Cartoonists Group Slams Keyes Column

By: Dave Astor

In yet another aftershock of the controversy caused by a Ted Rall cartoon, the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC) has criticized former presidential candidate, turned TV host, Alan Keyes for a column saying some political cartoons may not merit First Amendment protection.

“We respect your right to criticize but, in this instance, the AAEC believes ‘Alan Keyes is Making Nonsense,'” the statement declared.

Keyes’ piece, posted on MSNBC.com, stated: “(I)t is worth remembering that when serious and sustained attempts to undermine public opinion on a matter genuinely essential to national life cannot be resisted by other means, governmental action may be necessary.”

The host of MSNBC’s “Alan Keyes is Making Sense” did the column in reaction to Rall’s recent and controversial Universal Press Syndicate cartoon decrying the alleged selfishness of some Sept. 11 widows.

“To ridicule the grief is to attack the cause of the war [in Afghanistan],” Keyes wrote. “It is to assault something vital to the moral support required for the war effort.”

The AAEC responded: “It is puzzling that a person who has railed against the left and its attempts to stifle speech it finds offensive would advocate a government-sanctioned book burning. While the AAEC doesn’t comment on individual cartoonists’ viewpoints, we strongly condemn any type of press censorship.”

Signing the letter were AAEC President Scott Stantis of the Birmingham (Ala.) News and Copley News Service, and AAEC Vice President (and 2001 Pulitzer Prize winner) Ann Telnaes of Tribune Media Services.

Earlier coverage:

Cartoonist Responds To Critics Of 9/11 Piece

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