Was Herblock the Worse Cartoonist Ever? Or, Why Does Anyone Take Hendrik Hertzberg Cereal?

at The Weekly Standard
, Andrew Ferguson has a great
piece about Herblock, the legendary and multiple Pulitzer
Prize-winning editorial cartoonist who, well, sucked at editorial
cartoons. The news hook for the piece is an HBO documentary,
The Black & The White, about Herblock, who died in
2001 and worked at The Washingon Post for 55 years.

From Ferguson’s piece, which is a great attack on the smug,
self-congratulatory tone among legacy media types:

The stars [of the documentary] are the real-life personages who
pop up to attest to Block’s greatness—his irreverence, his
bottomless imagination, his moral courage in taking on the powerful
and damn the consequences. They make quite a gallery, these
personages. Aside from a pair of show-biz stars, Jon Stewart and
the comedian Lewis Black, they are cave dwellers of the
Washington/New York media racket, what’s left of it. Most of them
are face-famous, of course, and instantly recognizable, but you can
also tell their stature from the things they actually make
themselves say. 

“It was as if Jesus himself were walking around the
newsroom,” says Hendrik Hertzberg of the 

A Herblock cartoon, says Tom Brokaw, “was like a punch in the

“You didn’t want to be Herblock’s enemy,” says Ted Koppel. “He’d
nail your hide to the wall.”

“Herb exposed hypocrisy,” says Bob Woodward. 

“Herb was the conscience of the country,” says Roger

He was “irreverent,” “fearless,” “willing to offend”—so much a
renegade indeed that he won three Pulitzer Prizes, got syndicated
to 1,800 newspapers, mounted exhibitions of his work at the Library
of Congress, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. This
is a special kind of renegade.

The most impressive thing? Herblock did it all without ever
getting a laugh or providing anything like a real insight. That
takes talent, dedication, and, well, renegadism up the

Read the whole article

More on editorial cartoons as a genre
gone terribly, terribly wrong

from Hit & Run http://ift.tt/1kGh1Zw

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