Cartoonists React to New York Times Cartoon Ban


As expected political cartoonists are registering their disgust with the New York Times’ response to a New York Times International editor picking a cartoon that produced some blowback.

Above Clay Jones draws his reaction, but also uses his column to explain the good editorial cartoons do for newspapers and society.



Below Joep Beltrams shows that the New York Times decision is an international incident.



Editorial cartoonists across America and the world have consistently, uniformly and vigorously defended the ideal of a free press from the attacks of tyrants, dictators and twittering demagogues. But now cartoonists are united in their outrage as it has become apparent this week that The New York Times has indeed sadly failed.

Association of American Editorial Cartoonists President Kevin Siers has issued a statement.

Kevin has also drawn a statement:



Cartoon Movement makes a statement:

In a healthy public debate (which a newspaper like the NY Times should facilitate) what then follows is a discussion about why this cartoon crossed the line. Why do many people find this cartoon so offensive?

What shouldn’t happen is a complete silencing of this branch of visual journalism. Because it takes away from the public debate. It is, for lack of a better word, censorship. I use the word censorship not because of the decision itself (it is every media outlet’s prerogative to decide what they will and will not publish, however strongly I may disagree with it), but the apparent argumentation behind it.



Ed Hall, like others, has taken his view of the Times to social media:



Acclaimed French cartoonist Jean Plantu called on the New York Times Tuesday not to ban political cartoons from its pages after a furore involving a caricature of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The artist who founded the Cartooning for Peace charity, told AFP the newspaper was wrong to bow to pressure and remove a drawing by Portuguese illustrator Antonio Moreira Antunes from its site.

“Humour and unsettling images are part of our democracy,” Plantu said.

France24 carries this story.

Plantu said that he supported both “Antonio who has been censored by the New York Times… and Chappatte, who is an immense talent.”



Randy Bish has some historical perspective:



Jack Ohman wrote a letter to the editor:

To The Editor:

The rather curious decision by The New York Times to ban all editorial cartoons based on their own lack of editorial judgment seems, well, cartoonish. As the recipient of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning, one would think that the Times would be a vital force in protecting this lovely art form. Instead it’s destroying editorial cartooning itself. This is a cartoon I don’t get.

And no, I am not canceling long-held my print and digital subscription to the Times, either. I think they are as critical to journalism as editorial cartooning is. I wish the Times felt the same way.

Jack Ohman
Editorial Cartoonist
The Sacramento Bee
2016 Pulitzer Prize winner for Editorial Cartooning
Former President, Association of American Editorial Cartoonists

Jack adds a little postscript for the rest of us:

Oh, well. they probably won’t run a letter from a cartoonist, either.



LECTRR also puts it in historical perspective:

Four years ago, nytimes was all – now they’re no longer publishing cartoons.



Daryl Cagle editorializes:

This is another over-the-top reaction to the stupid decision of a Times editor to run an anti-Semitic cartoon. Here’s a quote I gave to the Washington Post:

By choosing not to print editorial cartoons in the future, the Times can be sure that their editors will never again make a poor cartoon choice. Editors at the Times have also made poor choices of words in the past. I would suggest that the Times should also choose not to print words in the future –just to be on the safe side. –Daryl Cagle



The New York Times is again making news for how it handles editorial cartoons — or in the latest turn, will not handle editorial cartoons.

Michael Cavna’s Washington Post column Daryl mentioned above, with more reactions.



We’ll end with Kal and his special cartoon to Counterpoint.



4 thoughts on “Cartoonists React to New York Times Cartoon Ban

  1. The New York Times has been a liberal propaganda machine for decades but now it truly sinks to a new low by censoring the very nature of discourse itself. It should be renamed “The Groupthink Times”.

  2. I have made a living as a cartoonist in the UK for over thirty years working for numerous national newspapers including the Times.In fact,I was on duty at the Times on the night of the Charlie Hebdo attacks and the editors were keen to have a cartoon on page one to help reflect the horror of the event.
    I am not sure that would be the case today.Not long after,I was informed that the news was getting far too serious for cartoons.Surely,the more the world hurtles into chaos the more we need cartoons.There were hundreds printed during World War Two for goodness sake and the news doesn’t get more serious than that.What is so special about now?Why can’t cartoonists be trusted to comment on current events?Sometimes it doesn’t take 500 words to make a point.The point can also be made in less than ten words attached to a drawing.If you mention the New Yorker,I’d like to bet that the first person you think of is James Thurber not S J Perelman.
    I no longer produce daily newspaper cartoons.As many before me,I was a victim of the accountants and I suspect that saving money is a key reason for the cartoon ban.Prior to my leaving,I was told that editorial meetings had changed.Instead of asking the question “what can we add to the papers to make them more interesting?”the question was “what can the papers live without?”Cartoons apparently.
    Shame on you New York Times.You should know better

  3. It is certainly a shame that this editorial board at the New York Times has taken umbrage over a cartoon caricature of the worst Israeli prime minister of all time
    Netanyahu is a goat- the greatest of all time as regards governments.
    His sole rival at this time is of course the narcissist Donald Trump.
    I dare say that each had stolen not earned their positions
    But I digress
    There is only one thing lower than the Fools at the Times
    That is whale feces.

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