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December 18, 2003
I Was A Tool Of Satan

Remember this?

[The] cartoon that showed a man in Middle Eastern apparel at the wheel of a Ryder truck hauling a nuclear warhead. The caption read, "What Would Mohammed Drive?"

It generated the predictable outrage from Muslims. (Well, "Muslims" as represented by those mobilized by the activist, highly partisan, and not really nice Council on American-Islamic Relations in the form of an e-mail campaign designed to bring Marlette and his employer to their knees.)

Apparently it isn't the first time this Pulitzer-winning cartoonist has fallen afoul of the 'godly' of one persuasion or another.

One of the first cartoons I ever drew on PTL was in 1978, when Jim Bakker's financial mismanagement forced him to lay off a significant portion of his staff. The drawing showed the TV preacher sitting at the center of Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper informing his disciples, "I'm going to have to let some of you go!" Bakker's aides told reporters that he was so upset by the drawing that he fell to his knees in his office, weeping into the gold shag carpet. Once he staggered to his feet, he and Tammy Faye went on the air and, displaying my cartoons, encouraged viewers to phone in complaints to the Observer and cancel their subscriptions.

Jim Bakker finally resigned in disgrace from his PTL ministry, and I drew a cartoon of the televangelist who replaced him, Jerry Falwell, as a serpent slithering into PTL paradise: "Jim and Tammy were expelled from paradise and left me in charge."

One of the many angry readers who called me at the newspaper said, "You're a tool of Satan."

"Excuse me?"

"You're a tool of Satan for that cartoon you drew."

"That's impossible," I said. "I couldn't be a tool of Satan. The Charlotte Observer's personnel department tests for that sort of thing."

Confused silence on the other end.

"They try to screen for tools of Satan," I explained. "Knight Ridder human resources has a strict policy against hiring tools of Satan."


Go on. Read the whole thing, even if I did excerpt the funniest bit already.

The New York Times is not the Tool of Satan and even if you find you don't have the time to wade through the 90+-page .pdf file of the Seigal Report, you should read Jay Rosen's discussion of the report.

I like the Jim Henley quote, but Daniel at Crooked Timber is right. Pot doesn't cure what ails violent people. The comments on this one are good.

From the front page of Cursor we learn that the government has spent $3 million on investigating 9/11 so far. For a little context, we spent $100 million on Whitewater and, subsequently, the position of Clinton's zipper. I've said it before and I'll say it again - for reasons we may never know, Republicans went on a witchhunt against Clinton. He wasn't the best president we ever had, although I maintain he could have done more had he not been hamstrung by a rabidly partisan Congress, but there never was any reason for the way Republicans reacted to him.

(Also? Republicans are just obsessed with other people's sex lives. That's so icky.)

Bengt is writing about goats and ear-tagging and he's no more absurd than the debate he's reporting on. (And I'm not gloating. "Old Europe" is no sillier than "New Europe" or the USofA.)

Charles at Off the Kuff is writing about electronic voting today. Seems to be something in the air.

Over at Orcinus, David is writing about yet more wing nut conservatives publicly embracing racism and racist organization.

If it's good news from Iraq, you're looking for, take look at article. "Iraqi bloggers celebrate Saddam's capture" from Ryan Pitts at the Spokesman-Review.

(I'm a bit dismayed by the casual dismissal of Riverbend as, "consistently anti-American" which I think is an oversimplification of the emotions of someone who has been living under a repressive regime and then finds they're being forcibly "liberated" and in danger of maybe being killed by a hated enemy regime, but hey, the article was about celebrating Hussein's capture so whatever.)

(Anyhow, Ryan Pitts' blog is called Dead Parrot Society and how cool is that?)

Operation USO Care Package for the troops overseas.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:28 AM


I unequivocally concur regarding the article's mischaracterization of Riverbend. She's not unabashedly pro-American like Zeyad (one of the reasons I dropped him from my blogroll was this "oh the Americans are so wonderful" vibe I kept getting from him, it made me start to think about whether he was some kind of "plant"), but her blog is as personal as it is political, and it's brilliant and literate to boot.

Posted by: Elayne Riggs at December 20, 2003 05:34 PM