Our Second Response to the Press

    When Batton Lash and I decided to take on the Obama Administration with our strip 16 months ago, few people were willing to mock the president. Yet we both saw that this president was at times foolish, mendacious, clueless and vain. Perfect fodder for a political cartoon.

    Batton and I are not so much conservatives as libertarians. We’re believers in small government because, as I outline in my political thesis, it’s the only workable form. President Obama is very much a big government fan. He has tripled the debt and deficits in his first year in office. His new budget would add another three trillion. These are things we don’t like about him. We also don’t like the lies. Which seem to be second nature to the man.

    So last Sunday we turned in what we thought was a very mild cartoon mocking the first lady’s over reach of her powers. And I decided to show her eating hamburgers like Wimpy from the old Popeye cartoons to mock the fact that she tends to scold other people’s eating habits, yet every time we read about what they’re eating at the White House, it’s extreme. And to throw in a gag we used before, the President is shown eating hardly anything. Because, let’s face it, she is bigger than he is. Her arms are thicker than his legs. But no one was suggesting she was fat. No one was commenting on her race. It’s merely funny to show them in contrast to one another.

    The cartoon did not get a lot of comments at first. I figured it was rather mild. I would try to be funnier next time. Little did I expect the firestorm that followed a few days later.

    The propaganda wing of the Democrat party known as Media Matters for America, who is out to destroy all critics of this administration, ran an article saying the cartoon attacked the first lady’s weight and gave out our emails, encouraging people to send us hate mail. Like pigs to the trough the mainstream press jumped on the story. Yesterday morning I got up and saw it mentioned on several websites like Salon. The NY Daily News wanted to interview us. And it was on the local TV news. We started getting inundated with hate mail. But the worst was yet to come.

    The Daily News article came out and basically said we were mocking her weight, which wasn’t true at all. We posted our full response on the Big Sites and my blog. Most of the emails and comments we received during the day were about us allegedly mocking her weight. And I had to set people straight over and over again. Some of them accused us of racism. Which is just the left’s way of telling you to shut up. One e-mailer suggested our cartoon was going to inspire teen suicides because we were supposedly mocking body issues.

    But then they died down. As evening came, I got a message that MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell was taking us to task, calling us mentally disturbed racists. He showed our pictures. He gave out where we lived. Told people to go after us. Even mentioned Batton’s wife who had nothing to do with the cartoon. I had to wait for the video clip to be uploaded and what I saw was jaw dropping. Aside from the patently absurd characterization of the strip where he calls it “racist” and claims (without showing the art) that it depicts the president as a half-human, half animal creature, it was the most hysterical, over-the-top tirade since, well…since Keith Olbermann did his nightly carny act.

    Frankly, I was surprised that Lawrence O’Donnell made such an epic fool of himself, that he would open himself and his company to such legal liability. Not only did he lie about what we were doing, he told people where we lived and to attack us! Is this a professional show? Is he a professional news commentator? Not hardly. He should be fired. What he did was tantamount to a call for violence.

    Aside from being a shill for the worst administration in American history, his actions were blatant fascist. Calling for the heads of two critics of the administration. It’s a bit like the Muslim’s reaction to that Everyone Draw Mohammed Day cartoon that Molly Norris did. The Muslim fanatics called for her death, despite the cartoon being utterly tame. So now we have fanatical followers of MSNBC (all 1000 of them) sending one death threat after another. They were coming in every other second.

    “you are a racist and you you should be shot.” “Will hope you get what’s coming.” “I hope black people kill your ass.” “You are gong to die, fatso!” “FUCK YOU BITCH!!DIE SOON!HEART FAILURE!!” etc. Half of them were from emails that bounced back.

    Lefty friends of ours on Facebook came to our defense. Which we’re thankful for. Yes, Batton and I have plenty of friends on the left. We are not haters or ideologues. Nor are we racists. We’re merely critics of this administration. I call myself a classical liberal because that’s what I am. And liberals should question everything. Why should this administration get a pass? Because he’s black? Isn’t that racist?

    To all the people who called this strip racist, I say the same thing. You are seeing what you want to see. If you see her as fat in the cartoon, that’s in your mind. So is the racism. It says a lot more about the critics, like O’Donnell, than it does about the cartoon when they see something that isn’t there. There’s a name for people who see race in everything. They’re called racists.

