Political division is certainly palpable, and it’s understandable that people would get a little hyperbolic in their rhetoric. Some of those people see the line between “Acceptable hyperbole” and “@#$% it” and decide the latter is clearly the best choice. In this instance, that person is someone, oddly enough, in the field of editorial journalism.
Here is a piece detailing the fantasticly awful editorial cartoon by Clay Bennett of the Chatanooga Times Free Press. I won’t even try to put the photo up in this post because, really, RedState is better than that. If you don’t want to click on it and see the cartoon, let me break it down for you:
Barack Obama is wearing a hoodie and carrying Skittles and a drink. Behind him is someone that looks like George Zimmerman, who is following him while wearing an orange jacket that says “IMPEACHMENT” across it.
The photo, after a lot of complaining, was taken down, but now it’s back up on the newspaper’s website, because, clearly, it’s a good idea.
I know journalism. I currently work in journalism. I know how editors think. And, yes, that is most certainly an editorial cartoon, you would think that an editor would stop and think “Um… no” and tell Mr. Bennett to try again.
Of course, that isn’t going to happen. The sad, sad fact is that this kind thing is acceptable so long as it’s in defense of the Chosen One, Barack Obama. If Ben Carson were to run for president (please God no), and someone drew that while his character was being attacked, that cartoonist would be fired.
In a world that could be at least somewhat rational about these things, you could expect even Matt Yglesias, the managing editor of Vox, to be someone who would say no to something like this. But, we don’t live in a somewhat rational world.
The good news, if there is any, is that there is a growing number of voices who realize this impeachment talk is just that – talk from extreme wings of the party and that don’t represent what the Republicans will actually do.