Man Without Qualities

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Garry Trudeau: The Mind Reels. The Stomach Churns.

Yet more evidence of the identity politics likely at the center of what is supposedly an international terrorism dispute - and of what may be a new and particularly revoltng tactic of some on the political left.

An earlier post regarding a New York Times article that dubbed Presidential advisors Karen Hughes and Condeleeza Rice "Valkyries" noted:

But where's the companion article about how comfortable this President is with smart, strong-willed people from racial minorities. Like Condi, again? Like Colin? Will the Times concoct a parallel racist pseudo-humorous descriptive term for them? The mind reels. The stomach churns.

That revolting possibility hasn't reached the New York Times just yet, but Garry Trudeau, who "writes" the strip Doonesbury has come up with his own revolting pseudo-humorous descriptive term for Ms. Rice that is both racist and sexist at the same time. Isn't he clever?

And the Washington Post is proud to publish it!

Squalid. Desperate. Disgusting.

The Tartan, Carnegie Mellon's student paper, voluntarily shut down after publishing a racially charged cartoon in its April Fool spoof edition. The cartoonist lost his job, and the editor in chief is taking a leave of absence until fall. The offensive Doonesbury in the Washinton Post is both racially and sexually "charged" - and appears in a perfectly normal edition, not a "spoof." Shouldn't the Post shut down - at least for a few weeks? Then there's The Gateway, the Nebraska paper, which apologized for its April Fool edition titled The Ghettoway. Nebraska's chancellor, Nancy Belck, told The Gateway: "I find it (The Ghettoway) offensive and we will not tolerate it on this campus." Shouldn't the Post and Doonesbury be held to the standards analagous to those that apply to The Gateway?

And what of US Secretary of State Colin Powell? Surely he's in line for some of this demeaning treatment from the left after putting Senator Kennedy in his place.

Garry Trudeau is married to Jane Pauley, who appeared until recently on Dateline NBC. Lots of media connections there.

There's an interesting similarity between Mr. Trudeau's tactic here regarding Ms. Rice and those of Herr Doktorprofessor Paul Von Krugman regarding Richard Clarke. Mr. Trudeau seeks to sanitize his own bigoted term for Ms. Rice by ascribing it to President Bush. Similarly, the New York Times has now published three columns by Herr Doktorprofessor in which he impugns Mr. Clarke's personal life as "weird" (while the Times runs an article describing Mr. Clarke as "single") while attempting to sanitize his own campaign by ascribing the impugning to the White House. And poor Wolf Blitzer gets caught in the cross fire! Of course, Herr Doktorprofessor has well established credentials as someone who tolerates the strategic use of bigotry - he famously rationalized the violently anti-Semitic remarks by Malaysia's prime minister Mahathir Mohamad as being symptoms of the failure of the Bush administration's foreign policy, and characterized those remarks as less awful than they were because they were intended by Mahathir Mohamad to be politically strategic.

Ah, that Herr Doktorprofessor! Always seeking to be on a leading edge. Since he can't be there in international trade economics, he'll stake out a position as ringleader in the Carnival of the Bigotries. Maybe Garry Trudeau can accompany Herr Doktorprofessor on those long flights to the economic conferences Mahathir Mohamad pays for - and the two of them can really yuck it up!