Washington Post editors bowed to public outrage and issued a retraction after political cartoonist Ann Telnaes published a disgusting attack on Ted Cruz, depicting his young daughters as trained monkeys.
The one-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Telnaes justified crossing every boundary of journalistic ethics, campaign taboos, and good taste in a two-paragraph explanation.
She wrote that despite an “unspoken rule” making a politician’s children off-limits, “when a politician uses his children as political props, as Ted Cruz did in his Christmas parody video,” she added, “then I figure they are fair game.”
The Texas senator reacted strongly, tweeting that his daughters, seven-year-old Caroline and five-year-old Catherine, are “out of your league.”
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) December 22, 2015
Even GOP candidate Sen. Marco Rubio defended his rival.
Wash Post cartoon featuring @tedcruz’s children is disgusting. The Post saying the kids are “fair game” is even worse.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) December 23, 2015
Now, Washington Post editors are trying to pretend that publishing the cartoon was some kind of fluke, or it never really happened by deleting the offending image and scrubbing it from the online world. Telnaes’ original tweet has been removed, and the cartoon has been replaced by an editor’s note from Fred Hiatt:
Editor’s note from 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.
For her part, Telnaes has so far remained unrepentant, scouring history to find obscure references to organ grinders and monkeys.
— Ann Telnaes (@AnnTelnaes) December 23, 2015
Nobody is buying what she’s selling.
— susan price (@sbprice) December 23, 2015
— Tamara Winter (@_TamaraWinter) December 23, 2015