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Posted by on Apr 26, 2007 in At TMV | 29 comments

A Cartoon that Crosses the Line

Rick Moran believes that Chris Muir’s cartoon, featuring Hillary Clinton in black face, crosses the line. What do you all think? Does this cartoon cross the line, or is it a joke and, as such, perhaps excusable?

Jane Hamsher’s use of a photo of Lieberman with blackface was not a joke, it was a smear. How should this be interpreted? Joke, smear, a little bit of both?

I have to say that I am not fond of cartoons like this either, but… it is Muir’s right and to start some sort of controversy over this seems excessive to me.

Added: on the other hand, this cartoon does most certainly cross the line of decency. Should Muir apologize? Perhaps so, but I am a bit weary of controversies over these matters. Before we know, websites are forced not to use his cartoons anymore, websites can’t anymore, etc. Bit of a stretch? Ten years ago, yes, these days I don’t know.


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  • AustinRoth

    As big of a fan as I am of his site, and I am a daily ready, that was the first thing I though when I read it this morning.

    I was critical of similar ‘blackfacing’ when it was done by left-leaning sites and people against conservatives, and cannot see how this can be considered any more acceptable.

    It is offensive, at least to me, and he should apologize.

    But not on Al Sharpton’s show.

  • I had not seen it and wish it were not reproduced here at TMV. Besides, the cartoonist’s assertion that Democrats see groups and Republicans see individuals is untenable.

  • Marlowe

    Yah, the FDL people Photoshopped Lieberman in “blackface”…to make the point that he was a servile “Uncle Tom” to Bush, I recall. I don’t recall any apology came from them….

    Here, at least, there is a point…representing Hillary’s strange Southern dialect episode (that made even liberals cringe) in visual form. Americans are odd on the subject of race, so who knows how it will go down with most?

    But Day by Day is too low on the food chain for Media Matters to issue an “Action Alert”. Plus they are too busy leading the blogswarm on the Post over Broder. No money or media attention in it for Al Sharpton.

    Thus, it will probably rebound to the strip’s advantage to a minor degree.

  • Lynx

    Frankly I don’t see that much wrong with the cartoon. I don’t agree with it, certainly not with the assertion that democrats only see groups, not individuals, but I see nothing wrong with it per se. I’ve seen about a thousand cartoons or more depicting Bush as a pinhead in a play cowboy suit with the attitude of a tantrum-prone 5 year old boy. I’ve enjoyed many of them, though they were undoubtedly insulting towards him. I’ve also seen plenty of cartoons attacking the right-wing, or republicans outright. She’s a public figure, it’s part of the job.

    As for the blackface, maybe I’m just out of touch. It seems to me that the use of the theme is to denounce a WHITE person (for pandering) not to demean black people, so I don’t really see the racism angle. Are all old racist symbols off limits for any use? Let freedom ring!

  • Holly, there is absolutely no difference between repeating what Imus said and repeating a cartoon. As such, I believe that there is no problem with publishing the cartoon here, especially not if it is meant, not to ‘support’ the point made by the cartoonists, but to raise a debate about it.

  • DGO

    It probably wouldn’t have been OK even if it were actually funny. It could have been funny – maybe have her in Scarlett O’Hara garb and paint her as clueless. The black face and dialect is just over the top and seems to only have been done for shock value. The cartoonist (who can be funny when not being blindly partisan) really shot himself in the foot on this one.

  • BTW: European progressivism does look at people as in groups. It is an inherint part of progressivism.

    In Europe, liberals look at people as individuals, social democrats (and alike) principly divide people into groups (which is why political correctness has such a firm grip on public discourse).

  • I’m not a Hillary fan by any means, but I think she’s getting an unfair rap over her supposedly “fake” Southern accent.

    Don’t forget, she lived in Arkansas for nearly two decades. I grew up in the South and had an accent until I was in my late teens. Although I don’t sound Southern at all when I’m at work in my current New England office, when I go home to visit family and am around people with an accent, I slip back into it without even realizing it.

  • White Agent

    YES! This is demeaning! It needs to be removed and this “artist” fired or sanctioned.

    I would remind you Michael, that demeaning people on the basis of race is NOT A RIGHT and is NOT protected under the first amendment. But you are not American, so I suppose we can excuse your ignorance….once.

    This is one of the few truly biased cartoons. It is constantly stating the most outrageous lies. As far as I’m concerned its unmitigated political hate speech. IMO, that makes this guy more vulnerable to prosecution for civil rights violations.

  • Sam
  • White Agent

    Michael van der Galien- Same as Imus, therefore ok? Thats the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard! Imus was NOT ok, thats why he was fired, humiliated, and, his career destroyed. (not that he had a lot left, the old fart)

    Therefore logically, this cartoon should NOT be here.

  • White Agent

    Sam- Absolutely perfect egg in the face of conservatives. Proves their incompetence. What a bunch of sick bastards.

