[UPDATED] Why this fails as an editorial cartoon

Ann Telnaes: “This is a clear case of a cartoon syndicate trying to maximize profits by offering the same artwork but changing a few words to address both ideological sides of an issue. An editorial cartoon is supposed to have a clear point of view.”

* What makes an editorial cartoon an editorial cartoon (anntelnaes.com)

UPDATE: Daryl Cagle sends this response:

I think that as our profession has fallen on hard times, and I am perceived to be successful while other editorial cartoonists suffer, that some troubled editorial cartoonists look for any opportunity to bash the evil, cartoonist businessman. I suppose that is to be expected.

You can see my explanation in real time as I posted the cartoons on my Facebook page.

I got such a strong reaction from readers against the first version of the cartoon, with many well reasoned arguments, that I changed my mind – something that doesn’t happen much in this profession. So I posted a revised version of the cartoon. I learned that Tsarnaev was given his Miranda rights shortly before I posted the revised cartoon, so I doubt that the second cartoon got much ink.

The accusation by cartoonists that I posted two versions for marketing purposes, to get the cartoon reprinted by both conservative and liberal papers, is just silly. Some cartoonists are describing this is an insidious, ongoing business plan.

I’ve changed my mind before, not often, and usually over a longer period of time, but I won’t go back into the archive to delete the old cartoons. I posted them, I should live with my history. So both cartoons are up. My old cartoons supporting the run up to war in Iraq are still posted too – I’m more embarrassed by those.

I remember when the Miranda decision came down in the 1960’s, on a 5-4 vote. It was controversial for a long time; the only area of the law where “ignorance of the law is no excuse” didn’t hold true. I got a large enough sampling of e-mails in response to the cartoon (and you can see from the Facebook comments as well) that I realized the Miranda decision no longer seems to be controversial – it has become a part of our national fabric. Most of the responses conflate reading the Miranda warning to the suspect with the suspect’s overall civil rights; I’ve come to the conclusion that this is a good thing.