Censor the Artists First

This editorial cartoon by Tom Toles of the Washington Post has drawn some criticism. Fine. Everybody is entitled to an opinion. But check this out.

That's right. A letter from all six Joint Chiefs of Staff. Expressing displeasure with the Washington Post. During war-time. Pentagon spokesmen have stated that it's rare that anybody, especially a newspaper, receive a letter from the combined Joint Chiefs. It's a letter that carries a lot of weight and its point was very clear.

"[We] believe you and Mr. Toles have done a disservice to your readers and your paper's reputation by using such a callous depiction of those who have volunteered to defend this nation" [...] "While you or some of your readers may not agree with the war or its conduct, we believe you owe the men and women and their families who so selflessly serve our country the decency to not make light of their tremendous physical sacrifices."

Now, granted, the Joint Chiefs didn't call for Mr. Toles to be fired or that the Washington Post stop running his cartoons. Censorship is still Censorship even if it's self-censorship brought on be fear.

John Aravosis, who broke the story at his website, AmericaBlog had this to say: "Now that the Joint Chiefs have addressed the insidious threat cartoons pose to our troops, perhaps they can move on to less pressing issues like getting them their damn body armor."

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