A few words about political cartoons, U-T’s Steve Breen, and the blackout.
Over the past few days Doonesbury creator Gary Trudeau has depicted a woman’s experience in a Texas abortion clinic. The woman has been introduced to the shaming room, pronounced a suspected slut, and has been Rick Rolled, as Governor Rick Perry casts aside the woman’s own doctor’s health assessment to present a legislative edict of his own.
Trudeau has been a comic strip artist since 1970. He is also a Pulitzer Prize winning comic strip artist ( 1975), and political satirist and social commentator. It is therefore not a surprise that his cartoons riff off of the mainstream news and delivers them up with a distinctive point of view. This is what political satirists and commentators do.
That is what U-T San Diego’s own political cartoonist, Steve Breen does—he draws political cartoons that represent his own distinctive point of view. Breen was born in 1970, the same year that Trudeau became syndicated, and he has won two Pulitzer Prizes (1998, 2009).
It is no surprise that when U-T editor Jeff Light did his deep soul searching on the controversial Trudeau cartoons that he consulted with Steve Breen. “But it wasn’t a hard call. This isn’t appropriate for our comics.” OK- it wasn’t deep soul searching, it was an easy call.
Breen, it should be noted, hasn’t been neutral on the matter of women’s reproductive health care access. Here’s Breen’s own point of view on the topic , served up on the U-T editorial page. Breen clearly doesn’t want to share the op-ed political cartoon sandbox with long running contributor Trudeau’s divergent view. Such valor, gentlemen.
When the Washington Post recently interviewed Trudeau about this week’s topic he said:
“Roe v Wade was decided while I was still in school. Planned Parenthood was embraced by both parties. Contraception was on its way to being used by 99 percent of American women. I thought reproductive rights was a settled issue. Who knew we had turned into a nation of sluts?”
The U-T would like us to put a sock in it. Jeff Light and Steve Breen would like us to put a sock in it. Here at the OB Rag, we say “au contraire” which loosely translates to “up yours.”
Editor: U-T editor Jeff Light has weighed in on this subject in the comment section of our first post on Doonesbury.