Published 30 December 1997 in the News & Record (Greensboro, NC)
Doonesbury, hate radio and hate cartoons
Watching Garry Trudeau degenerate into a mean-spirited hack for the Clinton administration with the "It coulda happened" storyline in his Doonesbury comic is truly disheartening. He adopted the Clintonite tactics of slander, ad hominem attacks, and accusing the accuser. He repeatedly used their epithet for on-air conservative critics, "hate radio," and disingenuously and gratuitously abused Rush Limbaugh's name in five of six strips.
When the Arlington controversy broke, Limbaugh covered it on his show as he would any news event. Far from "spreading lies," he wisely counseled his listeners and irate callers to remain calm as there was, at the time, no evidence confirming the allegations. He cautioned against placing too much credence into the allegations simply because they seemed plausible.
As a veteran and a Republican, I am thoroughly disgusted with Marlette's cartoon of Dec. 21 in which Congress, read Republicans, had the Unknown Soldier exhumed because they discovered that he was a Democrat. Marlette was suggesting that the controversy surrounding Larry Lawrence's Arlington interment was simple partisanship.
Even more revolting is the equating of the Unknowns and Lawrence. The Unknowns earned their burial at Arlington by sacrificing their lives, as well their identities, in defense of our country. The wholly undeserving Lawrence briefly gained his through lying about his past and buying an ambassadorship with political contributions to Bill Clinton and the Democratic Party.
It is very troubling to see the News & Record deteriorate into a forum for "hate cartoons."
James M. Wallace