So, Ted Rall, who has never claimed, or tried to be, Monet or van Gogh as an editorial cartoonist, but who has drawn President Barack Obama the same way for four years, is now being accused of being a racist for that drawing. (I wouldn't link to something this stupid from Kos, even with a "no follow" in the HTML; the link is from media analyst Jim Romanesko, though the original Kos link is available via him.)
And, a writer at the Atlantic is dumb enough, or politically correct enough, to jump on the Kossack bandwagon.
And, here's Rall's own comment.
First, it's interesting that he wasn't in an original list of cartoonist invitees. I suspect somebody in the Kos hierarchy already knew enough about him to be skittish.
Other than him misusing the word "censorship," which only governments can do, here's his take specific to the takedown:
This act of censorship is notable for several reasons, however:
1. This “liberal” blog has slammed me with the most severe act of censorship of my career. Since I began syndication in 1991, I have had individual cartoons killed. I have been fired, sometimes unjustly. ...
But this tops them all.
They weren’t paying for my work. To the contrary, I drove traffic to them. My cartoons were routinely among their list of High Impact Posts that elicit a lot of discussion. If you read them, you’ll see that a cadre of militant Obama defenders was determined to drive me away, and they succeeded.
This is what the Democratic Party has come to: so unable to face criticism, whether from left or right, that they stifle opposing voices. ...As someone who was blocked from Kos myself for being too Green, none of this surprises me. And, technically, like Rall (I believe), my account wasn't deleted. It was simply "frozen," so that in some Orwellian way, Kos could say that people like me hadn't been banned.
3. The grounds for censoring my cartoons from the site — my drawing style — are beneath contempt. Anyone familiar with me and my work knows I’m not racist. My criticisms of the president are unrelated to his race, and to say otherwise in the absence of evidence is disgusting. Here’s the cartoon in question. It should be noted that my editors at a variety of American newspapers, magazines and websites, almost all of whom are left of center politically, some of whom are black and many of whom voted for Obama, have never expressed the slightest concern about the way I draw the president.
And, contra claims by generic Kossacks that this was all a "community" thing, Markos himself at least signed off on the ban, then, in his typically Orwellian way, claimed Rall hadn't been banned, per The Progressive.
That said, what the hell do you expect from someone who claimed the CIA was full of secret liberals? Well, you get lying, dissembling, stupidity and cultic behavior all in one package.
Also part of that lying? Contra the official warning to him, I doubt Markos and other insiders think he's racist. Rather, they know he's kryptonite to Obamiacs and Obamism (got a better word) and saw this as an easy ginned-up way to dump him.
I've disagreed with Rall a few times; I even deleted him from my (fairly brief) blogroll a couple of years back, after he had been there a few years. (I can't remember why.) But in general, I think many of his cartoons and his op-ed columns are both generally good stuff. Beyond that, you know where he stands on issues.
And, to all the individual Kossacks who supported the decision?
If this is really your mindset, "eat me." Especially if you're snooty enough to call your cultish mind-hive a "more honorable community."
Especially you social justice warriors, either Kossacks or others spreading the story by Twitter, accusing Rall of ... I kid you not ... "whitesplaining."
Thank doorknob I got banned there long ago, in light of the current crop of #stupidsplaining. Or #Kossplaining. I'm just disappointed I deleted my old blog about Markos der Fu¨hrer, or I'd have cross-posted this over there.
At the same time, Rall can, as well as write or draw things I disagree with, get on his high horse of moral dudgeon his own self. Whether he was really driving that much traffic to Kos, I don't know. I especially don't know if it was that versus Kos driving more traffic to him.
So, while I agree that this is an example, and a good one, of liberal puritanism, it's also a good job of Ted Rall taking an incident, and running with it, to shove himself in the limelight.
But, to be fair, here's a short video clip of Rall talking about the cartoon.
And, I'll still take Ted Rall shoving himself in the limelight over Markos Moulitsas' fake concern trolling, or some Kossacks' real concern trolling.
Sadly, on the Progressive's piece, Rall said he's, in essence, giving in. He's going to draw Obama differently. I hope it's a sarcastic "differently." I Tweeted him that he should draw Obama to look just like Markos.
Or, given that she's a neoliberal pea in a pod, drawing him to look halfway between Obama and Hillary Clinton would be fun, too. That said, then, somebody would accuse him of mansplaining as well as whitesplaining.
In a separate post, Rall notes how Adbusters seems to be profiteering (more?) off Occupy Wall Street, even selling them out, he says. If you thought he was pissed at Kossacks, read this.
I did, including noticing the Adbusters email link. And, I emailed, as regular readers know I do.
Kalle Lasn of Adbusters tried some blame-dumping:
please don't confuse Adbusters with the occupywallst.org group . . .Ahh, sure, Kalle. Whatever you say.
this morning we sent this email to them:
Priscilla, Justine, Micah,
Are you all seriously doing this? Selling the Adbusters OWS poster?
Really? Do you understand how much this undermines the entire message
of the movement? Think about all the people who put their asses on
the line, risked jail and police brutality, gave their time, energy
and reputations … and you're selling the poster? You're turning the
movement into a parody of itself and proving all of the critics right.
Please stop selling this poster!
Kalle, Darren and all of us here at Adbusters
You're the frustrated graphic artists who didn't get jobs on Madison Avenue.
Just like the OWS folks with MBAs and JDs, mad that Wall St. didn't hire them.