Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ramirez and the Pulitzer

Michael Ramirez, political cartoonist for some Texas backwater rag, won the Pulitzer Prize last year. He's the scumbag who lost his job from the LA Times for his bigoted "Hate" cartoon about the Arab-Israeli conflict. This is odd, because most right wing morons are pro-Israel. Not Ramirez. Maybe he's one of those mythical all-around idiots that I keep worrying about.

Anyway, his cartoon from the other day (see below) shows the twisted weirdness of the Right Wing commentariat. For those without images, the picture depicts Obama as the successor for Herbert Hoover because, somehow, Obama/Democratic policies are similar to Hoovers.

Look, this is just strange. The only person alive who can be plausibly be compared to Hoover would be George W. Bush with John McCain a close second (deregulate and stand aside while everything goes kablooie).

This is classic crazy from the Right Wing: depict the enemy (which could be Democrats, liberals, Jews - evidently) as guilty of the crimes only associated with Republicans.

Does Ramirez know how stupid this is? I don't know.

What it does bring up, to me, is the issue of why should newspapers employ cartoonists/columnists who represent not only a very small part of the population (pro-Bushites, hovering at around 30%) and specifically a part of the population that is uninformed. A newspaper should combat ignorance, not perpetuate it! And I'm not being pollyannish - if a newspaper does not try to inform the public, then it's a sad abuse of the "freedom of the press."

Here's another example:

Sarah Palin is somehow just as qualified as Teddy Roosevelt. Yeah. Sure. Let's leave aside that he was a sitting VP when he took over the presidency (he was only in office a few months), and that his 'two years' as a governor was of *New Freakin' York* and not some moose-ridden backwater, he was Asst Scty of the Navy before that (interrupted by military service as head of the 'Rough Riders', head of the NYC Police before that, head of the Federal Civil Service for 6 years before that, etc. Teddy was also a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard (which means he didn't just attend to get a pedigree, he actually stayed to learn something).

So the author of the second cartoon, Steve Breen, who surprise surprise won a Pulitzer in 1998, is either purposefully stupid or ideologically trying to obfuscate and in that sense *harm* the reader.

I know that Bush is still in power, Lieberman has hijacked the Senate, and so Fox News and Associated Gooper Idiots still are considered legitimate 'news' agencies. But, seriously, we shouldn't have to take this anymore. Breen, Ramirez, etc are jokes and an insult to the 'news' business.

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