The liberal cartoonist whose portrayal of President Barack Obama has been called 'racist' says he has been drawing the commander-in-chief the same way for years, and was much tougher on George W. Bush.
Ted Rall told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV that charges by the liberal political blog The Daily Kos
that his portrayal of the African-American president as "ape-like" is off-base and out of line.
"They accused me of drawing in an 'intolerable' way … [drawing] the President to look like a monkey, and in the vein of racist cartoons … from the 19th century," Rall said.
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"The thing that's really baffling about this … is I've been drawing him just the same way since '09. So it's been four years that these drawings have been in front of tens of millions of Americans. They've been online, they've been in a hundred newspapers …"
"If you look at the way I drew Bush, my God, it was much worse. Obama, if anything, gets a pretty light treatment from an art standpoint,'' Rall said.
Along with scolding Rall, The Daily Kos also threatened to yank his posting privileges.
Rall calls race "the third rail of American politics and in editorial cartooning, which relies partly on caricature, it's difficult.
"Now, I decided early on that I was going to decide not to care. Look, I don't feel that I draw the president in an ape-like way. It's the last thing that's on my mind. It's never occurred to me to draw him that way."
As well, Rall said, it is "not a secret" that the majority of editors and producers in the media are Democrats — a fact that has helped Obama.
"This president really gets away with a lot more than previous presidents and I would say he gets away with more than Clinton did, too," he said.
"Clinton really caught, during the [Monica] Lewinsky scandal. He took all sorts of abuse. But the media's generally a little a bit softer, significantly softer on Democrats than Republicans and this president in particular has really benefited from kid gloves all along. There's no question."
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