Ted Cruz responded to a bigoted and tasteless cartoon about his two young daughters published by the Washington Post this week, and his response is perfect.
The Republican senator and presidential candidate went on the offense after one of WaPo’s editorial cartoonists, Ann Telnaes, drew Cruz as a maniacal-looking organ grinder forcing his young daughters, caricatured as monkeys, to dance as a part of his campaign efforts.
Cruz’s alternate cartoon idea depicts WaPo and the New York Times as Hillary Clinton’s personal lapdogs.
Ouch. Someone send some ice and ointment to WaPo’s new building, because they’re going to need it for that sick burn.
The illustration Cruz tweeted closely resembles the WaPo cartoon published and then retracted on Tuesday, which depicted Cruz’s daughters as dancing monkeys leashed to their Santa-suit wearing father.
Telnaes says her caricature of Cruz and his daughters, all of whom are Hispanic, was inspired by a jokey holiday campaign ad that ran in Iowa on Saturday. In the ad, Cruz reads aloud parody versions of popular Christmas stories to his daughters that attack his political rivals.
The cartoon drew instant Internet ire, with many saying it was a blatantly racist attack on Cruz’s Hispanic heritage. Others attacked WaPo for having a double standard given its breathless and critical 2014 coverage of a Hill staffer who privately criticized President Barack Obama’s daughters in a post on her personal Facebook page.
The tweet from Telnaes trumpeting her Cruz-kids-as-monkeys cartoon has since been deleted, and the Washington Post has retracted the cartoon. On the page where the drawing originally appeared there is now a note from editorial page editor Fred Hiatt:
It’s generally been the policy of our editorial section to leave children out of it. I failed to look at this cartoon before it was published. I understand why Ann thought an exception to the policy was warranted in this case, but I do not agree.
Telnaes hasn’t been quiet about WaPo’s decision to retract her cartoon. She tweeted a link with the history of organ grinders in Washington in an apparent attempt to prove her cartoon wasn’t racist and tasteless.
Telnaes then followed up with a vow to write about the whole affair.
Fred Hiatt posted a statement- should be where the cartoon was. I’m not commenting anything else, plan to write something about the whole…
Ann Telnaes (@AnnTelnaes) December 23, 2015
Oh goody. Some holiday reading to look forward to.