Washington Post stoops to a new low going after Ted Cruz

Imagine for a moment that the Washington Post had published a cartoon depicting Sasha and Malia Obama as monkeys, arguing that because the Obama daughters had campaigned for their father, they were fair game. I realize that such a scenario is unthinkable, that such a project would never pass review. Even a copy boy (if they still existed) would know that such a cartoon would be denounced as racist.

But when it comes to Ted Cruz, who happens to be Hispanic, no obstacle prevented publication of this cartoon, depicting his 4- and 7-year old children as monkeys:

Cartoonist Ann Telnaes (a Pulitzer Prize winner) knew she was violating a taboo, and tweeted her attempt at justification.


Twitter and the internet exploded in protest with Ted Cruz himself tweeting:


Telnaes was unapologetic, writing (in a now-disappeared note on the Wapo, captured by Newsbusters) that

because daughters Caroline and Catherine appeared in a humorous Christmas-themed ad, they have decided “to indulge in grown-up activities” and allowed their father to play them “as political props.”

Chris Houck of Newsbusters noted:

Under other, unspecified circumstances, Telnaes lectured that “[t]here’s an an unspoken rule in editorial cartooning that a politician’s children are off-limits” since “[p]eople don’t get to choose their family members so obviously it’s unfair to ridicule kids for their parent’s behavior while in office or on the campaign trail- besides, they’re children.

As the outrage exploded, the WaPo pulled the cartoon, and editor Fred Hiatt commented (in place of Telnaes’s statement of justification):

It’s generally been the policy of our editorial section to leave children out of it. I failed to look at this cartoon before it was published. I understand why Ann thought an exception to the policy was warranted in this case, but I do not agree.

Ace, for one, calls BS on this excuse:

I am having a lot of trouble believing that a hot piece like this, so controversial the cartoonist had to pre-justify her own stupid doodle with a written explanation, gets past the editors without people taking a look-see.

Somebody in an editorial position at the WaPo saw it an approved it before publication, even if Hiatt didn’t. And Hiatt seems to justify Telnaes’s outrageous conduct by writing, “I understand why Ann thought an exception to the policy was warranted in this case.”

C’mon, Fred, would you “understand” it if a cartoonist depicted Malia and Sasha as monkeys? Nobody would believe that.

 The plain fact is that whoever was on duty and reviewed the cartoon was part of the WaPo’s newsroom culture, which hates Ted Cruz and conservatives in general. We have seen in the past a similar instance of egregious prejudice at the WaPo’s newsroom, when in 1993 a front page story casually characterized evangelicals as   "largely poor, uneducated and easily led." (Note: evangelicals have above average levels of education.)

The WaPo staff are fish swimming in the waters of hartred for conservatives, and don't even know the water exists.