The Nazis Lost, So Caricaturing Them Is “Punching Down” – satire

By Garry Trudeau, cartoonist

People trying to defend Charlie Hebdo’s artists on free speech grounds might have an argument, but the exercise of free expression carries responsibility. One may not abuse that right just to offend a persecuted minority – which is why I pose the question: with the Nazis out of power and long ago subjected to humiliating defeat, who among us would now exploit that downtrodden Nazi status by caricaturing them? That would be punching down, when satirists must always punch up…

…The next time you see Neo-Nazis or their ilk demonstrating against immigrants, Jews, or some other group, let it go. They’ve suffered humiliating defeat, and we must bite our tongues – and our caricaturists’ pens – before we boorishly and unwisely bash those who do not enjoy the political advantages we take for granted….

…Mockery, as Charlie Hebdo’s treatment of Muslim mores shows, must only be directed at those who wield genuine power. Muslims only control several dozens countries and the bulk of the oil trade, plus all the government-controlled journalism in their societies and ownership of several Western outlets. And the Nazis no longer control a thing. All the more so must we avoid insulting them…

  • Everyone Else

    “… plus all the government-controlled journalism…” in our societies too.

    • Frau Katze

      Too sad isn’t it?

      • Everyone Else

        (my 2nd post meant to reply to yours, but I accidentally put it as a new post)

  • disqus_W6sfZCiOd8

    “Let us resolve to show greater sensitivity in our caricatures, and avoid mocking the poor, now-powerless Nazis. Save your venom for the Zionists, who may be depicted as Nazis to your hearts’ content” THis is Gary Trudeau showing his true colours. What an absolute ass.

  • Hard Little Machine

    And yet satirizing Obama, the most powerful man in the western world would be seen by Trudeau as being racist, mean, unfair and bigoted.

  • Everyone Else

    CBC Radio As It Happens covered the Texas attack at 6:30 sharp, right after the news, lede item, with only one interview (no balancing counterpoint). This was with a Texas Imam who had attended an anti-free speech Muslim conference one week after the Charlie Hebdo killings. (It was this conference that provoked Geller to hold a pro-free speech Mohammed cartoon conference at the same Texas location.)

    CBC’s Carol Off was a sycophant to the Imam, not pushing him at all, and letting him get away with saying the Islamic conference was only about the life of Mohammed. From the tone of this “front page over-the-fold” interview it was as if the Texas attack had proved yet again that Islam is a victim. The intro says the Imam is “grieving and frustrated”.

    The next interview was with an Ontario mum who kept her 8-year old out of school for a day to protest Ontario’s anal sex curriculum and Carol Off kept on haranguing the mum for her protest.

    I don’t know how this taxpayer-funded broadcaster can get away with constantly pushing such a hard left agenda.

    If your blood pressure can take it, here’s the link. (Scroll down to Monday May 4, and then click top right of the screen to “Listen To Full Episode”).

  • Clausewitz

    Did anyone ever consider Doonesbury funny? I thought he was dead.