Political cartoons have a long tradition in the American press of calling politicians on their misdeeds and misstatements. When they turn caricature into just mean-spiritedness, the public isn’t always receptive.
Andy Marlette is the editorial cartoonist for the Pensacola News Journal. He drew a cartoon published on Wednesday by Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ press secretary that has several female conservatives commenting on the sexist nature of the piece.
The cartoon depicts a likeness of Christina Pushaw on a fashion magazine titled “Florida COVID Cover-up Girl.” Pushaw is shown in a short skirt and is looking at an image of DeSantis.
Pushaw responded on Twitter later on Wednesday by saying that she didn’t want to censor the “disgusting, sexist cartoon.” She said that she wanted it to remain online so that everyone could see that the newspaper is “okay with misogynistic bullying” directed at a conservative woman. She added that it “says more about them than it does about me.”
Sister Toldjah at RedState wrote that “sexism in the media is okay” if a Republican woman is a target. She pointed out that if the press secretary were a man, there would not have been cosmetic enhancements or a short skirt as part of the cartoon.
She said that she understands that being a provocative commentator means not giving offense when making a point. The power of provocation should also include self-restraint against being so blunt that the message is lost or misdirected.
Marlette does have a history of pushing boundaries and norms when depicting some women and minorities who also happen to be Republicans.