Thursday, October 6, 2011

Just Like Hitler

Some redneck with a guitar Jr. got hisself axed from his gig singing the opening to ESPN's Monday Night Football this week. I was at a meeting, so I missed the first half of the game, and didn't know anything about it until the next morning.

Funny thing is, I thought the game ran pretty long. You'd have thought that skipping the "Are You Ready for Some Football" opener would have shaved a good five or ten minutes off the show.

Well, anyway, the problem was that the guy had gone on Fox 'n' Friends and compared the President of the United States to Adolf Hitler. To most of Fox News's audience, that's about as controversial as vanilla ice cream -- and ESPN might have let it pass if Monday's game were between Atlanta and Houston -- but ESPN ultimately decided that this was a metaphor too far.

Last month, Phil Hands, editorial cartoonist for the Wisconsin State Journal, took some heat for a cartoon in which a protester against Governor Scott Walker responds to Walker's announcement that he will "focus on creating jobs" by saying, "Ya know, Hitler created jobs in Nazi Germany!" The cartoon followed a Nazi protest in Milwaukee, at which some flyer distributed by counterprotesters included a remark that Hitler, like Walker, sought to bust unions.

Hands still has his gig at the WSJ, which is a good thing. We really don't have many editorial cartoonists drawing about state politics in Wisconsin, what with the Milwaukee J. Sentinel having fired all its cartoonists and the Capital Times going web-only. Joe Heller appears in several state newspapers, and Mike Konopacki and Gary Huck draw for Labor papers. Since the Racine Post logged off, I haven't had a real outlet for any Wisconsin issue cartoons other than this here blog.

A friend asked me recently if I've ever used Adolf Hitler in a cartoon. I could only think of two, and have only been able to find one. Dating from 2003, it isn't likening anyone to Hitler; instead, it had to do with an allegation that Hitler was gay. 

The other cartoon was probably in the 1980's, and may be lost to history. If I ever run across it, I'll try to remember to post it -- it's just that I don't remember what it was about. Just vaguely that I drew him shocked or surprised about something or other.

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