Monday, March 11, 2002

AS TED RALL FALLS FURTHER AND FURTHER INTO SELF-PARODY, I'VE BEEN THINKING
that the market for editorial cartoonists in too big.

Looking at Rall's cartoons, I think that not only am I not amused or perusaded, but it's hard to imagine anyone being amused or persuaded by the cartoons, even those who share his viewpoints. It's hard to figure out why he has a job.

Think of what an editorial cartoonist has to do. Every day, find something in the news to make a point about, and draw an amusing one-panel (or several panel in Rall's case) strip making fun of some aspect of it, preferably in a tasteful way. Think about it -- this requires analytical skills, a sense of humor, artistic ability, and a sense of taste. How many people in the country have this talent? Enough that every city newspaper can hire one? I doubt it.

So, is it any wonder that we get hacks like Rall, who put out tasteless, unfunny comics? I don't think so. Newspapers that employe folks like him should cut them in the next round of cost-cutting, and pick up a syndicated comic from one of the few people who can actually do this. They do this in other things -- how many newspapers does Dave Barry's column run in? It would make sense to do it here as well.

As it is now, we've got a wall of mediocrity, and they only way through it is to be offensive like Rall was. I honestly cannot remember the last time I even got a chuckle out of an editorial cartoon.
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