    Neither Batton nor I care what race the first couple is. We care about their competence. We care about their over reach of power. We feel like condemning those things we don’t agree with or like. And we don’t appreciate being called Racist just because we disagree with the administration’s policies.

    The left keeps saying we need more civility. Is this how they show it? I got news for you people, this nonsense only makes me want to push back 10 times harder. All you did was give us free promotion and made us more famous. If this little cartoon was as boring and untalented as you said, no one would have cared. Instead, it drove some of you mad.

    We exposed your dark sides. We got you to reveal to the world what kind of hate that festers in your souls. You see racism where there is none. Calling white people racist without evidence is racist. You attacked me because of my weight, which reveals your own bigotry. Projection is all you’ve got. Attacking someone you don’t even know and calling them something with no evidence is what fanatics and lunatics do.

    You’re the monsters you scream about. It’s time you started acting like liberals and question the people who’ve lied to you.

  • Brian

    To paraphrase:
    Winston Churchill: Do you have any enemies?
    Stranger: Yes.
    Winston Churchill: Good, that means you’ve stood for something in your life.

  • Michael Anderson

    WAY TO GO, HUD!

    I’ve had friends say worse things about me than what you’ve said about the Obamas; your detractors need to get a life.

  • JasonM

    “If you see her as fat in the cartoon, that’s in your mind.”
    No,it’s in the way Lash draws her.
    “You attacked me because of my weight, which reveals your own bigotry. Projection is all you’ve got.”
    No,this is not projection, this is a case of someone(you) who can dish out insults, but acts hurt and offended,cries “bigotry” when given a taste of their own medicine.
    Just like the time Limbaugh attacked Hillary Clinton’s looks on Letterman, then acted offended when said Letterman retorted “You know, you can say that because you are the finest-looking human specimen on the planet.”
    When you authored a strip depicting Michelle Obama as fat, you gave the world carte blanche to attack you on the basis of your personal appearance.
    But I won’t go there because that would make me know better than a Breitbot like you.

    So I’ll just say this:
    That “Obama Nation” strip was even worse than Hudnall’s stupid “biography” of Lex Luthor. And if you know anything about comics, that’s really saying something. Byrne or Wolfman(two creators often credited with creating the Post-Crisis Luthor) would’ve done a better job on that book.

    “I got news for you people, this nonsense only makes me want to push back 10 times harder.”
    Please push back. Bring it on.

    “First Lady Michelle Obama has a higher favorable rating than her husband: 69 percent have a positive opinion of her (up 10 percentage points since October), while 20 percent have an unfavorable view and another 11 percent are unable to rate her.”

    That’s from commie Fox News:
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/01/20/fox-news-poll-obama-falling-expectations-year-mark/#ixzz1E9JcNSHf

    Keep attacking her, maybe her favorable rating will go to about 80-90%.

    I encourage everyone to read Hudnall’s “thesis” that he links to in the 2nd paragraph. It reads like it was written by a typical 18-22 College Republican conspiracy theorist. That tells you all you need to know about Hudnall.

    • Anonymous

      If we wanted to show her as fat, we would have showed her body. She is not shown as fat., You can’t even see her torso. It’s all in your mind, just like the hateful bile you’re spewing here

      • GeorgeC

        The only time I’ve ever had an issue with anything you said Hud was when you called you-know-who a bitch… This was like a week or two ago.

        I imagine many people have thought and said worse.

        Nothing you’ve said to date has been racial.

        If anything when someone calls you a racist that’s a conceit that they have no real argument… They’re just reacting from emotion.

        That’s the problem with the government. Everything’s being done from emotion and there is dealing with reality from either the current administration or the Extreme Left.

        The fascade is over with… There are no moderates and conservatives left in any position of power within the Democratic Party. The main leadership is composed mainly of nutjobs and people with personal wealth who are raking in the dough from Obama’s policy. Not saying the current Republican leaders are that much better, but they haven’t displayed anything so far that’s 1/1,000th as crooked or bad for the country like the current White House.

