[guest post by Dana]
Last week I posted the witty political ad released by the Cruz campaign in which the senator’s wife and charming daughters were featured:
Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist, Ann Telnaes of the Washington Post, decided that because she believed the little girls were “political props” in the ad, that made them “fair game”. As such, the Washington Post posted a denigrating GIF by Telnaes that depicted the Cruz girls as monkeys on leashes:
The Washington Post pulled the GIF earlier this evening. Without offering an apology to the Cruz family, editor Fred Hiatt instead offered the following weak tea:
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 defended her denigration of Cruz’s daughters:
“There is an unspoken rule in editorial cartooning that a politician’s children are off-limits. People don’t get to choose their family members so obviously it’s unfair to ridicule kids for their parent’s behavior while in office or on the campaign trail- besides, they’re children,” Telnaes wrote Tuesday. “There are plenty of adults in the political world who act childish, so there is no need for an editorial cartoonist to target actual children.”
“I’ve kept to that rule, except when the children are adults themselves or choose to indulge in grown-up activities (as the Bush twins did during the George W Bush presidency).
“But when a politician uses his children as political props, as Ted Cruz recently did in his Christmas parody video in which his eldest daughter read (with her father’s dramatic flourish) a passage of an edited Christmas classic, then I figure they are fair game,” she concluded.
Again, Cruz’s daughters are 5 and 7 years old.
Cruz classily responded to Telnaes on twitter:
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) December 22, 2015
The Washington Examiner reminded readers:
In 2014, an obscure GOP Hill staffer was forced to resign from her job after a Facebook post criticizing President Obama’s daughters, Sasha and Malia, went viral on social media.
In a now-deleted post published on Thanksgiving Day, Elizabeth Lauten wrote in reference to the annual White House turkey pardon, “Dear Sasha and Malia, I get you’re both in those awful teen years, but you’re a part of the First Family, try showing a little class. … Act like being in the White House matters to you. Dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at a bar. And certainly don’t make faces during televised public events.”
Imagine if Sasha and Malia had been depicted as animals…
UPDATE: Telnaes has now scrubbed the cartoon from her Twitter feed. Also, this is not her first time targeting Cruz. Apparently, drawing racist cartoons is nothing new for her:
— Ann Telnaes (@AnnTelnaes) October 15, 2013