Gary McCoy is receiving national press over a recent Sandra Fluke editorial cartoon which he reports has also generated death threats. The cartoon depicts a woman stating, “Stay out of my uterus, government” (while holding a pro-choice sign) and then in the next frame, “that is, right after paying for my free birth control” as the woman writes on a men’s room door, “for a good time call me.”
On top of it, many who wrote me said the statement in the cartoon isn’t even something that Miss Fluke has said. So there you have it, a woman not labeled Sandra Fluke, who doesn’t look like Sandra Fluke, saying something that Sandra Fluke has apparently not said. Yet, I’m hit with everything from being labeled a misogynist, to personal threats for calling Sandra Fluke a “slut”. This sort of knee-jerk reactionism makes the Rockettes look like a Tennessee Waltz dance act.
I’m not so sure Gary’s response convincing. What have we come to in editorial cartooning that if something isn’t labeled it’s not explicit what was drawn? The cartoon IS labeled Georgetown – the same university as Fluke – and there is a likeness to the caricature. It’s like the connection is implicit, not explicit. I can’t condone the death threats, but can Gary really be surprised that readers believe he’s drawing Fluke?
Related item: Mike Lester also runs a controversial cartoon on the topic of Sandra Fluke to which Tom Spurgeon opines, “Is it too late to go to every article I’ve written the last few years about the decline of staffed editorial cartooning positions and add a ‘hooray'”? – Tom, I hit that a while ago.