To the Editor:
There’s a saying among political cartoonists: “I thought my cartoon was good. But then it appeared in Newsweek.”
Once again, your annual “The Year in Cartoons” collection of editorial cartoons highlights your magazine’s long-running war on political humor. Its title also violates truth-in-advertising laws. Your selection is incredibly narrow, focusing only editorial cartoons without a political point of view drawn by about a half dozen working editorial cartoonists. “The Year of the Blandest Cartoons By Six Guys” would be more like it.
Newsweek’s readers deserve to know that there are hundreds of editorial cartoonists in the United States. They have as many drawing styles and political viewpoints as you can imagine. The vast majority of them are hard-hitting, highly opinionated and viciously partisan. They are pit bulls (mostly without lipstick, though there are amazing women cartoonists too), not the teacup poodles exhibited in your misleadingly-titled round-up.
In a universe of inspired and inspiring political cartoons, you managed to find the absolute bottom of the barrel. Are you afraid of actual opinions? Or do you just have bad taste? Either way, you ignored all the good stuff—including by the cartoonists whose work you included, all of whom have far more important, riskier and funnier work in their 2008 portfolio that you chose to pass up. A computer-generated randomizer would have picked smarter cartoons.
President, American Association of American Editorial Cartoonists