The Washington Post has pulled a political cartoon from its site — a rare move for a major newspaper.
The cartoon, which was created by Pulitzer Prize winner Ann Telnaes, depicted Senator Ted Cruz as an organ grinder while two monkeys — apparently depicting his 4-year-old and 7-year-old daughters — danced in front of him.
The cartoon was up for several hours before the Washington Post’s editorial editor, Fred Hiatt, retracted it and issued the following statement in its place:
It’s generally been the policy of our editorial section to leave children out of it. I failed to look at this cartoon before it was published. I understand why Ann thought an exception to the policy was warranted in this case, but I do not agree.
We reached out to Hiatt and to Telnaes for comment, but both directed us back to the above statement. However, Telnaes clarified her position on Twitter, writing:
Ted Cruz has put his children in a political ad- don’t start screaming when editorial cartoonists draw them as well.
Her tweet included a link to a parody ad from the Cruz campaign, showing him reading books to his daughters with titles such as, “Frosty, the Speaker of the House,” “How Obamacare Stole Christmas,” and “The Grinch Who Lost Her Emails.”
Senator Ted Cruz, for his part, blasted the Washington Post, telling a crowd in Tulsa that the newspaper went too far.
“Not too much ticks me off, but making fun of my girls, that’ll do it,” Cruz said, adding that making fun of children should be off limits. “If the media wants to attack and ridicule every Republican, well, that’s what they’re gonna do. But leave our kids alone.”
On Tuesday, Cruz sent out an email appeal for funding, writing that he hoped to raise $1 million in 24 hours to “fight back” against the cartoon and what he called the “liberal media” in general.
Cruz has not yet responded to our request for comment.