PRESS RELEASE – January 16, 2008

CARTOONISTS DECLARE JIHAD ON COMEDY CENTRAL SCABS

Syndicated political cartoonists Ted Rall and Matt Bors will issue cartoons ridiculing two figures generally revered by liberals for their political humor: Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show” and Stephen Colbert of “The Colbert Report.”

Despite not making a deal with the striking Writers Guild of America, Stewart and Colbert have returned to their shows–without writers–in a move that has generated little to no criticism from the liberal press.

Rall and Bors, who write and draw all their own material and are not members of the Writers Guild, have decided to team up and deliver a one-two punch, with each of them taking on one of the Comedy Central hosts in cartoons issued by their respective syndicates on the night of Thursday, January 17. The cartoons will also be available at their websites http://www.tedrall.com and http://www.mattbors.com

“One naturally hesitates before unleashing the fearsome power of Rall and Bors,” said Bors and Rall, “but the stakes are too high, the issues too important, the hypocrisy too hypocritical for us to just put down our pens and tune in to their union-busting, albeit highly amusing, programs.”

Rall’s cartoon imagines rough and tumble union members from 1938 traveling through a wormhole to encounter Jon Stewart, whom they identify as a “scab.” The comic ends with Stewart being carried away on a stretcher after being violently beaten. “Stewart’s wry, vaguely left-of-center wit fails to register with the visitors from a more straightforward time,” Rall writes in the comic.

“Progressives shouldn’t let these scabs off the hook, no matter how hilarious they are,” said Rall. “The War on Snarkism starts now!”

Bors’ comic deals with Colbert in a parody of his popular segment “The Wørd.” This time the word is “Scab” with Colbert remarking, “Writers may be able to hang out all day on their air conditioned sidewalks, but I have a mouth to feed, folks!” while the screen informs us of his ego’s lunch break demands. It’s something you could almost imagine Colbert saying, with Bors turning the faux-right wing persona back on the host.

“They have no integrity, no morals, and no guts,” Bors huffed. “They’re funny, sure, but not ha-ha funny. Not after this.”

Ted Rall’s cartoons are distributed by Universal Press Syndicate, while Matt Bors’ work is distributed through United Feature Syndicate. They each draw three cartoons a week.

Neither Rall nor Bors will be available for appearances on either of the shows while the strike remains in effect. “We’d rather fight in Bush’s wars than cross a picket line,” they said in unison.

13 Responses to “”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Good Job Ted, and Matt!!

  2. Anders Says:

    /Debout, les damnés de la terre
    /Debout, les forçats de la faim
    /La raison tonne en son cratère
    /C’est l’éruption de la fin
    /Du passé faisons table rase
    /Foules, esclaves, debout, debout
    /Le monde va changer de base
    /Nous ne sommes rien, soyons tout
    / C’est la lutte finale
    / Groupons-nous, et demain
    / L’Internationale
    / Sera le genre humain

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Just saw Mr. Rall’s cartoon on Yahoo. My first reaction was, “Hey, don’t pick on Jon Stewart!”

    But then I realized I was just fighting my own disappointment at seeing Stewart and Colbert’s first night back go by with only the weakest protest. They both talked about supporting the writers, but then turned around to try and do the same old shows without ’em.

    I felt bad for tuning in and giving the network a viewer it didn’t deserve, but I had hopes that one or both of these guys would do something impressive. I haven’t watched since.

    Whatever happened to the Colbert from the White House Press Correspondents’ Dinner?

  4. forksmuggler Says:

    I watched both of their first episodes without writers. Each was ironically, though predictably, pro-strike. Even more pro-writer is the fact that neither is nearly as funny. Has anyone watched other episodes since their return? Have they been equally disappointing?

    Nice work, guys.

  5. forksmuggler Says:

    Frazier Moore (AP Television Writer) writes “In using network airtime to plead the union’s case – however comically – late-night TV is leveraging the media barons’ might against them.”

    Uh…huh?

  6. dlauthor Says:

    I’m not sure what’s so hard to understand about that, Sporkmuggler. Jon and Steven are making the case for the writers, just like Letterman and Conan have. Jon does is pretty much nightly. Find me a real news program that’s had interviews with labor-law experts about the issue. No one’s doing it, except them.

    I’m glad Ted and whoever the other guy is feel the need to take up the torch for the writers’ union, whistling Woody Guthrie songs in their heads, but seriously, guys. Has the WGA had a problem with Jon and Steven returning? Not that I’ve seen. So pull those nails out of your hand and climb down from that tree, Ted.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Thank you so much for this Ted. I feel the same way about Bill Maher, actually.

  8. Dan Kaufman Says:

    In addition to what dlauthor said, it’s my understanding the Stewart offered a deal giving the union everything it wanted, similar to the Letterman deal. But in this case, unlike with Letterman and for no apparent reason, the Union didn’t take it.
    If you meet all the strikers’ demands and they still want to strike, do you still have to blindly follow the unions are always right policy?

  9. Ted Rall Says:

    In this case, the union *is* right. Writers have been getting ripped off for years. Without a doubt, the WGA should not have cut a deal with Leno. I suspect that they realized that after they did it and decided not to compound the error by doing the same with Comedy Central.

    The union’s error aside, you don’t cross a picket line.

  10. forksmuggler Says:

    dlauthor,

    I’m sure on the surface it might seem as though Jon and Stephen (and I love these guys, make no mistake) are serving the interests of the writers to the dismay of the “media barons.” But let’s be serious here. All big media cares about is ratings and profits. A writers strike threatens the bottom line. Allowing these guys to criticize them generates revenue, all that’s all that matters. I’m glad these guys are giving voice to the cause of the writers, but a strike only works when, well, you strike. You can’t have it both ways.

    Dan-
    “If you meet all the strikers’ demands and they still want to strike, do you still have to blindly follow the unions are always right policy?”

    No, but don’t pretend to support the union such a case.

  11. forksmuggler Says:

    And I would never muggle a spork.

  12. Audio Says:

    Are Stewart & Colbert even members of the WGA? If so, shame on them, if not – it’s not their fight.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    How does the advocacy of violence against Stewart and Colbert aid the WGA? Both are WGA members and member of AFTRA – What would you have? 400 jobs lost or the two on the air to keep thier crews together? Judging by your “call” to “holy struggle” you would prefer to have a few hundred people out on their asses adding to the misery of the strike. And, where is your virtiol for the AMPTP? THEY walked out of the negotiations after offering a mere $230 for streaming and downloads. Where is your “Jihad” against them?

    Oh, yeah your paychecks just happened to be signed by…

    AFTRA has a no strike clause. Comedy Central has an AFTRA Contract. both are in an untenable position. but yet, you call them out for being placed in such apostion by the AMPTP. whose ass is the sweetest? viacom, disney or News Corps.? You are nothing more than a lackey of major media, to confounded by traffic to take on those who NEED to be taken on – the AMPTP. and for that I call you COWARD.

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