Veteran political cartoonist Ted Rall has come under scrutiny from some on the left for his unfavorable depiction of President Obama. You might be surprised to learn, however, Rall’s criticism of the President actually stems from his belief that President Obama is not liberal enough.
“Let's change the subject here. There's a story of somebody else in the news today being called a racist: Ted Rall,” Glenn said on radio this morning. “He's a liberal cartoonist and political satirist. And he has drawn, I think, a very funny cartoon strip. The content is very good.”
While Rall has been satirizing President Obama for quite some time, it was his November 27th cartoon that took a shot at Obamacare and the President’s failure to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan by 2014 that drew the ire of one of his publishers: The left wing blog the Daily Kos.
Check out the cartoon is question below:
Image source: Universal U Click/Rall.com
After attempting to post that cartoon on the Daily Kos site, Rall received this message:
“Your depiction of Barack Obama as ape-like is intolerable," the note reads. "Being critical of Obama, even ferociously so, is not the problem. Through British and American history, blacks have been subjected to racist depictions of themselves as monkeys and apes. No excuse is acceptable for replicating that history now no matter what your intent. If it happens again, your posting privileges will be suspended.”
Rall outlined the controversy in a blog post on his website titled “I have been censored by Daily Kos”:
Daily Kos is a major liberal/Democratic Party blog. About a year ago, the blog began running cartoons.
At the time, the owner of the blog mentioned as an aside that I would be welcome, like anyone else, to post to Daily Kos. A few weeks ago, I decided to take him up on that.
Why did I post there for free? To access readers, many of whom would enjoy my work if they saw it. It was an experiment.
The experiment ended yesterday. When I went to log on, I received the [above] message. I clicked the acknowledgement.
Which marks the end of my experiment posting to Daily Kos. I might consider altering the way I draw a political figure for a paying client. A very high-paying client. Someone who employed me full-time.
I’m sure not going to alter my drawing style for $0.00 money.
While Glenn didn’t agree with the racism claims made by the Daily Kos, he questioned Rall’s reasoning, especially given his past.
“I don't think Ted Rall is necessarily a racist,” Glenn said. “[But] you can't be against the standards while you are for the standards… He's chewing his leg off.”
During an interview with TheWrap, Rall explained that he doesn’t care about the President’s race, and he believes he has somehow earned the right to draw whatever he wants:
“It’s the height of arrogance and authoritarianism to ask me to change the way that I depict the president,” Rall told TheWrap. “I’ve been doing this since 1987 and I’ve earned the right to not be branded a racist. If you’re going to take issue with the way I draw the president, fine. If you’re going to call me a racist, f**k you.”
“I love it when they get caught in the bear trap,” Pat said. “And it was a trap he set for himself. And then, he has the unmitigated gall to claim, ‘It's the height of arrogance and authoritarianism to ask me to change the way I depict the president.’ Are you kidding me? He says, ‘I don't do it to demean him personally. I don't give an s**t that he's black. My criticism is motivated from the policy.’ Then he claims, ‘I've earned the right to not be branded a racist.’ How? By calling Condie Rice a ‘house N-word’?”
“This is exactly what we said would happen,” Glenn said. “The minute these guys who have power up at the top find you no longer useful, you are done. And you've set your own trap. You've set the standard: There is no standard.”
The word “racism” is thrown around freely today, especially when it comes to defining anyone who disagrees with this Administration. Glenn likened the situation to the McCarthy hearings of the 1950s.
“Look at the McCarthy hearings. When you can just say, ‘COMMUNIST!’ This is why we have said: Racism is the new McCarthyism. What they are doing is the new McCarthyism…Once they label you with that, you are done. That's what happened in the 1950's… You were labeled a communist, and your life was destroyed,” Glenn explained. “The same thing is happening with Ted Rall. Is Ted a racist? I don't know. I don't know him. Was that a racist cartoon? No. [But] I know if you judge him by the standard that we just judged [Paul Dean]… That guy is more of a racist than Paula Deen. That guy shouldn't have any money left… if that was the standard. “
Ultimately, Glenn warned those who are demonizing Rall or have demonized Dean because those people may very well be the next ones in line to race the wrath.
“If you are calling for that standard, you better be aware because you will be next,” Glenn concluded. “Point out the flaw in this system because if you just continue down the road of destruction, there will be no one standing when they call you a racist or whatever it is to destroy your life.”