02 February, 2006

That's It.

I've had it! I have never called for a boycott in my life, nor directly participated in one. But I'm going to be boycotting the Washington Post. This is the last time I wil ever link them, and I will not be reading any of their articles online. Please join me. If you have a subscription, cancel it.

I'm sure all my readers are familar with the offensive cartoon by Tom Toles that appeared in the Washington Post on January 29th. It's callous and obnoxious and disgusting, but that's par for the course among some political cartoonists. When I heard yesterday that the WaPo was going to publish the Joint Chiefs of Staff's letter about it, I figured they would apologize for perhaps not having been sensitive enough to the issues of the wounded, or having been so focused on the political point of the cartoon that they didn't consider how the depiction of the severely wounded soldier might be interpreted.

Nope, they don't have a clue.

In an interview, Toles called the letter "an understandable response" but said he did not regret what he drew. In thinking about Rumsfeld's remarks, he said, "what came soon to mind was the catastrophic level of injuries the Army and members of the armed services have sustained . . . I thought my portrayal of it was a fair depiction of the reality of the situation.

"I certainly never intended it to be in any way a personal attack on, or a derogatory comment on, the service or sacrifice of American soldiers."

As for the Joint Chiefs' letter, he said: "I think it's a little bit unfair in their reading of the cartoon to imply that is what it's about." [snip]

Asked about Sunday's cartoon, [editorial page editor] Hiatt said, "While I certainly can understand the strong feelings, I took it to be a cartoon about the state of the Army and not one intended to demean wounded soldiers."
I'm sure he did, and that's part of the problem. He doesn't have a clue, and the condemnation heaped upon his newspaper these last two days hasn't enlightened him a bit. There is not even a hint of apology in the official response. They truly don't get it. To them, a soldier (wounded or not) is just a prop in their news cycle, an issue to be exploited to further their careers and agendas.

How could a news organization so blinded by their isolated lives and elitist perspectives be of any use as as source of news? Join me in a boycott. We certainly won't be missing anything.

Other posts about this (updated regularly):
TC Override (CPT Ziegenfuss)
Elephants in Academia
A Marine Captain writes to Instapundit
Blackfive (roundup of military responses)
Grim's Hall (see comments)

Update: Yes, Dave Autry, deputy communications director for Disabled American Veterans said he welcomed the cartoon because, "...it drove home a point, that there are critically ill patients that certainly need to be attended to." Yes, but that wasn't why Toles drew that cartoon. Mr. Autry's response is simply a matter of making lemonade out of some very bitter lemons.

Update II: I was too angry to go into much coherent detail when I wrote this. Russ Vaughan's poem articulates exactly why this is so offensive.

Thanks to Mudville Gazette for the open post.