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How the French Mohammed cartoons affect cartooning

NPR looks at how the recent cartoons depicting the Muslim prophet Mohammed in Charlie Hebdo are affecting cartoonists around the world. Good question with answers from Matt Wuerker, Mark Fiore, Daryl Cagle, Patrick Chappatte and Terry Mosher (AKA: Aislin).

I think a lot of us are kind of horrified,“ says Matt Wuerker, Politico’s staff cartoonist and incoming president of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists. ”Over the last few years, people have gotten the idea that cartoons are radioactive because they have the power to inspire riots. That doesn’t help cartooning in a certain sense.

Underlining theme: editors and cartoonists are becoming more cautious.

Community Comments

#1 Naus
September/25/2012
@ 6:40 pm

caution and funny do not really go hand in hand.

#2 Mike Peterson
September/26/2012
@ 5:00 am

Back in the days of the Free Speech Movement, my father sent me a column that asked, “If you say ‘&%(*” in everyday conversation, what can you say to a flat tire on the Brooklyn Bridge during rush hour?”

Similarly, when you insult people just to prove you can, what’s left in your quiver when a clever insult is just what’s needed to push home an important point?

The cartoonists quoted make more pragmatic points than that, but, even if you dismiss their thoughts as “caution,” wasting your ammunition seems more foolish than bold.

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