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Steve Benson enrages blogosphere with Marine Corps cartoon

Steve Benson, editorial cartoonist for the Arizona Republic, has managed to generate 1,350 letters regarding his June 5th cartoon that depicts a bloody U.S. Marine Corp emblem with the caption: “United States Massacre Cover-up.”  Many in the blogosphere were outraged that the cartoon castigates all Marines and not just those who were allegedly involved in the Haditha massacre. Some even called Steve another Ted Rahl (sic).

A quick sample at the blogosphere reaction: Michele Malkin, Real Clear Politics, Money Runner, Villainous Company, Antimedia and Bear Creek Ledger.
Did  Steve cross the line. I think so. Your reaction?

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Community Comments

#1 Rick Stromoski
June/21/2006
@ 7:04 pm

Nope. Seems about right on.

#2 Rick Stromoski
June/21/2006
@ 1:04 pm

Nope. Seems about right on.

#3 Spartak Dinamoh
June/21/2006
@ 7:06 pm

Yes, I think Benson was over the top. I think the sneering eagle atop the USMC symbol was another touch of boorishness that raised even more disgust. Now that the report has been officially released substantively concluding there was no cover-up, John Murtha, among others, needs to come forward and beg forgiveness of the Marines.

#4 Spartak Dinamoh
June/21/2006
@ 1:06 pm

Yes, I think Benson was over the top. I think the sneering eagle atop the USMC symbol was another touch of boorishness that raised even more disgust. Now that the report has been officially released substantively concluding there was no cover-up, John Murtha, among others, needs to come forward and beg forgiveness of the Marines.

#5 Smith, Richard
June/21/2006
@ 7:17 pm

The cartoon is offensive and an apology is required. Tom Toles’ cartoon in the Washington Post caricaturing a disabled servicemember was so offensive that it stimulated a response from the Joint Chiefs of Staff for a lack of sensitivity. Now, we see that instead of learning from this mistake, Steve Benson thought it would be fun to malign the Marines in the Arizona Republic. As a native of Arizona, I am incensed that my state is being hauled into this mess, especially considering the Marines are warmly welcomed and have a great presence in Arizona. I would have more sympathy if I did not know that the Republic had already refused to print the “Danish cartoons” because they were “offensive.” Why the double standard? We can hold our military to the highest standards but not the press? I don’t think so. Grow up and be a part of the solution, not the problem, Mr. Benson.

#6 Smith, Richard
June/21/2006
@ 1:17 pm

The cartoon is offensive and an apology is required. Tom Toles’ cartoon in the Washington Post caricaturing a disabled servicemember was so offensive that it stimulated a response from the Joint Chiefs of Staff for a lack of sensitivity. Now, we see that instead of learning from this mistake, Steve Benson thought it would be fun to malign the Marines in the Arizona Republic. As a native of Arizona, I am incensed that my state is being hauled into this mess, especially considering the Marines are warmly welcomed and have a great presence in Arizona. I would have more sympathy if I did not know that the Republic had already refused to print the “Danish cartoons” because they were “offensive.” Why the double standard? We can hold our military to the highest standards but not the press? I don’t think so. Grow up and be a part of the solution, not the problem, Mr. Benson.

#7 Wes Rand
June/21/2006
@ 10:31 pm

No, not over the top. It’s not a particularly deep or insightful cartoon but does get his point across.

#8 Wes Rand
June/21/2006
@ 4:31 pm

No, not over the top. It’s not a particularly deep or insightful cartoon but does get his point across.

#9 Mark Savary
June/21/2006
@ 10:34 pm

I dunno. I actually think the cartoon is clever, especially the way he’s rendered the globe in the emblem.

And, just to be fair, the situation with the Danish cartoons is not really a good comparison. The Marines are an institution, not a religion. While criticism of both can certainly raise very emotional issues, I think a religion trumps an institution on that score every time.

The job of an editorial cartoonist is to make bold comments about politics and society in the hopes of getting people to think, or to see things from a different angle. Benson has certainly done that here, whether people like the imagery in the cartoon or not.

#10 Mark Savary
June/21/2006
@ 4:34 pm

I dunno. I actually think the cartoon is clever, especially the way he’s rendered the globe in the emblem.

And, just to be fair, the situation with the Danish cartoons is not really a good comparison. The Marines are an institution, not a religion. While criticism of both can certainly raise very emotional issues, I think a religion trumps an institution on that score every time.

The job of an editorial cartoonist is to make bold comments about politics and society in the hopes of getting people to think, or to see things from a different angle. Benson has certainly done that here, whether people like the imagery in the cartoon or not.

#11 Dan Kenavig
June/29/2006
@ 6:22 pm

I like the cartoon. I served in the Marine Corps and “fought” in Desert Storm. The enemy actually was terrified – specifically of Marines. Some POWs told us that they were told by their generals that US Marines were seperate from the US Army, because to become a Marine you had to kill a member of your won family. Apparantly their generals thought this would make them reluctant to surrender to us. Benson has (inadvertently) done us a favor. He has drawn a cartoon that, in the future, an unknown enemy will look at, which will make fear of US Marines grow in his belly like a cancer.

#12 Dan Kenavig
June/29/2006
@ 12:22 pm

I like the cartoon. I served in the Marine Corps and “fought” in Desert Storm. The enemy actually was terrified – specifically of Marines. Some POWs told us that they were told by their generals that US Marines were seperate from the US Army, because to become a Marine you had to kill a member of your won family. Apparantly their generals thought this would make them reluctant to surrender to us. Benson has (inadvertently) done us a favor. He has drawn a cartoon that, in the future, an unknown enemy will look at, which will make fear of US Marines grow in his belly like a cancer.

#13 Ken Schultz
July/6/2006
@ 7:46 pm

Being a MARINE myself, I never put conditions on the signature I submitted to go along with my oath. I fought for the same freedoms for all, without putting stipulations on what my life could be expunged for. Never did I propose on giving my life for my country, as a dead MARINE can’t protect much. But I was willing to die if it were to protect the Constitution and our way of life. Yes even to let people do and print things that I may personally not agree with. As I know a lot of you do not agree with me.

#14 Ken Schultz
July/6/2006
@ 1:46 pm

Being a MARINE myself, I never put conditions on the signature I submitted to go along with my oath. I fought for the same freedoms for all, without putting stipulations on what my life could be expunged for. Never did I propose on giving my life for my country, as a dead MARINE can’t protect much. But I was willing to die if it were to protect the Constitution and our way of life. Yes even to let people do and print things that I may personally not agree with. As I know a lot of you do not agree with me.

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