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Gary McCoy receiving death threats over Sandra Fluke cartoon

Gary McCoy is receiving national press over a recent Sandra Fluke editorial cartoon which he reports has also generated death threats. The cartoon depicts a woman stating, “Stay out of my uterus, government” (while holding a pro-choice sign) and then in the next frame, “that is, right after paying for my free birth control” as the woman writes on a men’s room door, “for a good time call me.”

Daryl Cagle has posted Gary’s response on his blog.

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.

I’m not so sure Gary’s response convincing. What have we come to in editorial cartooning that if something isn’t labeled it’s not explicit what was drawn? The cartoon IS labeled Georgetown – the same university as Fluke – and there is a likeness to the caricature. It’s like the connection is implicit, not explicit. I can’t condone the death threats, but can Gary really be surprised that readers believe he’s drawing Fluke?

Related item: Mike Lester also runs a controversial cartoon on the topic of Sandra Fluke to which Tom Spurgeon opines, “Is it too late to go to every article I’ve written the last few years about the decline of staffed editorial cartooning positions and add a ‘hooray'”? – Tom, I hit that a while ago.

Community Comments

#1 Terry LaBan
March/13/2012
@ 9:03 am

Gary IS drawing Fluke, and he’s also agreeing with Limbaugh that she’s a slut.Don’t turn weasel on us now, Gary! Where’s that right-wing, political-correctness-be-damned spirit when you need it?

#2 Terry LaBan
March/13/2012
@ 9:08 am

Oh man, just checked out the Mike Lester cartoon. I hope the Democrats put it in every anti-Republican mailing they can, since it pretty much sums up the GOP’s attitude to everyone who isn’t white, old and male. But at least he made Sandra Fluke cute.

#3 Philip Taterczynski
March/13/2012
@ 11:33 am

I have long been annoyed by Glenn McCoy’s abject dismissal of anything that isn’t so far off to the right it’s virtually invisible. He makes Limbaugh, Beck and Savage look downright tolerant, but at least his non-editorial cartooning (The Duplex and The Flying McCoys) manage to entertain a couple days a month.. However, I would never wish him dead, nor can I condone threats of violence against him. On the other hand, If I heard that he slammed his drawing hand in a car door, I might smile a bit.

#4 Jan Eliot
March/13/2012
@ 11:46 am

This is Gary McCoy’s cartoon, not Glen’s, but with the McCoys you get two for the price of … Who does Gary think he’s fooling with his explanation? This is a nasty, disgusting cartoon. If you can’t disagree with someone without calling them a slut ( you know that’s what you are doing, Gary ) then please keep quiet. Uck.

#5 Joe Engesser
March/13/2012
@ 12:05 pm

The truth is sometimes harder to swallow than a pill.

#6 Jeff Knurek
March/13/2012
@ 12:37 pm

Joe, wouldn’t the truth involve the fact that the government isn’t paying for Ms. Fluke’s health care coverage premiums? I believe that students pay for their own health care premiums.

#7 Rachel Keslensky @ Last Res0rt
March/13/2012
@ 12:56 pm

Later down in the comments, my eyes caught this gem from Gary as well:

Gary: “Do(sic) to time constraints of my job, something all you crybaby liberals probably don’t have to worry about, I’ll have to summarize my rebuttal to each whiny comment with this succinct reply….. Bite me.”

… I don’t know about death threats, but I was halfway through sending a cover letter and resume to his editor-in-chief before I realized the schlub didn’t have a hometown paper, let alone a job to fire him from.

PROTIP: If your professional reply involves the phrase “Bite Me”, it isn’t.

#8 Mark Juhl
March/13/2012
@ 1:14 pm

Jan I assume you have the same feelings for those who’ve refered to conservative women as sluts,c%nts,bimbos,boobs,mashed-up bags of meat with lipstick,Koch whores,Aunt Jemima and the list goes on and on. One mag even posted a list of the top 10 conservative women who deserved to be hate f@#ked.
While I agree that we need civility and respect in political discourse, but it seems the outrage and cries for civility only hapen if it’s a liberal being attacked.

#9 Pete McDonnell
March/13/2012
@ 1:36 pm

McCoy’s gotta expect knee-jerk responses if he’s gonna draw knee-jerk cartoons. He doesn’t really consider his drawing to be some kind of thoughtful commentary on the issue, does he?

#10 Mike Beckom
March/13/2012
@ 2:17 pm

Y’all might’ve inadvertently just given both these artists a raise. They did exactly what a good editorial cartoonist is SUPPOSED to do. They got people talking. A good toon, like the toon creator, should get people thinking and talking about the issues….not just being an apathetic observer. We as a nation, have become a bunch of politically correct, soul-less automatons who are so immune to the daily death, destruction, crime and misery reported in the news that we barely even blink. HURRAY for poking a stick in your collective eyes!!!! If these toons make you angry, great! If they make you read more and actually pay attention to the news….even more great! So many people only hold the opinions of others instead of forming their own.
I could not help but notice, however, that it is a segment of society (liberals mostly) who are most outraged. Really? Of all the things in this country and in the world to be angry about, THIS is the one that most gets you riled up? That, in and of itself, is a sad commentary on the state of our country and it’s people.
As you might’ve guessed, I’m a right-leaning conservative….and a pretty fair editorial cartoonist in my own right. I take offense to all of you berating these two guys for….well, let’s face it…doing the same thing YOU are doing….speaking their mind. Last time I checked….even in this political correct society….there are still some of us who say ….’if it looks like a turd and smells like a turd…it’s still ok to call it a turd’. That’s one of the blessed foundations of our country. Political Correctness is for spineless sissies.
To Gary and Mike, I say….Well Done, Guys! Well done! and HURRAY for poking a stick in their eye!!!!!

