Politico reporter Chris Frates had a front row seat to a heated email exchange between Doonebury creator Garry Trudeau and lobbyist Lanny Davis over last week’s storyline involving lobbyists for Arab dictators. Last Friday’s strip specifically mentioned Davis as one who is representing the reprehensible Ivory Coast’s Laurent Gbagbo. Davis criticized the cartoon in Politico and demanded an apology. Garry responded (see below) and cc’ed the Politico reporter with permission to reprint his response.
“It doesn’t much concern me why or how you withdrew from your contract with the loathsome Laurent Gbagbo. Your view of yourself as peacemaker notwithstanding, I think it’s fair to say that Gbagbo didn’t send you $300,000 to arrange his own exit. Indeed, he murdered countless countrymen trying to avoid exactly that outcome,” Trudeau wrote.
“You may frame your resignation as a gesture of principle if you’d like, but most people know a face-saving exit strategy when they see one,” he added. “And retaining $150,000 in ‘expenses’ from a man accused of crimes against humanity certainly suggests your sense of honor had its limits.”
Davis fired back (again with the cc: to the Politico reporter)
“What I consider ‘morally reprehensible’ is your apparent willingness to make a personal attack without checking the facts on which your attack is based, and then to repeat and add to these personal attacks in an email, even after the facts have been pointed out to you,” Davis wrote.
“If you wish to be sanctimonious judging other people’s morality, that is up to you,” Davis added. “But I believe you might consider being more conscientious about being accurate and fair if you are going to attack someone.”