It’s just a cartoon

One of my favorite parts of my job is selecting editorial cartoons. It’s also a part that brings me the nastiest phone calls and letters.
The Desert Sun doesn’t have its own cartoonist, but we are blessed with a broad selection of syndicated artists.
My favorite is Creators Syndicate, which offers nine of the best cartoonists in the country. You see those most often on our Opinion pages.

Cagle Cartoons offers the work of 25 domestic cartoonists and 24 foreign cartoonists. Gannett News Service provides a handful every day.
I don’t necessarily choose a cartoon because it reflects my political views or that of the editorial board. I seek balance — a cartoon that pokes fun at liberals one day, another that mocks conservatives the next.
If there’s one that makes me laugh out loud, it’s a shoo-in.
On Tuesday, I selected a column by E.J. Dionne Jr., a liberal Washington Post writer, about Bain Capital, Mitt Romney’s old company, and what kind of capitalism is best for the country.
Next to the column I ran a cartoon by Michael Ramirez of Investors Business Daily, one of most conservative cartoonists we get. It was decidedly pro-Romney and anti-Obama.
I heard plenty about the cartoon.
“Today’s political cartoon by Michael Ramirez from the Investors Business Daily (duh) finally got my blood vessels to bulge!!! What a bunch of hooey!” emailed a Palm Springs woman.
“The Ramirez cartoon is a perfect metaphor for the clash of values in the forthcoming presidential election,” wrote Larry Shapiro of Rancho Mirage. “To Ramirez, creating wealth even at the expense of stripping people of their jobs or what’s almost as bad, firing them and then offering them lower paying jobs with no benefits is a virtue. It may be if you are an investor, but it’s not a virtue for those people who have lost their jobs, their health care and their hope. There are other ways to build wealth.”
Wow. Larry read a lot more into that one that I did.
Then there was a view from the other side, Jim deBoom of Palm Desert: “Thank you for running Michael Ramirez’s comparison of Romney and Obama on the Opinion page on Tuesday. Ramirez’s work represented the facts while socialist columnist E. J. Dionne Jr. continues to ignore the facts of his favorite president record.”
I appreciate the feedback, but I also hope readers realize that cartoons are open to interpretation. And remember, it’s just a cartoon.