Jack Crosbie, a contributing writer to Rolling Stone, Spy, and others who “primarily focuses on politics and conflict, with occasional forays into media criticism,” has a problem with Michael Ramirez‘s latest editorial cartoon for The Washington Post:
I am going to link to an image of an editorial cartoon that was published today in the Washington Post. I cannot place it directly in this blog because of copyright issues, and also because I think it is despicable and I don’t particularly want it on our website. That is how I feel about it; I would like you to consider how you feel. Here is the image.
What do we think? Is this incisive political commentary? Is it particularly affecting art? Or is it a racist caricature whose only intellectual point relies on a lazy observation of the realities of guerilla warfare by a paramilitary force embedded in a civilian population, a situation that has been used to justify mass murder, genocide, and widespread atrocities by nearly every imperial force in history? I think you can see that I think it is the latter.
Crosbie pulls no punches attacking conservative and liberal cartoonists and newspapers and their readers.
What editorial cartoons are is a visual representation of where a paper’s intended audience is at, in terms of overall intelligence and political bent. The fact that the Washington Post feels comfortable publishing something this intellectually lazy, unfunny, and racist is an indication that they know their core audience is vaguely stupid and slightly reactionary.
Crosbie praises the Pulitzer Prize board for dropping the Editorial Cartoonist category and replacing it with Illustrated Reporting and Commentary division:
So: Fire the cartoonists! Hire more editorial illustrators!
Next Morning Update:
The Washington Post has deleted the cartoon (hat tip to Mike Peterson in the comments below):
The Washington Post took down an editorial cartoon Wednesday that depicted a Hamas leader using civilians as human shields, after the drawing was criticized as racist and dehumanizing toward Palestinians.
now back to our regularly scheduled program…
To me the cartoon, to quote Crosbie, prompts a question. But not the question Jack posed.
During the Summer of 2023 Michael Ramirez contributed a weekly cartoon to The Washington Post. But the cartoon that sent Crosbie on rant was the first of Michael’s for The Post since September of this year.
And there is a marked difference in the credit byline:
Unlike Michael’s earlier WaPo cartoons this one is showing up at his home paper The Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Were there some contractual issues? If so it appears they have been worked out to everyone’s satisfaction.
Another Next Morning Update
In the same item about the cartoon deletion The WaPo notes the Ramirez absence without explaining why:
Ramirez, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner on the staff of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, started contributing cartoons to The Post in May. While The Post published his work almost weekly through the summer, the “Human Shields” cartoon was the first of his to appear since late September, a couple weeks before the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel.