Arizona Republic Cartoonist Covers Shooting

Fans of will be familiar with the work of Steve Benson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist at the Arizona Republic.

Like fellow Arizona cartoonist David Fitzsimmons, Steve was suddenly thrust into the national spotlight following the terrible shooting that occurred in Tuscon.

Apparently, Steve’s work didn’t stand up to the scrutiny of editor Nick Gillespie, who had this to say about his week’s worth of cartoons:

It’s not that we need more proof that editorial cartooning… is the lowest of all art forms, but here you go, a week’s worth of doodling by the Arizona Republic’s Steve Benson, who is, of course, a Pulitzer Prize winner.

Steve responded on the Daily Cartoonist to the criticism of his cartoons

I’m not complaining about the rabid reaction from the fringe to the cartoon, since it has brought them into the arena for debate over all kinds of relevant issues”“gun laws, political rhetoric, mental health issues, etc.”“and where it is, quite frankly, fairly easy to pick their arguments clean of any substance.

That debate, particularly in Arizona, is raging.

It’s ugly out there”“and when Palin got ugly, I went for the jugular.

Steve doesn’t backdown from his criticism of Palin, who he calls an “absolute, divisive, irresponsible nut… [who] has contributed to the gun-laden, ugly, violent rhetoric that has taken political discourse in the country to abysmal lows”“as well as arguably put citizen safety at risk.”

Here are his cartoons in chronological order as they appeared in the week following the shooting. What do you think?

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AZ Vultures

Nate Beeler Bill O'Reilly Pinhead Patriot

On the O’Reilly Factor tonight, host Bill O’Reilly spotlighted this cartoon by Washington Examiner cartoonist Nate Beeler, and asked viewers if they thought it was drawn too soon after the tragedy.

Here’s the clip:

Watch the latest video at <a href=”” mce_href=””></a>

So what do you think – Pinhead or Patriot? Sound off on our Facebook Page!


Palin’s Target Cartoons

Sarah Palin has gotten into hot water in some circles for her infamous ‘crosshairs’ map, which targeted legislators who voted for Obama’s health care bill. Her people claim that they are merely “surveyor symbols.” Regardless, cartoonists have formed their own opinions, and you can check out what they think in our new Palin’s Target cartoon slideshow.

Click to view the Palin’s Target cartoon slideshow.


Red/Blue America

Gabrielle Giffords AZ Shooting Palin


My friend, editorial cartoonist Ed Stein, drew this very provocative cartoon about the Arizona shooting, pulling in the imagery and cross-hairs from the infamous Sarah Palin graphic.

Ed also wrote this on his terrific blog:

It now appears that Representative Gabrielle Giffords was the target of an assassination plot. The reasons are unknown, and it’s too early to claim categorically that the shooting of Ms. Giffords and the other victims was motivated by a political grievance. That said, it’s not hard to believe that the poisonous political climate of the last few years can move an unstable person to violence. Indeed, the past summer, featuring rage-filled shoutdowns at town hall meetings, gleefully promoted by Fox News and conservative talk show hosts, led to hundreds of threats against members of Congress. The poster symbol of the anger and intolerance may well be the map Sarah Palin posted on her website during the election, highlighting targeted Democratic congressional districts with crosshairs. Let me be clear that both parties have indulged all too often in language that debases the debate, but the preponderance of the anger and invective seems to come from the far right. Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik got it exactly right when he said, “To try to inflame the public on a daily basis 24 hours a day, seven days a week has impaqct on people, especially who are unbalanced personalities to begin with.” He called for us all to do some soul-searching.

Now, of course, the same folks who gloried in the over-the-top rhetoric, who infused the political debate with violent imagery, are shocked at the bloodshed. I’d like to believe that this event will force us all to reconsider how we conduct the political discourse in this country, but I suspect that, after a brief pause, we will go on as before. Too many pundits make their living stoking the public rage, and too many politicians have learned to capitalize on that anger. The mainstream politicians all responded with appropriate horror and sadness (as well they should, given the danger they are all exposed to), as did many of the Tea Party leaders. Then there was Judson Phillips, founder of the Tea Party Nation, whose immediate response to the carnage was this: “The hard left is going to try and silence the Tea Party movement by blaming us”¦The shooter was a liberal lunatic. Emphasis on both words.”

So much for soul-searching.


AZ Shooting Cartoons

Cartoonists have begun to weigh in on the senseless shooting that occurred on Saturday in Arizona targeting Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Below is my take.

AZ Shooting Gabrielle Giffords Sarah Palin Cartoon

Click to view our collection of cartoons about the Arizona shooting.


Fitzsimmons Apologizes for AZ Shooting Remarks Made on CNN

Saturday, I posted on my blog the comments Arizona Daily Star cartoonist David Fitzsimmons made on CNN on Saturday as the news broke of the shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Fitzsimmons lives near the scene of shooting and went there when he heard about it.

Yesterday, he issued the following statement and apology:

“Today I have offended many with my emotional, partisan and inappropriate remarks, broadcast on CNN, regarding the horror of this day. As Congresswoman Giffords battles for her life let us join in prayer for her, for the dead and for the injured. Reflecting on the moment, I know my remarks would have disappointed Congresswoman Giffords, a public servant who is admired for her nonpartisan, gracious and intelligent approach to public discourse.”

The Arizona Daily Star added:

Columnists are human and have strong and immediate reactions to awful news, but those are best kept private until facts are known. As Fitzsimmons acknowledged on CNN, he wasn’t reporting and didn’t know at the time who the shooter was or his motivation.


Congress Time Out

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