Category Archives: Newpapers
ABC News president Ben Sherwood had the bad form to complain about being denied a Pulitzer Prize. Television isn’t even eligible for the prizes. They’re awarded to newspapers and digital outlets. Is a TV network’s digital site eligible? Beats me.
Anyway, Sherwood sent a 4 page letter to the Center For Public integrity demanding that ABC reporter Brian Ross be cut in for a share of CPI‘s prize. The reporting was about a doctor/lawyer conspiracy to deprive black lung victims of medical benefits.
Last I heard from Brian Ross he was busy mis-identifying James Holmes, the Denver theater psycho killer, as a Tea Party member.
Meanwhile, Ed Snowden and Vlad Putin were overlooked by the Pulitzer Committee for an award shared by The Washington Post and The Guardian. The two papers were honored for stories detailing NSA spying. The snubbed Snowden, hero or traitor, depending on your point of view, did the basic reporting by stealing information from the NSA. Putin, a renowned New York Times columnist and famous Russian hockey player, is Snowden’s patron.
You like your doctor but you can’t keep him. You like your insurance but you can’t keep it. ObamaCare is a train wreck.
Koch Brother Horror Stories
These horror stories are all lies, lies, and damned lies according to cowboy poet Harry Reid. They didn’t really happen to you. They were ginned up at the un-American Brothers Koch Fairy Tale mill to send red state democrats running for cover.
Today is the 20th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Flynt v Falwell decision. It was a very important ruling because it acts as a kind of get out of jail card for cartoonists. Also, it gives me an excuse to quote myself from my book The Recent History of the United States in Political Cartoons: A Look Bok!:
As an endangered industry, political cartooning seeks, and gets, federal protection. It comes in the form of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Flynt v Falwell
Larry Flynt published an over-the-top raunchy cartoon, in his porn magazine Hustler. The cartoon was about Rev. Jerry Falwell and his mother. Falwell sued and the case made its way to the Supreme Court. Falwell claimed the cartoon caused him emotional distress. Of course it did. That was the point, as Chief Justice Rehnquist noted in the court’s unanimous opinion for Flynt:
“The appeal of the political cartoon or caricature is often based on the exploration of unfortunate physical traits or politically embarrassing events… often calculated to hurt the feelings of the subject of the portrayal.”
In order to protect political cartoons the court had to protect Larry Flynt’s offensive cartoon. Not many jobs have a Supreme Court mandate to cause emotional distress.
Even so, it’s not like I keep this date marked on my calendar. I noticed it when I stumbled on this piece about it by Carl Cannon at Real Clear Politics. Cannon had this to say about the court’s ruling:
To decide otherwise, the eight justices reasoned, would effectively outlaw political cartooning. This, too, the high court ruled, would be an unwise and unconstitutional decision to render. Rehnquist quoted approvingly from the words of a cartoonist:
“The political cartoon is a weapon of attack, of scorn and ridicule and satire; it is least effective when it tries to pat some politician on the back. It is usually as welcome as a bee sting, and is always controversial in some quarters.”
Flynt and Falwell eventually went on the road together debating the First Amendment.