        I saw Chicago politics and race-bickering when I lived there for 3 years. It was just plain ugly, off-putting, and responsible for a lot of the problems in that city and Illinois at large. People just didn’t pay attention to the hucksters and garbage coming out of the WIndy City. (Windy mainly due to the hot air and race-baiting talk.) Trace crookedness and shallowness to their origin. Obama climbed out of that cesspool. Is it any wonder his White House is so bad????

        • GeorgeC

          Meant to say “no real dealing with reality from the current administration or Extreme Left.”

          My kingdom for an edit function on this board!

      • http://twitter.com/BumpItMcCarthy BumpIt McCarthy

        What a fine mess. First, I didn’t see anything particularly racist about the cartoon, and publishing your likenesses and urging people to confront you IRL is a horrible, stalkerish, idea. It’s O’Reillyesque.

        The cartoon itself, if you don’t think she looked fat, is badly drawn. Lash gave her a double chin and a fat face that bore no resemblence to hers, arms like bratwursts, and actually managed to draw an Obama that doesn’t look like Obama, despite the butterfly ears. Considering the material he had to work with, that’s quite a lack of accomplishment.

        The humor is as thin as Michelle is thick, and I’m sure if Michelle had instituted a Just Say No to Drugs campaign, you chuckleheads would think it hi-LAR-ious to do a Just Say Yes strip.

        I hope Breitbart continues to publish you two, because it’s wonderful to have someone to point to when I hear,”But we conservatives aren’t mean or juvenile!”

        • Anonymous

          You’re seeing what you want to see. That is not a double chin, double chins go under the jaw, that’s a just a indication of her jaw muscle, in the first panel she’s chewing. That’s why her cheek’s puffed out. Most people don’t see the fat thing until they are told its there.

          It’s not there. For the record, I don’t think she’s fat.

          • http://twitter.com/BumpItMcCarthy BumpIt McCarthy

            Well, I just went to O’Donnell’s blog and yelled at him for suggesting stalking you. But rather than getting into anatomical hairsplitting (did the line suggest a fat pad continuing under the chin?), I’ll just say that the drawing reads as fat. There’s a definite “Jack Sprat” vibe going on there, and having read your CV, I’m even more surprised that you turned out a concept this, well, weak. Nobody was looking at that drawing and thinking “Cool Popeye homage, there!”

            Perhaps the next time you have an “ought to be funnier” precognition, you should listen to it.

          • Anonymous

            It’s always amusing when some “expert” with no accomplishments tells me how to do my job.

          • Anonymous

            It’s always amusing when some “expert” with no accomplishments tells me how to do my job.

          • BumpIt McCarthy

            Certainly more amusing than your strip!

          • Anonymous

            If you want to insult people, you gotta be good at it. The stuff you’ve been doing is too obvious. Thanks for trying. :)

          • BumpIt McCarthy

            No, “Word Warrior,” thank YOU. I’m only as obvious as the straight lines I’m handed. ;->

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bryan-Uhlenbrock/100000347254975 Bryan Uhlenbrock

            You’re admitting then that you WANT to insult people. Ah, now it all makes sense…

          • Anonymous

            You should lay off the Old Crow, Bryan

      • http://profile.typekey.com/rcade/ rcade

        She’s clearly depicted as fat. Her face is wide, her body is wide and she’s eating 10 hamburgers.

        The caricature looks more like Oprah Winfrey than Michelle Obama.

        Unlike Lawrence O’Donnell I know political cartoonists exaggerate characteristics for effect, but your argument that she’s not depicted as fat is wacky. Clearly we’re looking at different cartoons.

    • Paqart

      James,

      I’m sorry that you’ve had to put up with the pile of moronic emails you describe, particularly the appalling ones you have quoted, and even this mild-by-comparison idiocy from JasonM that I’m replying to here. The good news is, they are so tender they cannot handle any comment at all, regardless how mild it is. This is not a position of strength, and if you play it right you can make an opera from their faux-outrage cries of victimhood.

      JasonM: thanks for your two cents. If you have any left in your over-taxed piggy bank, I’m sure James and Batton will be happy to accept it. Keep in mind though, you are transferring what little credibility you may have had TO THEM.

      AP

      • GeorgeC

        I’m betting this is not 1/1,000,000th the pile of manure he’s dealt with the past day or so.

        People just don’t read and COMPREHEND what they see anymore. Too much of their own bias is projected onto their comprehension.

