After Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt pulled an illustration from editorial cartoonist Ann Telnaes that was published yesterday, Michael Cavna and David Betancourt opened the question to Post readers: “The Post just pulled a Ted Cruz cartoon,” read the headline of their piece discussing the fallout from the controversial cartoon. “Would you have published it?”
Here, via Cavna and Betancourt, is a description of Telnaes’ illustration:
Her cartoon in question satirizes GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz, and on the Post’s website, her post was headlined, “Ted Cruz uses his kids as political props.” Telnaes’s animation, published Tuesday, was in response to Cruz’s new, Christmas-season “infomercial parody” campaign ad [link], in which the candidate’s two young daughters appear.
To Telnaes, that ad rendered it appropriate and germane to include Cruz’s children in an editorial cartoon in response, so she depicted Cruz as an organ-grinder Santa, and his daughters as dancing monkeys.
Telnaes defended her work on Twitter yesterday amid growing criticism, before and after it was pulled:
Ted Cruz has put his children in a political ad- don't start screaming when editorial cartoonists draw them as well. https://t.co/7hafBacOiK
— Ann Telnaes (@AnnTelnaes) December 22, 2015
Fred Hiatt posted a statement- should be where the cartoon was. I'm not commenting anything else, plan to write something about the whole…
— Ann Telnaes (@AnnTelnaes) December 23, 2015
Cruz responded to the caricature during a campaign stop this morning, telling reporters:
It used to be for a long time the rules across the board, that kids are off limits, that should be the rules. Don’t mess with our kids. Don’t mess with my kids, don’t mess with Marco’s kids, don’t mess with Hillary’s kids, don’t mess with anybody’s kids! Leave kids alone and if the media wants to attack and ridicule every Republican, well, that’s what they’re gonna do, but leave our kids alone.
Cruz also converted his umbrage into a fundraising opportunity, sending out an email to supporters. “They attacked my children!” it read. “Help me fight back.”
As for reader opinions, Cavna and Betancourt’s post currently has 558 comments, and counting.