Pam Platt, public editor of The Courier-Journal, has written an interesting column regarding how editorial cartoonists are dealing with race and gender with the Democratic presidential campaign. She email-interviewed eight cartoonists for their response.
David Brown, The Los Angeles Sentinel: “My approach to drawing Clinton and Obama is no different than any other personality. How I draw a person is based on my personal opinion regarding what kind of person I think they are and convey it through how they are depicted.”
John Cole, The Times-Tribune in Scranton, Pa.: “I generally adhere to a ‘sauce-for-the-goose-is-sauce-for-the-gander’ philosophy in my cartoons. I can’t in good conscience soften a cartoon’s bite or humor to accommodate a few readers’ overly attuned race and gender sensitivities. Conversely, gratuitous and superfluous stereotypical images having nothing to do with the issues are needlessly offensive and simply designed to tick off readers. That’s not why I’m here, and I don’t use them.”
Jeff Parker, Florida Today in Melbourne, Fla.: “Not so far. I haven’t treated either Sen. Clinton or Sen. Obama any differently than I would any other candidate or elected official. In creating a caricature, I like to study the subject’s whole personality and not just their facial features. Speaking for myself, there’s an obvious degree of caution that needs to be considered whenever it comes to rendering people of color, and Sen. Obama, that a cartoonist wouldn’t generally think about when depicting a white personality.”
Ann Telnaes, Washington, D.C.-based syndicated cartoonist: “No, although I guess I am sensitive to double standards when it comes to criticisms and media coverage of Hillary. It’s a juggling act, because I do cartoons criticizing her actions and policies.”
Other follow up questions include: “What guidelines or philosophies are guiding you with your cartoons about them? Is one candidate dicier than the other for cartoonists?” and “Is anything out-of-bounds or off-limits to you when it comes to them?”