        Sad but true. If high school wasn’t enough to alarm most of us about this trend, college should have hit all of us in the face with it like a bucket of cold water!

    • GeorgeC

      To quote SNL:

      “Jason, you ignorant slut!”

  • Tijmen

    Cool story, bro.

  • Mrbee3209

    My first reaction to seeing the cartoon was Lash was starting to get carried away with Obama’s ears. The second was “meh”. Not even close to the best you guys have done in the past. My reaction to the kerfuffle is one of “WTF?” gob smacked amazement.

    I’d say they picked you guys and this cartoon to attack BECAUSE the cartoon was so tepid. If they picked something vicious and on target they’d be, in effect, pushing anti-Obama prop. Well, don’t get mad guys, get even. I’m sure something will occur to you. :)

  • Mrbee3209

    My first reaction to seeing the cartoon was Lash was starting to get carried away with Obama’s ears. The second was “meh”. Not even close to the best you guys have done in the past. My reaction to the kerfuffle is one of “WTF?” gob smacked amazement.

    I’d say they picked you guys and this cartoon to attack BECAUSE the cartoon was so tepid. If they picked something vicious and on target they’d be, in effect, pushing anti-Obama prop. Well, don’t get mad guys, get even. I’m sure something will occur to you. :)

  • Tighelander

    I don’t see what the problem is. What’s wrong with trying to get kids to eat right? Laura Bush tried to get kids to read more, I don’t see any difference.

    The complaints you have about Obama don’t seem legit. His ballooning debt is in large part to addressing the cost of the unnecessary war that Bush tried to sweep under the carpet, and Bush’s bailout which Boehner cried for Congress to pass.

    Obama is no more Liberal than Clinton was. I don’t see that NAFTA, or the Telecommunications Act of 1996 as being Liberal. If Obama was really liberal, he would have started the health care negotiations with “Medicare for all” and not the weak stance he took. The only over-reach I see by Obama is his unwillingness to revoke the powers that Bush granted the office. The Right is possessed by an irrational hated of Democrats. If Obama was so Liberal, why has he let so many liberal people and things get thrown under the bus? Jones, Sherrod, ACORN, he didn’t care all that much for them.

  • http://www.rumproast.com marindenver

    I guess, like Ms. McCarthy, I just don’t get the point of it. You seriously think Michelle Obama scarfs down burgers with bacon on a regular basis? You have an issue with getting people to eat healthier? What, exactly, was the point of this poorly drawn and frankly weird cartoon? I mean, I enjoy editorial cartoons as much as anyone when they’re on point but this one is so wobbly and off to the side that I’m just left scratching my head.

    • Anonymous

      Read the article, I explain it there. She is telling restaurants what to do. Yet she does not follow her own edicts.

      • burl

        you’re in denial! you have serious issues!

        • Anonymous

          I know where I am coming from. You don’t. Instead you believe what some guy who never even talked to us first says.

          Stop being a follower. Start thinking like a free man.

        • GeorgeC

          burl,

          You’re in denial and are not understanding James Hudnall’s points.

          The First Lady is an unelected autocrat.

          Let’s even forget the word “autocrat.”

          She’s just plain UNELECTED and SHOULD NOT be making government policy decisions. Prior to her and another former First Lady who’s now Sec of State, First Ladies DID NOT get involved in major governmental policy making. Sure, they gave advice to their husbands but they didn’t behave as unappointed, UNELECTED GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS WITHOUT OVERSIGHT. Their activities were more like philanthropy and socialites… They didn’t make policy at midnight behind closed doors. Most of us had no problem with the philanthropy and socialite/figurehead behavior that because it didn’t interfere with major governmental policy or the private sector.

          Ms. Obama’s DELIBERATELY butting her head into the private sector and handing down edicts that AFFECT EVERYBODY and other than popular opinion or resistance of companies that see this is going to waste billions of dollars and WON’T be appreciated by most consumers there’s little else that can be done! We have to speak up and say that this deliberate autocracy is something that’s not appreciated. She IS in the process of taking away freedom from others; yes, we HAVE THE RIGHT to decide what we eat — it’s not something Michelle Obama should be meddling with.

