New York Times Confirms Death of Humor . . . And Daily Editorial Cartoons

Political cartoons are some of the oldest forms of commentary and dissent of humanity. They have had transformative effect on politics and policies, often highlighting important issues through satiric or absurd images. Indeed, a cartoon can often say in a single image what some of us struggle to explain in hundreds of words. Legendary figures from Benjamin Franklin to Thomas Nast advocated such forms of commentary. They are visual narratives that continue to be valued by readers but have been curtailed by small groups of well-organized critics. It is for that reason that the recent announcement by the New York Times is so distressing. After a controversy over a cartoon denounced as anti-Semitic, the paper will cease running political cartoons. It is the perfect embodiment of our humorous, hyper-sensitive environment of the age of rage.

The decision follows the controversy over a cartoon by Portuguese artist Antonio Moreira Antunes that depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a guide dog leading a blind, yarmulke-wearing President Trump.

On July 1st, the New York Times will cease running daily political cartoons in its international edition. Editorial page editor James Bennet said in a statement said that the decision follows a mover in the domestic side of the paper.

The curtailment of cartoons follows a domestic trend where cartoonists are being fired and pages being scrubbed of edgy cartoon commentary. The decision of the New York Times however is a critical moment for political cartooning. This is widely viewed as our premier news publications and is the source of many of the most famous and transformative single-panel cartoons in history.

Gone will be the single-panel cartoons that are so associated with historical periods going back to the Revolutionary War.

The termination of daily political cartoons is the ultimate CYA moment for the NYT. No one can criticize them about such cartoons if they run no cartoons. They can achieve even greater insulation from criticism by just running cut-out coupons on the opinion page . . . well . . . coupons without pictures.

14 thoughts on “New York Times Confirms Death of Humor . . . And Daily Editorial Cartoons”

  1. “After a controversy over a cartoon denounced as anti-Semitic, the paper will cease running political cartoons.”

    So, the paper is unable to discern if putting a yarmulka on someone being led around by the leader of Israel is antisemitic, so it bans all cartoons? It couldn’t figure out that Muslims in the Middle East view dogs as unclean, so drawing Netanyahu as a dog in this scenario added another layer? This wasn’t on par with the Sheriff’s badge, where no Jewish people were in the picture, and there were no internal lines in the 6 pointed star. Our local gymkana team uses a 6 pointed star. Law enforcement across the country uses a six pointed star. The intention of the creator of a cartoon anonymously submitted is a mystery. All viewers have is the finished product. I didn’t think Star of David when I saw it, as the phrase “lock her up” had been applied to Hillary for pay to play and the mishandling of classified information. If the creator was an anti-semite, it wasn’t clear by the image.

    Another examples are the waves of apology tours by Progressive designers who accidentally turned out something that could be inferred as racist. There was no intent. They didn’t stop designing.

    In this case, there can be no doubt that Judaism was involved in the cartoon. Trump was wearing a yarmulke and being led around by the “dog” of Israel.

    This was an admission by the paper that it lacks discernment.

    I like satire, and political cartoons, as long as they aren’t cruel.

    Here is an example of funny political satire. Enjoy.

    1. There was nothing anti-semetic about that cartoon and my Jewish saw it the same way. Exaggerated profiles are SOP in political cartoons and nothing in that one mocked anyone for being Jewish..

  2. There is no moral compass, nor integrity protocol, nor honesty handbook in the Off-White House. There has been none from start; there will be none at finish. Those who are around Trump will do as Trump does, and those qualities are not in his playbook. The OCG will have to recommend the termination of Anyone who speaks for this administration.

  3. Nothing to miss there. The real question is when are they going to can the rest of Pravda West? Speaking of which Conway got hit with a wimp attack on a supposed Hatch Act Violation. Now if Hatch Act being ignored. If it wasn’t Kerry and Obama no one would know what it was and certainly no real citizen cares about that bunch. .

    Not that she was incorrect. But the question is whose going to take her place putting the cry baby in their place

    One of you own said can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen. Looks to me like The Group of 40 are proving why they aren’t fit to be … much of anything. Hatch act is directed at foreigners right? So what’s the big deal. The only ones complaining ARE foreigners. .

  4. But just yesterday Anon was telling me how unfair I was to the NYT because I don’t like them backpaging important news from Hong Kong! I was so unfair because they actually DID have an editorial about massive protests involving 1/7 of the local population, buried in the website somewhere. Amazing isnt it? I mean if 50 million americans all protested on the same day, that would be front page headline news blared out with a klaxon yes? Well, not if the NYT the “newspapaper of record” did not say so.

    OK, I am unfair. And the NYT sucks even still.

    1. Kurtz don’t lie about what I said. I didn’t say you were “unfair. I said you were confronted with facts that directly and unmistakably proved your allegations were specifcaly false and on more than one level.

      More accurately, it’s not that you are “unfair”, it’s that you are a lying weasel, lacking any self respect.

  5. One can close one’s eyes to the truth.
    The truth, however, still exists.
    dennis hanna

  6. This is an opportunity to stop paying attention to the NY Times as if it were an oracle, which would be a step in the direction of general cultural and political enlightenment. While it is a sign of the times (pardon the pun), and of the pussification of our society, that the paper has made this decision, we need not despair (at least not yet). There is not as yet internet or general censorship, and cartooning can still be done elsewhere, as it still should be done elsewhere. Forget about the NY Times. Let them do their thing, as they always will. No one need be disturbed if everyone else does theirs.

  7. Sad…the NYT editors are overreacting to criticism. If they had any guts, they would step up to the challenge of humor that unites the entire country.
    They would seek out cartoonists who can do that.

  8. We have an outhouse at our boat marina and they have a copy of the NY Times cut down to the width of a roll of toilet paper, rolled up and set on the toilet paper roller. One can wipe and thus offend the NY Times.

  9. Asinine decision.

    They are acting like those annoying teachers who punish the whole class because one or two kids were acting up.

    Another example of the lack of discernment and an inability (or refusal) to try to judge a situation fairly.

Comments are closed.