Publish and be Damned

Cartoon historian Mark Bryant looks at the work of one artist who took on the power of Tammany Hall and won – and his protégé whose enemies resorted to drawing up legislation in their unsuccessful effort to muzzle him.

It is generally accepted that part of the job of the political cartoonist is to act as a crusading pictorial journalist and to use his or her satirical pen to expose hypocrisy, double-dealing and lies, especially if these are seen to come from politicians, civic leaders and others who have been placed in positions of trust by the people they govern. Perhaps not surprisingly, such drawings have not usually been well received by their targets. Many of those attacked in this way have tried to bribe cartoonists or have them sacked by the editor of their newspaper, and some artists have even been threatened with physical violence or worse. However, it is to the credit of the profession that very few have bowed to such pressure.


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