It has finally come to this. The controversial and sometimes deplorable Ted Rall is speaking out about being black balled (can I say that? Is it racist? Too much, Mr. Matthews?) for attacking Obama with the same intensity he had for Bush.
This is a “read the whole thing” article, but here are some of the juicy bits:
Then Bush came in. And 9/11 happened.
The media gorged on an orgy of psychotic right-wing rhetoric. Flags everywhere. Torture suddenly OK. In a nation where mainstream political discourse was redefined between Dick Cheney on the right and libertarian Bill Maher on the not-as-right, there wasn’t any room in the paper for a left-of-center cartoonist. My business was savaged. Income plunged.
McCarthyism–blackballing–made a big comeback. I had been drawing a monthly comic strip, “The Testosterone Diaries,” for Men’s Health. No politics. It was about guy stuff: dating, job insecurity, prostate tests, that sort of thing. They fired me. Not because of anything I drew for them. It was because of my syndicated editorial cartoons, which attacked Bush and his policies. The publisher worried about pissing off right-wingers during a period of nationalism on steroids.
Desperate and going broke, I called an editor who’d given me lots of work at the magazines he ran during the 1990s. “Sorry, dude, I can’t help,” he replied. “You’re radioactive.”
I don’t agree that a great national tide moved the media rightward , but Rall’s point is that post-9/11 he became too toxic for mainstream publications.
And here’s where it gets ugly
I didn’t count on the cult of personality around Barack Obama.
It feels a little weird to write this, like I’m telling tales out of school and ratting out the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy. But it’s true: there’s less room for a leftie during the Age of Obama than there was under Bush.
I didn’t realize how besotted progressives were by Mr. Hopey Changey.
Sure this is nothing a reader of right-of-center bloggers would call new information. But we’re hearing this from Ted Freakin’ Rall!
I appreciate political humor and especially cartoons (check out the sidebar link to Pookies cartoons if you need proof) and have thought Rall to be at the very least honest and consistent and damned funny at his best.
All that to say, I share his disgust and amazement that there is a concerted media effort to build a temple around Obama. For crying out loud, if he can’t mock Obama, one cannot be surprised that no one gets a fair chance to criticize the One.
Other censors are brazen.
Now there’ s a new cause for refusal: Too tough on the president.
I’ve heard that from enough “liberal” websites and print publications to consider it a significant trend.
A sample of recent rejections, each from editors at different left-of-center media outlets:
Â· “I am familiar with and enjoy your cartoons. However the readers of our site would not be comfortable with your (admittedly on point) criticism of Obama.”
Â· “Don’t be such a hater on O and we could use your stuff. Can’t you focus more on the GOP?”
Â· “Our first African-American president deserves a chance to clean up Bush’s mess without being attacked by us.”
I have many more like that.
What’s weird is that these cultish attitudes come from editors and publishers whose politics line up neatly with mine. They oppose the bailouts. They want us out of Afghanistan and Iraq. They disapprove of Obama’s new war against Libya. They want Obama to renounce torture and GuantÃ¡namo.
Rall concludes with this gem:
Can you image (you probably don’t have to, but I’m too lazy to Google for it), what this journalist had to say about Bush’s judgement on, oh I don’t know, going into Iraq? Equivalent executive actions, 150% different reaction from someone who chose supposedly to bring their intelligence and reason to the public forum.
Maybe, doubtfully but said with sincere hope, Mr. Rall will find that he has been mugged by reality and that liberalism left him.