#11 Terry LaBan
March/13/2012
@ 2:37 pm

Good for you, Mike Beckom! You think women who use birth control are sluts and you’re not afraid to say it. Don’t know why you’re hurrah-ing for Gary, though. When the liberals got mad at him, he ran screaming like a little girl. No offense, ladies.

#12 Milt Priggee
March/13/2012
@ 2:46 pm

I disapprove of what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it. Voltaire

#13 Mike Beckom
March/13/2012
@ 3:22 pm

@Terry Laban….if THAT was what you got from my post, then I suggest you try this little exercise…..it’ll definitely help you see things more clearly…..first…firmly grasp your left earlobe with your left hand. Keep holding it. Now, while maintaining your hold on said left earlobe, reach up and with your right hand….firmly grasp your right earlobe. You’re almost there…..keep holding those lobes….now, with all of your might and courage….while holding tightly to your lobes…..pull sharply in a downward motion. That loud ‘POP’ followed by a sudden rush of light….will be your head coming back out of your hindparts.
WOW! Now isn’t THAT better? Love ya, mean it!

#14 Philip Taterczynski
March/13/2012
@ 3:24 pm

Sorry for confusing the two. Actually when I see an amusing panel of “The Flying McCoys”, it’s never the political guy that drew it.

#15 Dave Crews
March/13/2012
@ 3:57 pm

It’s fascinating to me how liberals have turned this whole issue around and put conservatives on defense. The whole problem was mandating that the Catholic church provide birth control to their employees – a religious freedom issue. Now it’s been flipped and conservatives are being portrayed as though they are against any health insurance covering birth control or just against women using birth control, period. Which of course, is completely ridiculous. Utterly brilliant move by the left.

#16 Dave Krainacker
March/13/2012
@ 4:35 pm

I am not a cartoonist, but I read the work of many of you. My question is how do we decide what is acceptable for a cartoon? Are there any limits at all, and if so, who decides? My opinion is that we let the marketplace of free ideas decide. Dumb ideas and offensive cartoons will eventually go away on their own. But is that too permissive? For example, what would be the response if a pedophile wrote an editorial cartoon praising Sandusky from Penn State as a hero? Condemnation, one would hope. But whose place is it to decide what is and is not published? An editor? The market? Any ideas?

#17 Mark Juhl
March/13/2012
@ 5:15 pm

The cartoonist is free to draw what they want about what they want, the editor of the paper though has the right to publish it or not. We can agree or disagree with eithers decisions but to take away either ones choice sinks the whole freedom of expression thing.

#18 Terry LaBan
March/14/2012
@ 9:05 am

@Mike Beckam
Brilliant response. And they say liberals are supposed to be the intellectual ones. Let me guess–you’re a Gingrich man.

#19 Mike Beckom
March/14/2012
@ 9:28 am

@Terry Laban, nope….Santorum. He’s more the lesser of the evils. I don’t agree with some of his ideas, but his line up more closely with mine. I was actually deeply embarassed that my home state (South Carolina) voted so heavily in favor of Newt. Rick McKee did a toon a while back that pretty much sums up the majority opinion of folks here in the South……it had pollsters asking a common man who he was voting for….on top of his house was a large sign that read…..ANYBODY BUT OBAMA. At one time, I’d have bet that the GOP could’ve run a goat against ‘the community-organizer-in-chief’ and beat him. With the cast of characters that is assmebled to run now….that goat might be a welcome change…..
Contrary to common belief…..most of us ‘Southerners’ are NOT, idiots. Sorry for the heavy-handed response to your post. While we may not be idiots….we are a hot-tempered bunch….especially when hit with condenscending attitudes. I blame it on the high humidity of our Southern summertime…which it appears, has hit already.

#20 Gerry Mooney
March/15/2012
@ 11:24 am

Creepy, creepy, creepy. And for the commenters who think he’s doing a good job, an extra creepy.

#21 Carl Moore
March/15/2012
@ 6:49 pm

Both cartoons are are funny and both make the point – Sandra Fluke’s contention that others should pay for her law-school contraception is ridiculous. That it represents Obama’s pimp-like policies of “vote for me and I’ll take good care of you” is spot-on. These cartoons do what editorial cartoonists are supposed to do – make a good point wrapped in a chuckle. Mike Lester’s cartoon is perfect!

#22 Kassie Schwan
March/16/2012
@ 8:27 am

I find it pathetic that any “editorial cartoonist” of any stripe insists on their God-given right to draw ANYthing—even if it is based on blatant factual inaccuracy. Could you at least read the proposed law, read Ms. Fluke’s testimony, then try again? Sheesh.

#23 Ed Stewart
March/17/2012
@ 10:31 pm

This “discussion” has NOT been monitored AT ALL. As I’ve watched it degenerate into not only gutter talk but actual physical threats. This site should be ashamed of itself. I’m a left of center moderate who is passionate about my politics but I still remember a day when reasonable people could disagree without being disagreeable. It seems that the barrier between people posed by the internet gives people license to say things they would never say directly to each other. I also get the feeling that lax monitoring leaves room for “kids” to get involved in the discussion. However, Mr. McCoy seems to have not only a political interest but a monetary one too, for getting people to notice his ‘shock-jock’ type of cartoons. I’m not going to suggest this site to anyone I know or have influence with, as it seems you DON’T encourage reasonable discussion of important issues of the day. The cartoon was clearly not vetted through any editorial committee to ensure he even knew WHAT the issue was or what his cartoon was addressing. Like Rush, he created a mis-representation of the Sandra Fluke and a controversy that didn’t need to happen. If this is where online politics is headed, no wonder independents or centrists wanting solutions are frustrated – neither Congress, the President or the “media” have provided leadership or serious attention to real problems.

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