Friday, February 20, 2009

Things that are only true inside Sean Hannity's head

Last night, Sean Hannity and his "Great American Panel" discussed briefly the New York Post cartoon which depicted the author of the stimulus bill as a monkey that should be shot and killed. Hannity didn't actually have much to say, other than to wonder where the outrage and protests over cartoons attacking Condoleeza Rice were, at which point two cartoons were put up on screen.

The first was Doonesbury strip by Garry Trudeau. The strip consisted of four or so panels all featuring an outside shot of the White House with two word bubbles per panel. That's it. The genius production team didn't make the image large enough or clear enough so that you could actually read the text of the word bubbles.* But being a decades long reader of the strip, I'm fairly confident in asserting the dialogue didn't suggest Condoleeza Rice is a monkey who should be shot. In Hannity's mind, however, the violent imagery of the New York Post cartoon is the same as the Doonesbury strip.

The second cartoon was a Pat Oliphant one that depicted Rice as a sycophantic parrot of George W. Bush. I actually do have a problem with that cartoon. I'm not sure if the cartoon is racist, but it did dehumanize Rice, which in itself is unacceptable.** However, despite the caricature crossing a line, it still did not come close to the violent imagery associated with the Post cartoon.

Given what we've seen were Jim Adkisson's reasons for going out to kill "liberals," it is simply inexcusable for a newspaper to print a cartoon with such an implicit suggestion that the author of the stimulus bill (identified heavily with Obama in talk radio world) deserves to be shot and killed, whatever the intentions of the cartoonist were.

*I did a google search, and if I had to guess I suspect the panel shown was the one where Bush gives Rice the nickname "Brown sugar." The cartoon was satirizing Bush's habit of giving people around him stupid names of endearment, not making a racist statement. To say this is a stretch to compare that to the Post cartoon is understatement.
**I wouldn't really argue with anyone who found the Oliphant Rice depiction racist, either.

Update: The charming (sarcasm) history of the cartoonist behind the cartoon.

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