          To top it off, she’s got a very arrogant, Marie Antoinette air to her.
          She and her husbands are living on the American taxpayer dime (like every President has before) but their own behavior behind cameras has been appalling to a lot of us. They are either high off the fringe benefits of being in the White House, or really don’t care about how bad they look to many of us who DON’T have butler/maid service and who DO have to explain where the money for their mansions/homes is coming from!

          (Yeah, Obama has NEVER explained where he got the money to buy his home in that posh sector of Chicago. A professor’s salary or “social activist’s” income won’t pay for a home like that. I lived in Chicago a while and am very aware of the outrageous real estate prices. So again, HOW did he AFFORD that home? Even people that get “gifts” of palacial homes have to pay taxes, too! See, that’s one of the questions the alphabet soup media hasn’t asked!)

          It’s the appalling lack of accountability and the constant secrecy about the Obamas’ pasts that worries many of us in the population. It’s disturbing enough that the mainstream media isn’t asking hard questions about the Obamas that NEED to be asked but also when people like you accept that there is no controversy whatsoever.

    • Paqart

      Just like Allenbrauer, the issue here is not whether Hud and Batton’s cartoon is funny. The issue is that, like the Muslim fanatics who ordered the death of Danish cartoonists, critics who have criticized the cartoon with threats have shown themselves to be, not only fanatics, but unworthy of the liberty they use to express themselves.

      AP

    • Paqart

      Just like Allenbrauer, the issue here is not whether Hud and Batton’s cartoon is funny. The issue is that, like the Muslim fanatics who ordered the death of Danish cartoonists, critics who have criticized the cartoon with threats have shown themselves to be, not only fanatics, but unworthy of the liberty they use to express themselves.

      AP

  • Tighelander

    I think you were misrepresented as being racist, just as Andrew Breitbart misrepresented Shirley Sherrod as being racist.

  • http://twitter.com/BroBoomerang Kevin Landry

    hey hud, good to see you still doing strips. I didn’t have your RSS feed anymore when I switched from bloglines to google reader. nice to see you getting notice even Bad publicity is good publicity. I like your reaction to plan on making better comics.

  • http://twitter.com/allanbrauer allanbrauer

    I think we’ve all had the experience of a child in our lives asking us, “Do you want to hear a joke?” “Sure,” we gamely say. The child then delivers the joke haltingly, re-starting once or twice as he realizes he’s left out a key word or phrase that is essential to making the joke work, then eventually arrives at something resembling a punchline. He then stares at us expectantly, waiting for us to laugh uproariously. If we don’t laugh and tell the child how funny his joke was, we might hurt his feelings, but what’s even worse is that the child will then proceed to explain the joke at great length to prove to us how funny the joke was, even though it was their delivery that rendered the joke unfunny. So we force a chuckle and say “Very funny!”

    Very funny, Mr. Hudnall! You can stop explaining your joke to us now.

    • Anonymous

      Was that an attempt at being clever? Fail

      • http://twitter.com/allanbrauer allanbrauer

        Ah, the content-free “fail” reply. That NEVER gets old.

    • Paqart

      This is all irrelevant. Death threats do not appropriately follow weak humor. Death threats do, however, issue from morally enfeebled minds.

      AP

    • Paqart

      This is all irrelevant. Death threats do not appropriately follow weak humor. Death threats do, however, issue from morally enfeebled minds.

      AP

  • Cheese

    “You’re racists for catching me being a racist!” is such an awsome defense.

    • GeorgeC

      In your mind, sourCheese, in your mind…

  • Rickshaw1

    So basically what the left is saying is that we are not allowed to criticize the Pres and his wife because they are black. It has to be that because they had absolutely no problem with depicting Bush as Shrub, with a tiny body, large head and ears, pointy nose… you know, exaggerated features.

    Sorry, I don’t play that. They are in the political arena. They were not forced into it, they not only chose it, they stalked the office through the political system and grabbed it. They knew what they were after. I don’t think they had a clue in hell as to what to do with it other than being the second black president. (Clinton was first, remember? Heard it touted all the time by the left.)

    But thats standard operating procedure by BOTH political parties. Attack the person. It’s the seriousness of the charge that matters. I’m just surprised that they didn’t have a woman show up three days before the election pregnant claiming it was McCain’s baby. That worked for years. They even did it with the Bush/Gore campaign with the guy from the northeast that dug up the DUI arrest if I am remembering correctly.

