Cartoon for August 25

If Rudy Giuliani, who spent a mere 29 hours sucking up corpse dust at and around Ground Zero during the months after 9/11, can run for president based on his “heroism”–why not me?

Normally I shy away from “breaking the third wall” in cartooning. This time around, this was the funniest approach, so I went with it. Let me know what you think.

Click on the cartoon to see it larger.

(Original artwork still for sale, now back to regular price. Thanks to this weekend’s buyers!)

26 Responses to “”

  1. Brubaker Says:

    I think it’s one of the funniest you’ve drawn. Not bad.

    (and, um…aren’t they usually called the “forth wall,” or is the “third wall” just your joke?)

  2. David Says:

    put me down as a vote for Rall.

  3. John Zuidema Says:

    i like it, especially the shine off of rudy’s head in the first panel. definitely amuses me.

    i gotta say that rudy giuliani being a hero of “nine-leven” angers me, as he really didn’t do anything. competence at your job, and not screwing around in a plane for several hours doesnt make you a hero, just the guy in charge.

    your thoughts on gonzales? should i expect them in comic and cartoon form, or just one of those?

  4. Anonymous Says:

    In his latest cartoon, Ted Rall manages to disparage Rudy Guiliani, the NYFD, all while making light of the most tragic attack ever on US shores. I swear, there’s no depths for Ted Rall. No depths.

  5. James Says:

    That’s great. An inanimate carbon rod deserves to become President more than that lying, weaselly douchebag Giuliani. So, what the Hell. You’re more qualified than a carbon rod, so why not Rall in ’08?

  6. Ted Rall Says:

    Hi Charles,

    It’s the fourth wall in cinema. Somehow the two-dimensional nature of comics (I know, film is physically the same) seems to call for one less.

  7. Ted Rall Says:

    I wouldn’t call Giuliani even compentent on 9/11. The only reason he was near the WTC that morning is because he placed, against the advice of countless experts, his city’s emergency response center in the WTC–despite the fact that it had been the target of a bombing attack a few years earlier.

    As for Gonzales, I’m trying to decide what to do. Seems to call more for a column than a nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah cartoon–which is all I can think of right now.

    Maybe coffee will help. Who am I kiding? Coffee ALWAYS helps.

  8. Matt Bors Says:

    a very successful breaking of said wall

  9. JT Says:

    Hero of 9/11 pfft. I’m betting he was the one who pushed the button after the call to ‘pull it’.

    And yes, coffee always helps. Of course, I am from Washington. The state where there are almost as many starbucks as gas stations. If you think the ppg on gas is bad… Gallon of gas today is: $3.10, Gallon of starbucks latte: ~$45.00!

  10. Matt Bors Says:

    um, just to correct you “j”

    “pull it” is not a term used by demolition squads. “pull it” was referring to pulling the rescue operation from building seven because floors were caving in from fire and debris damage and it was deemed too dangerous. There was no planned demolition an any buildings that day.

  11. JT Says:


    I stand corrected.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Anonymous A, seems to have a poor sense of humor. It’s a shame rightards don’t know how to make lemonade from lemons. They just walk around with that sour outlook.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    Didn’t his ‘command’ actually contribute to the 9/11 damage? That his “Command Center” had giant gas tanks that added to the fire?

    But, yeah, he’s a pathetic, vile SOB to claim he’s a “hero of 9/11”.

  14. Anonymous Says:

    One of your funniest cartoons lately. Not sure if it has to do with including yourself in it. It’s just fucking funny.

  15. david essman Says:

    and because Giuliani was the Mayor of New York on September 11th automatically gives him vast foreign policy and terror fighting experience beyond the other candidates who were nowhere near New York. you didn’t see the mayor of Pearl Harbor or the Governor of Hawaii run for president because they were there on December 7th…

  16. Anonymous Says:

    Your hair looks different.

  17. wlthaya Says:

    I have to admit that I did not do anything heroic during the aftermath of 9/11 and that alone should count for something. While others did the easy thing of helping others, sacrificing themselves, even making the ultimate sacrifice, I, on the other hand, remained steadfast in my determination. I stayed the course. I did not waffle. This ability to focus shows that I am far more suitable for president than Mr. Rall, who bent with the winds of public adversity.

  18. Tony Says:

    Ted! I would vote for you 100%. Have you ever considered elected office?

  19. Angelo Says:

    On 9-11, I ran down west 4th toward the WTC. I stoped by a bodega and tried to buy a shovel. I saw an artist painting the smoking wreck in soho. I was turned away a few blocks away from the site by police. I ran back up to the blood donation center. It was full.

  20. Susan Stark Says:

    If Giuliani had spent more time at the WTC than first-responders, then he would be dead right now from lung disease.

    And, our very “brave” ex-Mayor was stupid enough to put the New York Emergency Command Center location in BUILDING 7 of the World Trade Center in 1999. It must’ve slipped his mind that someone bombed the WTC in 1993.

    And this man wants my vote?? Not on your life. Or mine.

  21. Viviana Says:

    Heh, excellent job, Ted. Not sure what the crankypants Anon. was going on about in terms of you making fun of the NYFD – you are perfectly correct that it wasn’t your decision to not upgrade their equipment. As for Giuliani – he makes it sound as though the island of Manhattan would have sunk into the sea if not for his noble efforts.

