Outrage Erupts After Brutal Political Cartoon Shows What Ford Really Looks Like to the Rest of Us


The Indianapolis Star came under intense scrutiny after a political cartoon dared to criticize Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has drawn massive mainstream coverage after being the first to come out and accuse Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault.

The cartoon shows the back of a woman sitting in a chair labeled “Christine Ford,” sitting in front of a Senate committee.

Cartoon Ford then promptly begins rattling off her list of demands.

“Here are my demands: No questions from lawyers, dim the lights, I want roses, sparkling water, a bowl of green M&Ms,” the cartoon Ford is seen saying.

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The outrage was both vocal and palpable.

The feedback was so overwhelmingly negative that Star editor Ronnie Ramos penned an apologetic Op-Ed on behalf of the cartoonist responsible, Gary Varvel.

“Our editorial pages, which include columns and cartoons, strive to present diverse opinions across the political spectrum. In Sunday’s paper, for example, Varvel’s work ran next to another syndicated cartoon that presented an opposing view,” Ramos wrote.

He continued about needing to do better for the Star’s readers.

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Did this cartoon warrant an apology?
“But the Indy Star also has a responsibility to promote a civil discourse and to present diverse viewpoints in a way that does not demean or appear to belittle anyone who says they are the victim of a sexual assault,” Ramos said. “Our readers deserved better in this case.”

Varvel also issued a statement through the Op-Ed.

“My cartoon was focused only on Ford’s demands, not on whether she was telling the truth,” Varvel said. “This is a point I should have made clearer in my cartoon. As a husband and father of a daughter and granddaughters, I take sexual harassment very seriously.”

And that’s really the crux of it.

No sane or decent person should discredit a sexual assault accuser due to a lack of evidence. By that same token, however, no sane or decent person should ascribe guilt when there is a stark lack of evidence.

Ford should get the opportunity to speak her case against Kavanaugh, no matter the optics or timing. Sexual assault is heinous, period. At that same time, we shouldn’t blindly believe any and all accusers. That’s dangerous and antithetical to how the American justice system should work. But they should still get the opportunity to present their testimony.

Given that, however, it’s hard to argue the biting truthfulness of Varvel’s cartoon. Ford deserves to be heard, but at what cost? To what lengths must Senate Republicans bend over backwards to accommodate Ford? How many times should the hearing be pushed back so Ford’s circumstances are just right?

Varvel’s controversial cartoon aimed to skewer that particular absurdity. Calling out that type of behavior shouldn’t require an apology.

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Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics.
Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics. He graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. He is an avid fan of sports, video games, politics and debate.
Class of 2010 University of Arizona. BEAR DOWN.
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