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AAEC releases statesment supporting Ann Telnaes

The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists has issues the following statement supporting editorial cartoonist Ann Telnaes.

The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC) stands in support with Ann Telnaes and her right to call out presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz for politicizing his daughters in a campaign attack ad. While it would be in bad taste to arbitrarily go after a public figure’s family, it is fair journalism to criticize the senator for using his own children to attack a political opponent. And that’s precisely what Ann’s cartoon has done. It does not stray from the time-honored tradition of cartoonists using satire to speak truth to power and protect the powerless ? in this case, children.

Cruz ventured into new territory when he had his 7-year-old play an active attack role reading from a script in a campaign ad criticizing political opponents. The media should draw a distinction between this and when elected officials merely use their family in photo ops and positive campaign promotion as has historically been the custom.

Cartoons speak in metaphor, and the monkey image is integral to the age-old organ grinder symbol. Taken in full context, Cruz was clearly the target, but he and his supporters deflected the message by claiming his children were the victims. This is a technique many employ when in the crosshairs of satire, and the media must be careful not to fall for this argument hook, line, and sinker. While the editors at The Washington Post are free to edit how they see fit, in our view it would have been best to defend the cartoon once it had been published. Retracting it risks the appearance of caving to political pressure.

Community Comments

#1 Milt Priggee
December/30/2015
@ 7:12 pm

If you believe the cartoon was attacking Cruz’s daughters I strongly suggest you never ever gaze upon another editorial cartoon for the rest of your life?as you do not posses the intellectual capacity or intelligence to understand the obvious.

#2 Keith Brown
December/30/2015
@ 8:03 pm

Milt, I couldn’t agree more.

#3 Mike Lester
December/31/2015
@ 8:24 am

Milt, have you read the comments, pretzel logic and gallant defense of a liberal cartooning damsel in destress safeguarding her right to use monkeys as metaphor for hispanic children?
(I especially liked the guy who wikipedia’d the history of organ grinder monkeys as trained and intelligent in order to prove drawing Cruz kids as monkeys was somehow a compliment. BRILLIANT!)

But to the point, you just admonished every one of those commenters and banished them from Editorial Cartoon Land over which you presume to rule. Including Ann.

The liberals logical flaw in using kids in adult arguments is simple: if Ted Cruz as a parent feels the need to spank his kids
doesn’t mean you get to help.

btw: the AAEC or TDC or any liberal cartoonist has ever come to the defense of Rick McKee, Gary/Glenn McCoy or yours truly. But the AAEC will take our money.

#4 Keith Brown
December/31/2015
@ 9:25 am

@Mike Lester,
I think you are ignoring the point that Ted Cruz opened up this particular can of worms when he chose to have his children parrot editorial commentary about a political opponent. They clearly had no idea what they were saying nor do I suspect that they really had much of a choice.
In my opinion this cartoon is clearly aimed at Ted more than his children, but by all means let’s be outraged at Ann’s audacity while Ted gets to be the victim.

#5 Clay Jones
January/2/2016
@ 1:25 pm

Ann did not draw his children as monkeys. She drew monkeys as his children. It’s amazing some cartoonists can’t understand the difference.

The example of conservative cartoonists not being defended by the AAEC is hypothetical. When has a politician tried to edit a conservative cartoonist?
People publicly hating a cartoon is their right. It happens every day. It does not merit a statement of support every time you draw something racist. A politician crying foul, intimidating and attempting to destroy a cartoonist does merit support.

I stand with Ann. That’s standing with editorial cartooning. In contrast, Mike Lester lobbed a sexist insult toward her.
Stay classy.

#6 Keith Brown
January/2/2016
@ 3:28 pm

In all of this kerfuffle I’m not disappointed with Ann or even Ted for that matter,that’s a back and forth that should not onyl be had but encouraged. My only real disappointment lies with the Washington Post.

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