Archive for June, 2004

June 19, 2004

Frank Rich

There’s a small reference to me in tomorrow’s New York Times.

Brilliant media and culture columnist Frank Rich writes:

To conservatives, anyone who opted for even modest restraint in Reagan coverage (like The New York Times, with its three-column headline announcing his death) was guilty of insufficient sentimentality; anyone who criticized the man was a traitor. “Thoughtless, mean, hateful” were just some of the epithets heaped by Fox’s Sean Hannity on a rare Reagan dissenter who showed his face on TV, the political cartoonist Ted Rall.

June 19, 2004

Frank Rich

There’s a small reference to me in tomorrow’s New York Times.

Brilliant media and culture columnist Frank Rich writes:

To conservatives, anyone who opted for even modest restraint in Reagan coverage (like The New York Times, with its three-column headline announcing his death) was guilty of insufficient sentimentality; anyone who criticized the man was a traitor. “Thoughtless, mean, hateful” were just some of the epithets heaped by Fox’s Sean Hannity on a rare Reagan dissenter who showed his face on TV, the political cartoonist Ted Rall.

June 19, 2004

Fahrenheit 9/11

My best friend the film critic saw it at Cannes. He says it’s great; we should see it.

That said, there’s something a little odd about the way publicity for this film has been handled that demonstrates how disorganized and plain stupid the American Left is so often.

There was a sneak preview of the film a few days ago here in New York City. One would think that Michael Moore and the film’s promoters would want people like me to attend. Who knows? I might write something up.

In reality, I receive more offers and free tickets to attend right-wing and Republican functions than from liberals. I didn’t get invited to the screening, an advance DVD, or jack shit. Many of my fellow liberal-minded cartoonists and columnists say they get treated the same way. Is it any wonder that the majority’s progressive message can’t get out? We’re disorganized as hell.

Moore DID invite, however, right-wing Fox demagogue Bill O’Reilly.

Nice priorities, Mike.

June 19, 2004

Fahrenheit 9/11

My best friend the film critic saw it at Cannes. He says it’s great; we should see it.

That said, there’s something a little odd about the way publicity for this film has been handled that demonstrates how disorganized and plain stupid the American Left is so often.

There was a sneak preview of the film a few days ago here in New York City. One would think that Michael Moore and the film’s promoters would want people like me to attend. Who knows? I might write something up.

In reality, I receive more offers and free tickets to attend right-wing and Republican functions than from liberals. I didn’t get invited to the screening, an advance DVD, or jack shit. Many of my fellow liberal-minded cartoonists and columnists say they get treated the same way. Is it any wonder that the majority’s progressive message can’t get out? We’re disorganized as hell.

Moore DID invite, however, right-wing Fox demagogue Bill O’Reilly.

Nice priorities, Mike.

June 19, 2004

Errata Slip For This Week’s Column

Several readers wrote to point out a glitch of omission in this week’s op/ed column:

Great column on the potential downfall of Kerry picking McCain as a running mate. One minor historical quibble, however. You mention 1796 as the last time a cross-party ticket was elected. I believe in 1864 Lincoln was re-elected on a “National Union” ticket with Democrat Andrew Johnson as his running mate. This even emphasizes your point, as that match didn’t turn out that well, either.

They’re right.

June 19, 2004

Errata Slip For This Week’s Column

Several readers wrote to point out a glitch of omission in this week’s op/ed column:

Great column on the potential downfall of Kerry picking McCain as a running mate. One minor historical quibble, however. You mention 1796 as the last time a cross-party ticket was elected. I believe in 1864 Lincoln was re-elected on a “National Union” ticket with Democrat Andrew Johnson as his running mate. This even emphasizes your point, as that match didn’t turn out that well, either.

They’re right.

June 18, 2004

Killed: Great Journalism Too Hot to Print

I have an essay in a anthology of essays killed by newspapers and magazines called KILLED.

My essay, about Father’s Day, was killed by the New York Times Magazine in 1997 because it struck one of the editors a little too close to home. There are also 23 other awesome killed essays, mostly by better and more famous writers than me, so check it out and buy it!

June 18, 2004

Killed: Great Journalism Too Hot to Print

I have an essay in a anthology of essays killed by newspapers and magazines called KILLED.

