11/19/2004

Dropping the Rall

The Washington Post has given Ted Rall the boot.

Rall said he thinks the site dropped his work because of a Nov. 4 cartoon he did showing a drooling, mentally handicapped student taking over a classroom. "The idea was to draw an analogy to the electorate -- in essence, the idiots are now running the country," he told E&P.

"That cartoon certainly drew a significant amount of negative comment from our users," said WashingtonPost.com Executive Editor Doug Feaver when contacted by E&P. But he added that the decision to drop Rall was a "cumulative" one that had been building for a while.

"Ted Rall does very interesting work," Feaver said. "Some of it is not funny to an awful lot of people. We decided at the end of the day that it just did not fit the tone we wanted at WashingtonPost.com."
Guess what, Ted? When you call half of the country "idiots", the odds are curiously close to fifty percent that you're going to piss off someone who pays to read your comic strip (i.e. newspaper subscribers). People generally don't like to pay for the privilege of being insulted, and they sometimes complain about it.

Coincidentally (or perhaps not), this move comes as the Post is telling its writers to write shorter stories and use more pictures and graphics. You can be fairly sure that Rall and those who appreciate his scribbles will point to this and attribute his removal from the Washington Post to a "dumbing-down" of the paper.

Good riddance, I say. The Post just became a better paper.