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Randy Bish ticks off 41,000 Purple Heart recipients

Randy Bish, editorial cartoonist for the Pittsburg Tribune-Review, is scrambling to find 41,000 donuts to entertain the same number of Purple Heart recipients who are threatening to march on his office to demand an apology for his November 2nd cartoon depicting the Purple Heart with the word “Stupid”. The cartoon was a jab at Senator John Kerry’s “botched joke” about soldiers serving in Iraq being uneducated. The public relations director of the Military Order of the Purple Heart wrote a terse letter to the newspaper stating:

To besmirch or disfigure the Purple Heart is to dishonor all those proud Americans who either gave their lives so your cartoonist could dishonor them, or shed their blood on the world’s battlefields so he could draw his cartoons in peace.

We are the keepers of the medal.

Our order has 41,000 combat wounded in its ranks and every one of them, even those hardly able to walk, would love to march into your office and confront your cartoonist and ask him to draw another funny cartoon about the Purple Heart.

No sir, your cartoon was not humorous at all. It was disgusting. And if you fail to publish this letter to the editor, I will certainly lose all respect for you and your staff, what little I have left, that is.

Community Comments

#1 Ronn Owens
April/12/2007
@ 6:38 pm

The Military needs a good man! Put him on point in a hot fire zone. Then he can be very proud like I am.
Two Purple Hearts
Vietnam 1965 1966

#2 Rick Stromoski
April/13/2007
@ 5:47 am

Incredible how people completely miss the point . The cartoon was in defense of Iraq troops and critical of John Kerry, the point being that if it was up to John Kerry any purple heart given to a wounded Iraq war veteran would have the word stupid attached to it based on Kerry’s bungled joke some months back.

It just proves that some people have the interpretive skills of a rhesus monkey…and they usually vote Republican.

#3 Alan Gardner
April/13/2007
@ 8:59 am

It just proves that some people have the interpretive skills of a rhesus monkey…and they usually vote Republican.

Wow. And others insult the intelligence of others with a lack of their own by spouting unsubstantiated claims … and they usually vote Democrat?

Seriously, I could care less about your politics Rick, but don’t insult all Republicans because of your disagreement with another person’s views (who may or may not be a Republican).

#4 Rick Stromoski
April/13/2007
@ 9:20 am

I wasn’t insulting all Republicans Alan. I was insulting those individuals who would take offense at Randy Bish’s cartoon and deservedly so. It is more likely that such an individual who could be so blind in understanding the intent of the piece most likely blindly supports this war and this administration and therefore would very likely be a Republican voter. But I could be wrong.

#5 Rich
April/13/2007
@ 11:50 am

Probably need to give folks the benefit of the doubt. So much of what we hear these days on the news is out-of-context. If a soldier wasn’t following Kerry’s exploits (and who could blame him/her for not), then it could possibly be misread and considered offensive (although in reviewing I can’t really see how, but I was very familiar with Kerry’s blunder). However, there is also something to be said for not have a knee-jerk reaction to things without finding out the context, which, in this case, seems they did miss the point big time. The editorial cartoonist perhaps could have anticipated this and added some extra context (with a marginal character or newspaper headline in the background). It’s not a stretch to expect most editorial cartoonist’s to be anti-military because they are democrats … er … I mean … uh … liberals … er … that is … completely objective and open minded … yeah that’s it … no … oh well you know what I mean. It would be almost like making blanket statements about rhesus monkeys (I happen to know that they are mostly moderates … don’t ask how I know, it’s not pretty), soldiers and the sad and pathetic democrats. Oh, by sad and pathetic democrats I just mean those that are sad and pathetic. ;)

Speaking of pathetic, that was my attempt at tongue-in-cheek humor. I have to agree with the amazement that the message isn’t clear on this cartoon. It seems like one that would be so obvious. Perhaps the military does not like it’s symbols used in parody, but symbols are the tool of cartoonists and fair game. This does not seem to be a tasteless use (since it is really pointing out Kerry’s tasteless use) like some of the uses of flagged coffins, etc. It is amazing how easily offended folks are these days.

#6 J.B.Hunt
April/13/2007
@ 2:45 pm

“based on Kerryâ??s bungled joke some months back.”

“It just proves that some people have the interpretive skills of a rhesus monkeyâ?¦and they usually vote Republican.”

This guy’s a hoot. I always get a kick out of this dude’s wild-eyed robotic mantras. Especially when he steps in his own hypocrisy in the same paragraph. Rick belittles half of America for what he calls ‘group think’, right after blindly saluting Kerry’s ridiculous explanation for insulting our troops.

Kerry desperately pulled that ‘botched joke’ thing out of his butt, and no thinking person was actually fooled by it. But somehow, the mass media, their allies the Democratic Party, and Rick all unquestioningly swallowed it like competitive eaters at a boiled egg contest. It was sad yet highly amusing to watch.

Here’s how the media and history-writers would forever refer to that incident if a Republican leader had made that horrific statement:
“…(Republican leader’s) ‘alleged’ botched joke….”

Rick and his reactionary brethren continue to prove that they are ruled by emotion rather than critical reasoning.

#7 JeffreyC.
April/13/2007
@ 7:10 pm

I don’t get it….. With everything that’s happening and being said today, why, oh WHY?…. are you guys still talking about something that John Kerry said 5 Months ago?? I’m sure there must be at least one political cartoon from this past week, that we can ridicual.

I’ll tell you what…. Imus just got himself fire today, for making some racist commentary on his show, and I’m sure we’ll see a couple dozen cartoons on this subject in the next few days, so let’s put this Kerry thing in the past, and move on to more recent cartoon discussions…

#8 Eric Burke
April/13/2007
@ 9:16 pm

Seems to me that the people that are usually offended by free speech(in any medium) these days seem to be of the liberal and democratic variety. As an example, the whole Imus situation brings up the topic of not just free speech(even when it’s stupid, racial statements like he made) but an open racial discussion that we can’t seem to agree to have. I’ve heard most republican hosts and writers defend NOT what Imus said, but that he should have the right to say it. Punishment due? Sure. But it’s the liberals that demand their free speech but protest when others try to exercise that same right….having said that, I don’t know how anyone could have misinterpeted that cartoon. If someone viewing it didn’t “get” tha cartoon, do some research before complaining…

#9 DOLORES BOLAM
October/20/2009
@ 1:50 pm

Those Purple heart vets, God bless them, must have all got hit in the head, to miss the real intent of the cartoon. If all of you vets had gone to tar and feather him, You would have had a ball, He, Bish is the funniest, whittest , nicest and the most patroit guy you ever want to meet. You are just jealous of the big money he makes

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