    Anyone that believes the ratings whore news reporters for any network doesn’t vote, I hope. I’m elitist. I think you should have more than three working and non pickled brain cells to be allowed to vote.

    It wasn’t racist. Big lips and watermelon would have been racist. MO telling us lesser mortals what we could, should and shouldn’t eat is sheer hypocrisy. HUD was right in that.

    And being an American, and not a communist/socialist toady, I’m still free to think a barcalounger would have made a better pres and 1st lady than this duo.

    But, if HUD really wants to have fun, maybe he should report on the absolutely incensed Barrack Obama laying a highly offensive cussing about ole’ Hillary down after the Myrtle Beach thing back during the run. People that aren’t legally allowed to comment publicly (read government employees) were stunned at just how foul mouthed he was.

    Real class act.

  • sdqaguy

    I have always been impressed with the power of political cartoons, the ability of good ones to inspire and spark critical thought as well as their ability to induce debate.

    Thank you Mr. Hudall for impressing me with your work. I hope you will do you best to ignore those who choose to attack you and your family, and continue your work.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you

  • burl

    I’m African American and I find this cartoon disgustingly offensive!!!! That’s what I feel when I see this trash……! I won’t call you racist because I don’t know either of you, but to suggest that you exposed the left’s “dark side” no, you exposed YOUR dark side! When I saw the cartoon it didn’t appear to be about the “Left” I saw a mean and slanderous view of the President and the first lady. Lawrence O’Donnell spoke passionately and gave you good advice. Good for him. Take responsibility for YOUR actions man! Furthermore, just because you have a different view , it doesn’t mean that YOUR view is the correct way. You’re NOT the President and YOU don’t have all the answers.

    • Anonymous

      If you call yourself an “African-American” then you’ve let other people think for you. If you’re offended and disgusted by this cartoon you need a sense of humor. It’s MILD

      Political cartoons spoof their targets. We were not spoofing the race of the first couple.

      This is what offensive looks like: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/lists/cartoons/oliphant.html

      And this http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_p7tyZKgJvY4/S8s0KgIPRKI/AAAAAAAAAD0/-x0wtDSQ8es/s1600/bush+cartoon.jpg

      I did not depict the president as a haf man, half animal as O’Donnell claimed. Big ears are used all the time in political cartoons. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVFdAJRVm94&feature=player_embedded

    • GeorgeC

      Wow…

      So we can’t criticize another human being just because he’s Black and you’re always right BECAUSE YOU’RE Black.

      Start thinking for yourself instead of taking the authoritarian politically correct view.

      You’re just proving what a lot of us have suspected for a long time… (I’m Latino, btw, so I can definitely say this as one minority to another.)

      Blacks have become over the past 50 years the most racist group in the US. That’s generally because of politically correct thought and racist leadership like Jesse Jackson, Farrakhan, Al Sharpton, and at least 3/4 of the Black Congressional group. Many Blacks feel entitled to privileged treatment for certain things that happened over 50 years and 150 years ago. Never mind that the privileged treatments comes off EVERYBODY’S dime (taxes) and at the expense of other ethnic groups including Asians, Latinos, and, gasp — Whitey! Oh, slavery was bad yes, but NONE of you living today has experienced it in the US — because it’s been gone from the US since 1865! Guess where slavery’s still active? The Middle East and Africa! Yeah, the homeland, but a lot of you act as if you’re still in physical slavery when the real slavery is IN YOUR HEAD…

      I’m sorry, but many Black Americans carry a huge chip on their shoulders. I’ve worked with guys from Africa and the Caribbean and with few exceptions they’ve been infinitely more pleasant to talk to and I’ve NEVER felt the tension in the room that guys like you always carry. Even the Caribbeans and Africans have admitted huge problems in dealing with Black Americans. I can talk to them about a lot of shit that I just can’t with most Black Americans because they haven’t kept all the psychological baggage that many Black Americans CHOOSE to carry.

      One of the African guys I talked to was an activist in his home country and was TORTURED by other Africans. It wasn’t Whitey that tortured him. For all his concerns about the effectiveness of activism, he was still more positive than many Black Americans I’ve talked to.