From My Anti-Socialist Mail-Bag

Added 9/10/09: Here’s an interesting column about my Obama school speech cartoon (the cartoon is below) from a newspaper editor, responding to some very vocal complaints from readers who misunderstood the cartoon.

Sent: Tuesday, September 08, 2009 4:39 PM
Subject: Cartoon question

Dear Daryl,

I just got a surprise phone call from a reader who was mad at me because he thought your cartoon of little Jeffy was intended as an insult to the president. I told him that’s not the way I took the cartoon, and that I thought it skewered those who thought Obama’s speech would “indoctrinate” youngsters and turn them instantly into Communists. Our reader didn’t sound very convinced.

I know cartoonists don’t like to explain their work, but did I interpret your cartoon as you intended?

Thanks for the help,

Rowe Ray
Managing Editor – San Marcos Daily Record

On Sep 8, 2009, at 6:12 PM, Daryl Cagle wrote:

Hi Ray,

I’m being sarcastic. I think the conservative complaints and fears about Obama’s speech were silly, so I drew it up to look silly.  I did, however, label the cartoon as “conservative” on our download site, because I knew some conservatives editors would take it literally, and that amused me.

Satire is often lost on readers; sometimes it is a cultural thing. I recently gave a speech in Tokyo where the interpreter explained all of my cartoons to the audience who didn’t understand or appreciate our concept of sarcasm. I guess that explains why we rarely see political cartoons in Japan.

There will always be readers who don’t “get it” –better to keep drawing for the ones who do “get it.”

All the best,

From: Sally
Sent: Tuesday, September 08, 2009 11:10 AM
Subject: Jeffy cartoon

I found the cartoon very offensive.  Yes, I do realize you were trying to be sarcastic.  However, this ran in our local paper before the speech was given.  I believe that many of the “extremists” who are not going to listen to the school speech will actually believe this is what the speech is about, and then go spread even more of their lies.  As I told the Editor and Publisher of our local paper, if it has run AFTER the speech, it would be quite obvious to all that you were just being offensively sarcastic.

I wonder how Ed, Chris Matthews, Olberman and the other news people on MSNBC feel about this.

Sally Sarina

Jeff Keane left this comment about the cartoon on my Facebook Page:

That cartoon does confuse me… I don’t know whether I am supposed to be going left or right… so I just have to keep running around in circles…

By Daryl Cagle

Daryl Cagle is the founder and owner of Cagle Cartoons, Inc. He is one of the most widely published editorial cartoonists and is also the editor of The Cagle Post. For the past 35 years, Daryl has been one of America’s most prolific cartoonists.