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Washington Post sends racist anti-Ted Cruz ‘toon down the memory hole

Written By | Dec 23, 2015

WASHINGTON, December 23, 2015 – Journalists are really Democrat operatives with bylines as many center-right commentators have been noting for years. Tuesday evening, we witnessed yet another example of that truth as Washington Post cartoonist Ann Telnaes posted a nasty, racist cartoon online, ridiculing Senator Ted Cruz’ recent funny and actually quite charming Christmas political parody video.

The Cruz video, available here, depicts the Cruz family in a warm Christmas setting, with the Texas Senator and 2016 Presidential candidate reading to his two young daughters from a number of children’s books that seemed familiar on the surface until you took a look.

Hilarious — All-new Ted Cruz Christmas video debuts

The video went viral, apparently incurring the wrath of the Washington Post’s typically leftish political cartoonist, Ann Telnaes. Telnaes quickly penned a nasty cartoon in response, intending to publish it in the Post and putting it online via Twitter. Her blatantly racist cartoon, pictured below, depicts Cruz as an organ grinder and his daughters as a pair of trained monkeys dancing to his tune.

Ann Telnaes offensive anti-Cruz cartoon appearing on Washington Post online and in a Tweet. Image and Tweet verbiage now pulled by the Post.

Ann Telnaes offensive anti-Cruz cartoon appearing on Washington Post online and in a Tweet. Image and Tweet verbiage now pulled by the Post.

Commented Telnaes for the WaPo online,

“There is an unspoken rule in editorial cartooning that a politician’s children are off-limits.”

But that rule is only for Democrat candidates as we’ve often seen in the past. Telnaes conveniently slips by that inconvenient truth, rationalizing

“… when a politician uses his children as political props, as Ted Cruz recently did in his Christmas parody video in which his eldest daughter read (with her father’s dramatic flourish) a passage of an edited Christmas classic, then I figure they are fair game.”

Adding insult to injury, Telnaes also blustered:

“Ted Cruz has put his children in a political ad- don’t start screaming when editorial cartoonists draw them as well.”

I.e., “It’s not my fault. Cruz did it.” Flip the blame.

First, in point of fact, nearly all local, state and national candidates use their families as “props” in political commercials as a way of demonstrating their warmth and continued commitment to the American family, whether actually true or not.

Such warm family moments are far from exceptional.

However, in the media’s eyes, some candidates are more equal than others. Clinton daughter Chelsea was never “fair game.” The Bush twins were, particularly when they were barhopping, just like normal college kids, BTW.

The Obama daughters are definitively not “fair game.”

On the other hand, Ted Cruz is not only a Republican. He’s a conservative Republican, which means, of course, that he’s nasty and “mean-spirited.” He’s also a “white Hispanic,” as the media has redefined that peculiar ethnic origin.

Therefore, using the classic racist meme of depicting either him or his family members as monkeys is “fair game,” too, apparently.

Social media commenters jumped on Telnaes’ cartoon and on her less-than-filmsy rationale for posting it. In response, and to its credit (more or less), Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt pulled all traces of the offending Tweets and the cartoon, all of which have gone down the memory hole save for our copy and a few others.

We pulled a copy off an online source last night figuring we’d need it for proof once it transformed into random electrons.

Wrote Hiatt in a comment on the incident,

“It’s generally been the policy of our editorial section to leave children out of it…” I failed to look at this cartoon before it was published. I understand why Ann thought an exception to the policy was warranted in this case, but I do not agree.”

We don’t “understand,” Fred, but we’ll let that pass.

Things didn’t end there, however. The Senator shot back his own comment/Tweet on the cartoon Tuesday evening:

Classy. @washingtonpost makes fun of my girls. Stick w/ attacking me–Caroline & Catherine are out of your league. — Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) December 22, 2015

Later in the evening, the jolly left-wingers at Politico couldn’t resist blaming Cruz for Telnaes’ brouhaha-causing cartoon, headlining their report on the incident thusly:

Cruz lashes out at Washington Post cartoonist for depicting his daughters as monkeys

So, Cruz “lashes out” becomes the story rather than Telnaes’ deliberately provocative, distasteful racist cartoon. That’s an old MSM trick of blame shifting, always reserved for Republicans, however, and never for Democrats. They never give a Republican an even break, but cover for Democrats endlessly.

If you doubt this, ask former Virginia Senator Allen. His casual “macaca” remark, jabbing at an antagonistic Indian-American journalist during the Senator’s 2006 Senatorial contest against Republican-turned-Democrat newcomer Jim Webb, was amplified relentlessly in the media for weeks. It’s intent was to influence the election, and that’s precisely what the constant negative coverage accomplished. The incumbent senator was defeated by Webb in a close contest.

Cruz and his supporters, fortunately, are made for sterner stuff, and, at least for now, Telnaes hasn’t gotten away unnoticed for her left-wing racist attack on Cruz and his young daughters. But let’s not imagine that we’ve seen the last of this sort of hyper-partisan treatment of Republicans, particularly as Election 2016 kicks in to high gear.

This whole distasteful incident calls to mind a recent, unrelated comment on the media that suggested a new term that would better-characterize these media hacks:

“PRESSITUTES, a great new word that fully characterizes what the press has become, cowardly lackeys that seek money, fame and and an avalanche of invites to dinners at the poshest restaurants.

“They are very tolerant, in fact quite supportive of the people they like – and literally hostile and actively comabative to the people they don’t like. It’s pure breed xenophobia rebranded as tolerance and claiming moral high ground.”


Terry Ponick

Biographical Note: Dateline Award-winning music and theater critic for The Connection Newspapers and the Reston-Fairfax Times, Terry was the music critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2010) and online Communities (2010-2014). Since 2014, he has been the Senior Business and Entertainment Editor for Communities Digital News (CDN). A former stockbroker and a writer and editor with many interests, he served as editor under contract from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and continues to write on science and business topics. He is a graduate of Georgetown University (BA, MA) and the University of South Carolina where he was awarded a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and co-founded one of the earliest Writing Labs in the country. Twitter: @terryp17