We already know that when it comes to the media’s treatment of liberals vs. conservatives, what’s good for the goose is most definitely NOT good for the gander.
So unspoken agreements, such as leaving candidates’ children out of the fray, don’t carry as much weight when the target is a conservative. Even more so, perhaps, when it is a conservative the media particularly loves to hate, such as Sen. Ted Cruz.
Check out the Ted Cruz cartoon the Washington Post ran yesterday, featuring Cruz’s daughters — ages 5 and 7 — as monkeys:
So you can imagine why the candidate was none too happy — and why the publication quickly took it down.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), a 2016 GOP presidential candidate who’s currently surging in polls six weeks ahead of the first primary contests, fired back at a Washington Post cartoonist for mocking his daughters Caroline and Catherine.
“Classy,” Cruz tweeted in response, obviously sarcastically.
“Stick w/ attacking me–Caroline & Catherine are out of your league,” Cruz added.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) December 22, 2015
Speaking of classy, note Sen. Cruz’s classy response (no sarcasm here). Clear and direct, without the screechy outrage we’d expect from the other side were the roles reversed. The Post cartoonist, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Ann Telnaes, drew up a Christmas-themed cartoon where the senator’s 5 and 7 year-old daughters are portrayed as monkeys on a leash. Meanwhile, Cruz himself is portrayed wearing a Santa Claus suit holding a crank music box to which the girls’ leashes are attached. Cruz’s wife and the girls’ mother, Heidi, is not in the cartoon.
Telnaes–who won the Pulitzer Prize drawing cartoons mocking Republicans during the 2000 presidential election recount controversy–wrote a lengthy diatribe attempting to explain why she abandoned journalistic norms to attack Caroline, 7, and Catherine, 5. “There is an unspoken rule in editorial cartooning that a politician’s children are off-limits,” Telnaes admits. “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. 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.” At that point, she tried explaining why she was breaking the rules.
“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),” Telnaes wrote. “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.”
Of course, other politicians, such as our dear president, have similarly featured their children in campaigns — but the press have left them alone. It seems this is just another example of the liberal media’s special ugliness and classlessness that’s reserved especially for conservatives.
UPDATE 9:00 PM ET: The Washington Post has officially yanked the cartoon down, un-publishing it late Tuesday evening after this Breitbart News story.
After pulling the cartoon down, the post issued this statement from 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.”