MC: Over the weekend, I spoke with, and listened to [via panel debate], “Doonesbury” creator Garry Trudeau — in Washington, coincidentally — on the matter of his belief that satire should strive to be “responsible,” and that free speech can be its own kind of fanaticism — and that Charlie Hebdo, in the context of France, was “punching down.” If you were debating Mr. Trudeau on this subject yourself, what would you first say in response to his statements?Trudeau's uninformed, contrived apologia reminds me of the 2010 Batman story where a Muslim was hired to be part of a Batman Incorporated group, written by a British scriptwriter who didn't seem particularly interested in being innovative. A few years later though, he seemingly changed, though even that can't be taken at face value.
PG: I’d tell him that he was making excuses for self-censorship in the face of violent intimidation. He never spoke about being “responsible” in regard to the crucifix in a jar of urine or other expressions of contempt for Christianity. He is only speaking that way about cartoons critical of Muhammad because Muslims kill over them. He is advocating surrender. And as for “punching down,” his claim that Muslims in France are a despised and oppressed minority is leftist fantasy. In reality, the killers were part of a well-financed, highly trained global network of jihadis intent upon murdering anyone who dares stand in the way of their goal of imposing Sharia in the West. They won’t have to murder Trudeau. He is already on his knees.
MC: I’ve spoken with scores of American cartoonists about drawing Muhammad, and many who believe in the First Amendment as an absolute still decline to draw Muhammad. What do you think most motivated the cartoonists like Bosch who entered your Texas contest — beyond, of course, a $10,000 winner’s purse?Say, this just made me think of something. What about Erik Larsen? He's probably still part of same crowd referenced by Cavna, and has no intention of ever drawing Muhammed. That's why we shouldn't take his complaints about major publishers placating vocal minorities with practical outfits for women at face value. What's his point of defending the creations of fine folks more famous than he is if he can't defend other free speech values as well? I'd recommend to Geller that she pay attention to artists and writers of comic pamphlets too, to see how strong their support is or not for the kind of values she's championing, because what goes on in the comics industry can't be overlooked either.
PG: First, a love of freedom. And courage, which those cartoonists with whom you spoke obviously don’t have, and a determination to show that we will not kowtow to thuggery.