Friday, July 28, 2006

Golden Opportunity

Probably the most uniformly liberal/left feature in American newspapers today is not found anywhere on Page 1 or even the Op-Ed page. Too much variety. And while the feature we're talking about appears on the editorial page, it is not the editorial.

It’s the editorial cartoon. In all of America, you can pretty much count the entire cadre of conservative major metro daily cartoonists on the fingers of one hand. Talk about ideological lockstep. Trust me; I’ve made a study of this. And the reason seems to relate to the demise of multiple competing newspapers in most cities—hence, fewer professional opportunities—as those metro areas themselves have become more and more “blue” over the years.

But take heart. You can actually do something about that, in a small way:

Go to the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Web site
and cast a vote for a replacement cartoonist for dreadful Mike Luckovich. (We wish it were a permanent replacement, but, alas, he’s just on vacation.) And, if we may be so bold, we have a suggestion as to how you should cast that vote:

William Warren. That would be No. 5 in the list. William is somewhere in the top three in the voting thus far, and he could use a lot more votes. William is a student at Wake Forest University and--we think you'll agree--a major talent in the making. As part of taking back our country, we want to see William snag one of those rare metro daily jobs when he graduates.

We met William last month at the national convention of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists, where yours truly was the token-evangelical Christian panelist in a debate over the Muhammad cartoon controversy and the overall treatment of religion by editorial cartoonists. What a lion’s den.

In the hotel lobby were the Silver Spike Contest entries—editorial cartoons that had been rejected by editors as too over the top. One look would make anyone appreciate those editors. Somewhere around 90 percent of them were testimonies to irrational Bush hatred so far beyond the pale, it would have been understandable to alert the Secret Service. Scary stuff. (Kind of the mentality you see here from one of William’s competitors in the Journal Constitution sweepstakes.)

Needless to say, these conventioneering cartoonists were not too receptive to the token evangelical Christian viewpoint. Even less so was the local Muslim imam, who made a point of getting in a very pointed anti-Christian dig in his remarks. And his “ministry” in Denver is a program to foster greater Muslim-Christian dialogue! These guys need a few lessons in basic PR.

The silver lining was the opportunity it gave me to give the imam a piece of evangelical Christianity’s mind when he slithered up after the event to try to smooth things over. We weren’t having any of it. “Sir,” I said, “the basic problem is that Christians are deeply grieved that the supposedly mainstream Islamic community has done virtually nothing to publicly distance itself from those radicals who have supposedly hijacked your religion. Until that happens, there’s just not much chance of dialogue on much of anything, thank you.”

The imam looked hurt. “Oh, but we have made those statements. I’ve made them. The media just don’t report them.”

I told him I’ve looked high and low for those statements in vain, and it’s not because the media haven’t reported them. We exchanged forced smiles and walked stiffly away from each other. Think we were direct enough?

Anyway, let’s not have any more of this good-men-doing-nothing business. Vote for William Warren, early and often. If you need to see more, visit his Web site. You'll see what we mean.


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