Friday, June 28, 2019

Four Political Cartoonists Weigh In on the Migrant Children Fiasco

by Nomad

This month, the editors of the New York Times' decided to close down all political cartoons from its newspaper. That decision came as a result of a controversial cartoon critical of Benjamin Netanyahu and which some considered anti-Semitic. Here's the item in question. Judge for yourself.

The elimination of this feature sparked widespread protests with one cartoonist calling it “chickenshit and cowardly.”

This move by the NYT actually follows a long term trend. As one source notes:
A 2012 report by The Herb Block Foundation found that there were fewer than 40 editorial cartoonists with newspaper-staff jobs in America, a steep decline from more than 2,000 such positions in the beginning of the 20th century. 
In his 2013 book The Art of Controversy, former publisher Victor Navasky notes editorial cartoons often serve up opinion in visual form with an impact that the written word can hardly match.
As a visual form, cartoons travel at the speed of light, whereas a speech travels at the speed of sound and written words are slowed down by the effort of the eye to riddle them out. As you plod word by word through this sentence, you can’t untangle the full meaning until you reach the end. By contrast, a cartoon hits you like a punch in the eye.
This idea was perfectly"illustrated" when political cartoonists set their sites on the tragic chaos of the migrant children mess. Imagine trying to put these ideas into written form?