    Thank you for the link.

  • Lynx

    White Agent, this cartoon is racist because it demeans Hillary for being….white? Seriously now….are we really looking at the same cartoon?

    Oh and demeaning people because of their race, while despicable, IS protected by the first amendment. That’s why the KKK is still legal.

  • White Agent

    Lynx- Blackface is deaming of black character and always has been. Hilary didn’t wear blackface, this “artist” produced her in blackface. BTW, the words she spoke, were spoken AS WRITTEN and ment to be read/spoken in the same manner. Not knowing this is ignorance of black culture, but of course conservatives are basicly racists so they wouldn’t know.

    My impression of the Imus incident is that a new defamation of character precedent has been set in the media/entertainment venue. Therefore this cartoonist must be punished. Prosecution was the wrong word to use, I admit. So far.

  • I don’t think he needs to apologize. He proved himself to be a moron a long time ago, this isn’t any worse than the rest.

  • Can we have an official thread where White Agent and Nobody just go to yell at each other?

  • BTW, there were no constitutional issues at all in the Imus case. NBC is not the American government.

  • Lynx

    White Agent, precisely the point of the cartoon is that Hillary’s pandering to blacks rings false. The insult is VERY clearly towards Hillary, and not towards blacks.

    Can we have an official thread where White Agent and Nobody just go to yell at each other?

    THAT is the best idea I’ve heard all day, I’ll bring popcorn!

  • Leiberman was “blackfaced” by Hamsher & crew for not kowtowing to the left on Iraq, implying he was a Steppin Fetchit servant of the White House.

    Hillary has been cartoon “blackfaced” for presenting herself as “down home” to black audiences, in employing a Really Bad dialectical accent. (And no, the accent was not remotely genuine, but I don’t think she was mocking her audience. She’s just tone-deaf.)

    Difference there. What to make of it is up to you. I personally found Hillary’s speechifyin’ mockworthy and Muir’s snipe amusing, but that’s just my mileage.

  • Eric

    She was seen to many as pandering and trying to play to Blacks “And ya’ll knowww what I’m talkin about!” like she was “one of them” if you will. The cartoon is playing off that perception and using shock to get a response. Big deal! Not real funny but no worse than usual and most of the complaints are coming from people on her “side”. Everyone knows she was pandering, what politician doesn’t, but some people can’t help but lobby every call that goes against their “team”. It’s so predictable it’s boring.

  • White Agent

    Lynx- No sorry, you don’t use blackface for any reason EVER!

    Only people whom don’t have clue would call what Hilary did as pandering to blacks, everything she said is from published black literature. That’s why the Blacks went nuts cheering her….but you self righteous dummies wouldn’t know that would you?!

    You start the fight and I’ll fight with you. You’re just mad you can’t win.

  • Eric

    Dressing Thomas up as a lawn jockey is ok tho right?

  • White Agent

    Eric 5:29 pm- Well keep going back in time and I’m sure you’ll reach the point where lynching would be considered ok. besides, Thomas is to fat to be a jocky. lol

  • I’m of the “never use Blackface” school of thought, and for once in my life I have the credibility to take that position, having first taken the position condemning a Black liberal blogger who blackfaced former Maryland Lt. Gov. and Republican Senate candidate Michael Steele.

  • Captain’s Quarters has more, including today’s podcast interview with Chris Muir.

  • Laura

    I suppose Republicans don’t see groups rather than individuals, and how they can be used to help them. Holly is right.

  • DLS

    > Don’t forget, she lived in
    > Arkansas for nearly two
    > decades.

    And how did she speak during the 1992 campaign and ever since — until recently?

  • DLS

    It’s PC BS overreaction to next to nothing, and an accurate stab at Hillary at that.

  • MB

    Hamsher’s (actually, graphic artist DarkBlack’s) blackfacing of Lieberman was not about the former Democratic Senator’s position on Iraq – it was in the context of the campaign in Connecticut, where Leiberman, in an attempt to influence the minority vote in the Primary, invited Clinton to campaign for him. The Lamont crew often alluded to the idea that urban minorities, always a solid block for Lieberman, due in part to his experiences as a Freedom Rider in the 60a, were “low-information” voters, and hence easily swayed by the mere presence of the “First Black President”. The underlying premise being, of course, that African Americans wouldn’t cast their primary vote on issues important to suburban, white Progressives, particularly the war in Iraq.

    Thus, the depiction is much closer to the Hillary Clinton blackfacing than many seem to understand. Having been a former Clinton operative in Connecticut (’92 campaign staff), I was watching the race closely, and Lamont really lost me with that tactic. I still despised Lieberman (always did, those I voted for him once, to my endless regret), but saw that the Lamont campaign was truly ignorant of the very complex racial issues within the Democratic Party in the Northeast.

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