Description - Drawn to Extremes by Chris Lamb
Four days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Pulitzer Prize--winning cartoonist Joel Pett of the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader chided President George W. Bush for having declared that America would "punish any state that harbored or trained terrorists." In one of his cartoons, Pett asked if this included the state of Florida, where the terrorists had lived and taken flying lessons. When Pett followed with other criticisms of Bush, readers canceled subscriptions, demanded that Pett be fired, and left profane messages on his voice mail. "One elderly woman spat into the phone that I 'should have been in the World Trade Center,'Pett said. "Such is the power of the cartoon when it is unleashed." Unrestricted by journalistic standards of objectivity, editorial cartoonists wield ire and irony to reveal the naked truths about presidents, business leaders, and other public figures. Indeed, since the founding of the republic, cartoonists have both made an important contribution to and offered a critical commentary on our society. This book demonstrates the limits of cartooning from the courtroom to the newsroom.Chris Lamb examines the reasons for the declining state of the art and the implications for all of us.
Most newspapers today publish relatively generic, gag-related, syndicated cartoons. They are cheaper and generate fewer phone calls than hard-hitting cartoons. Lamb charges that they are symptomatic of the foundering newspaper industry and reflect a weakness in the newspaper's traditional watchdog function. If a newspaper wants to fulfill its function in society, maybe it should find ways to make the phone ring more -- not less!
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Columbia University Press
Publisher: Columbia University Press
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Author Biography - Chris Lamb
Chris Lamb is an associate professor of communication at the College of Charleston. His articles on editorial cartooning have appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald, Houston Chronicle, Baltimore Sun, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and trade journal Editor & Publisher.