My essay, about Father’s Day, was killed by the New York Times Magazine in 1997 because it struck one of the editors a little too close to home. There are also 23 other awesome killed essays, mostly by better and more famous writers than me, so check it out and buy it!

June 18, 2004

The Pointless Death of David Johnson

In the grim calculus of death and mayhem in the Middle East, the videotaped beheadings of Nick Berg and Paul Johnson are somehow supposed to count as “told you sos” for the prowar right wing. The brutality of the killings, coupled with the grisly footage thereof, are supposed to elicit disgust, not just for the men who murdered these men but by extension to the Iraqi resistance and Muslims in general.

Obviously the murderers are first and foremost to blame. But a share of the responsibility also lies at the feet of those who have made America so despised throughout the world: presidents, policymakers and spooks past and present. They made “American” a dirty word. They made Americans targets.

It’s also true that Mssrs. Berg and Johnson took a risk by, respectively, traveling to the active war zone of occupied Iraq and, in Mr. Johnson’s case, working in Saudi Arabia—a nation ruled by a widely despised U.S.-puppet dictatorship under siege from internal dissidents and outside Islamists. Having a risk go bad doesn’t make one responsible for the consequences, but the risk should be acknowledged. Both men would be alive today had they chosen to work in stable, democratic nations.

Johnson’s killers are naive if they believe that Americans or their Saudi puppets will release prisoners or alter any of their policies in response to his beheading. Ditto with the Al Qaeda group that killed Berg. Americans are revulsed by these deaths, but they don’t change anybody’s minds. Supporters of U.S. foreign policy under Bush view the deaths as confirmation that Arabs are inhuman; opponents see them as further indicators that we should act to become less reviled.

As we consider these gruesome murders, we should consider them on par with the gruesome murders of 800+ American servicemen and women and close to 100,000 Iraqi and Afghan civilians and soldiers killed during Bush’s two wars. Bush’s hands are dripping with their blood, just as surely as the men who drew the knives across Berg and Johnson’s throats. They’re all tragic; unnecessary and pointless. The difference is that their deaths aren’t on tape.

And even if they were—as we see in the case of the still yet to be seen Anu Ghraib videos—the American media wouldn’t broadcast them.

June 18, 2004

The Pointless Death of David Johnson

In the grim calculus of death and mayhem in the Middle East, the videotaped beheadings of Nick Berg and Paul Johnson are somehow supposed to count as “told you sos” for the prowar right wing. The brutality of the killings, coupled with the grisly footage thereof, are supposed to elicit disgust, not just for the men who murdered these men but by extension to the Iraqi resistance and Muslims in general.

Obviously the murderers are first and foremost to blame. But a share of the responsibility also lies at the feet of those who have made America so despised throughout the world: presidents, policymakers and spooks past and present. They made “American” a dirty word. They made Americans targets.

It’s also true that Mssrs. Berg and Johnson took a risk by, respectively, traveling to the active war zone of occupied Iraq and, in Mr. Johnson’s case, working in Saudi Arabia—a nation ruled by a widely despised U.S.-puppet dictatorship under siege from internal dissidents and outside Islamists. Having a risk go bad doesn’t make one responsible for the consequences, but the risk should be acknowledged. Both men would be alive today had they chosen to work in stable, democratic nations.

Johnson’s killers are naive if they believe that Americans or their Saudi puppets will release prisoners or alter any of their policies in response to his beheading. Ditto with the Al Qaeda group that killed Berg. Americans are revulsed by these deaths, but they don’t change anybody’s minds. Supporters of U.S. foreign policy under Bush view the deaths as confirmation that Arabs are inhuman; opponents see them as further indicators that we should act to become less reviled.

As we consider these gruesome murders, we should consider them on par with the gruesome murders of 800+ American servicemen and women and close to 100,000 Iraqi and Afghan civilians and soldiers killed during Bush’s two wars. Bush’s hands are dripping with their blood, just as surely as the men who drew the knives across Berg and Johnson’s throats. They’re all tragic; unnecessary and pointless. The difference is that their deaths aren’t on tape.

And even if they were—as we see in the case of the still yet to be seen Anu Ghraib videos—the American media wouldn’t broadcast them.