain about a lot of people in the media, such as Dan Rather, Chris Matthews, or the Post's own Dana Milbank for their biases. Ted Rall belongs in his own category; he is truly a despicable human being.
Rall, of course, refuses to admit he did anything that justifies his firing:
Rall said he was dropped for one "boneheaded" drawing when WashingtonPost.com has "no problem with 99% of my work." He noted that the site could have pulled the one cartoon without canceling him entirely.
"Nobody bats a thousand -- not me, not anyone," said Rall. "Strong editorial cartoonists take risks. Sometimes they cross the line. Actions like the Post's encourage the kind of timidity that has blandified not just editorial cartoons, but newspaper content overall."
What a typically narcissistic remark, as if no other editorial cartoonist exists outside of Rall. As I wrote in the earlier post, the American stable of cartoonists do brilliant and diverse work, while Rall plays in his own excrement. Rall even plays the pathetic First Amendment ca(na)rd:
"I don't think censorship is ever the answer," mentioning that he publicly opposed campaigns to fire or boycott conservatives Rush Limbaugh and Dr. Laura Schlessinger for that reason.
Governments censor -- private entities exercise editorial judgment. The Washington Post finally exercised theirs. Rall can maintain his "strident liberal voice" from his own website, where his clumsy artwork can spread his message of hatred and vituperation to his blackhearted content.
UPDATE: If you want to see Rall's Nov. 8th cartoon that set the wheels of justice in motion, you can see it here. It's about as disgusting as you could imagine.
UPDATE II: As usual, McQ at QandO and I are in complete agreement.Sphere It View blog reactions
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