Pulitzer Prize winner calls paper’s decision a ‘blow against … the freedom of speech’ David Shipley (CUNY TV/YouTube)
Washington Post opinion editor David Shipley hand-selected the cartoon lampooning Hamas that he pulled amid blowback, the cartoon’s author, Michael Ramirez, told the Washington Free Beacon in an interview.
Ramirez, a veteran political cartoonist who has twice won the Pulitzer Prize, said he presented Shipley with “seven, eight, or nine different sketches on a wide variety of topics” for the Post editor to choose from. Shipley, Ramirez said, “right off the bat” picked a cartoon that depicted Hamas leader Ghazi Hamad using women and children as human shields while saying, “How dare Israel attack civilians.”
Ramirez’s original sketch of Hamad, which the Free Beacon obtained, included the same features that Post reporters Elahe Izadi and Will Sommer later identified as problematic—mainly Hamad’s “large nose and snarling mouth.” When Shipley on Wednesday responded to criticism of the cartoon by pulling it, he wrote in an editor’s note that he “approved” the cartoon, but his role in the decision to produce and publish the cartoon was more substantial, according to Ramirez.
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