Cartoons about Obama in poor taste

Caricature in editorial cartoons is a centuries-old technique to distort and exaggerate various qualities of its subject, most often political targets.

It can be incisive and cruel, and yet, in one picture can brilliantly reflect the reality of its subject’s traits or character.

Caricature can also be scurrilous, libelous and self-destructive when its exaggeration has no basis in fact.

In recent weeks, the Mirror has published such caricatures, the subject being President Obama.

The latest example, which I will not deign to describe, has the following caption: “Coming soon…Obama sex tape.”

One could claim freedom of the press, journalistic privilege, etc. And that can’t be denied.

But what also cannot be denied is the responsibility of the press to offer its readers standards that reflect truth, allowing that such truth can be mocked or exaggerated.

Placing Obama in a situation that implies sexual impropriety has no validity, no basis in truth. Thus this caricature turns back on itself and puts into question the flood of Obama caricatures in recent weeks.

The creator of these caricatures has let his animus toward Obama cloud – no, not cloud, but invalidate his judgment.

Without compromising its political orientation, the Mirror need not be an accessory to character assassination of such a vile and vacuous nature.

Arthur A. Fishbaine