    I’ve always found you dish it out to Repubs and Dems alike whenever they’ve earned it…unless you’ve written a loving paean Hilary that I missed recently.

  22. Angelo Says:

    BTW, loved West Coast this week. Are you the hardest working cartoonist in the world?

  23. Anonymous Says:

    Hope you get this – even though it is a week later. That 29 hour figure doesn’t include the first six days after (or the day of) 9/11. Don’t you think Rudy spent considerable time during that period. Let’s say an average of 5 hours a day (to be very conservative), that’s an extra 36 hours. So that 29 hour mark is just an arbitrary number – and don’t you also think that the air quality would be at its worse immediately after 9/11. The bottom line is that Rudy isn’t running on 9/11 but it is part of his whole. How a leader reacted (and led) during 9/11 cannot be ignored.

  24. Viviana Says:

    In response to the last anonymous comment, if a leader’s actions/decisions led to 9/11 being a greater disaster than it might otherwise have been, that also needs to be taken into account, whether it’s Bush ignoring the Aug 6, 2001 report from the CIA or Rudy placing his Emergency Operations Center at a site that had already once been attacked, or not spending the federal funds given to the city to buy a new radio system for the FD.

    There’s a great piece in the Village Voice, entitled something like Five Big Lies, about Rudy’s record on anti-terrorism and disaster planning.

    Hell, in 1996 I wouldn’t go up to the WTC – when people asked me why, I replied that someone had recently tried to blow it up, and I wasn’t going to risk them attempting it again. Maybe I should run for mayor of new york….

  25. Anonymous Says:


    I am unwilling to budge in my conviction that Rudy exhibited great leadership ability in consoling and organizing/leading New York through the days and weeks after 9/11. Living in Manhattan at the time, I witnessed it. He was also praised for this at the time by the mainstream media, so quick to contrast him with President Bush. Little did they expect Rudy to have a chance for the Presidency seven years later (Rudy as GOP nominee seemed a fairy-tale). So now, history is being re-written. We shall see how short our memories are. So significant was Rudy’s leadership that Time Magazine, no right-wing organ, named Rudy man of the year for 2001 — which is amazing considering that were several worthy candidates that year, including Osama Bid Laden himself.

    As for the Emergency Center, which I believe Rudy created (I don’t think it existed prior the 93 attack that happened during Dinkins or the 11 months after the attack before Rudy took over). I recently read that it was in WTC 7, not the Towers, which is what I previously assumed based on everything I had read in the last seven years. Also, several federal agencies were already housed there). I’ll concede that I haven’t read the Village Voice – but I also know that is easy to play Monday morning quarterback.

    As for the August 6, 2001 memo — have you read the memo? What do you think a President of the United States should have done with this memo – instructed airlines to profile Arabs? I am sure that would have been popular with the Village Voice.

    The bottom line, as it relates to Ted’s cartoon is that the 29 hour is an arbitrary number, as it discounts 9/11 itself and the 6 days after 9/11. So why did he use 29 hours to make a point. I don’t remember anyone, not anyone, criticizing Rudy for spending too little time at Ground Zero at the time.

  26. Viviana Says:

    Greetings, Anonymous:

    I agree with your observations that Giuliani kicked butt compared to our President on 9/11; I suspect even you or I would have done better. And I’m not going to argue with you about what Rudy did for the spirits of people in NYC on that day – you know what it was like for you, and I honestly understand and respect that. I would suggest that decisions on electing national leaders should look at results and facts, though, as well as how they personally make one feel. I know many people who were impressed with Rudy that day, when our national government seemed to shut down completely, but would not vote for him for many other reasons.

    If Ted doesn’t object, I’ll post the link to the VV article so you can see it for yourself; I have read some of this information in other places, but this is the most recent piece on the topic I have found, and is very detailed in it’s discussion:,barrett,77463,6.html/full . You will notice that Rudy’s safety advisors did not think WTC 7 was the best place for an emergency control center; something I thought myself in the 1990’s, well before 9/11, so it’s not all Monday Morning quarterbacking. And I certainly would not let the Federal govt’s decision to place important agencies be a consideration; they often get subjected to bomb threats themselves (I worked for the State Dept – I know). Rudy did start up the OEM, but really wasn’t very aggressive about it, even though they’d had an attack in 1993 (and Oklahoma City had been attacked recently) – this according to the VV article.

    Regarding the Aug. 6, 2001 memo, and what I would have done with it…well, according to Richard Clarke and others working in the Bush adminstration in 2001, they had spent a lot of time trying to get their warnings (plural) about Bin Laden taken seriously, with little success. That memo was not about some previously unheard of threat. And my understanding is that some number of the hijackers were on flight watch lists, and were actually stopped and questioned that day before boarding planes. Perhaps if a warning had gone out to at least keep those people off of flights (and the list was much shorter back then), things might have been different that day, and some deaths averted. Now that’s Monday Morning quarterbacking, but I have a difficult time feeling good about an administration that resisted every effort to publicly review what went wrong and led to these events.

    I don’t say these things because I hate one politcal party and love another; I have scant respect for either. Results speak louder than words when it comes to any politician.

    And finally, re: the number 29, Ted was quoting the New York Times in his cartoon; you need to take them to task over the number 29. You could ask him if he really trusts the NYT to give good data, though!

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