The Leftist blindness of cartoonist Michael Leunig

Excerpt below from a comment by Piers Akerman. I excerpted on 17th. a comment by "Age" editor Gawenda about Leunig's antisemitism:

Leunig's pitiful attempt to depict a moral equivalence between the Holocaust and the protective barrier the Israelis constructed to block Palestinian suicide bombers from murdering innocent civilians was not the last cartoon rejected by Gawenda on taste grounds. The following year, the ABC's Media Watch host David Marr, who exhibited the rejected Auschwitz cartoon on air and published it on the taxpayer-funded program's website, treated his tiny audience to another of Leunig's dumped drawings and similarly lodged it on the ABC site, while attempting to make Gawenda look like a censorious opponent of free speech.

For some peculiar reason, a search through the files of Media Watch under its serial hosts would indicate that the ABC's spotlight on the media has never looked at the mountains of anti-Western, anti-Semitic material distributed through Islamic outlets in Australia.

Media Watch's latest host, Monica Attard, indicated the program might have published the Danish cartoons which triggered the series of extraordinarily well-orchestrated riots in which more than 10 Muslims died in Islamic countries far removed from the tang of either herring or Danish blue, but "ABC managing director Russell Balding says that we can't". That's the same Mr Balding whose respect for free speech is such that he refused to front a Senate estimate's committee last year and who is now cutting short his contract with the ABC to pick up a more lucrative gig running Sydney airport.

Leunig has told the press from his bushland hideaway that he is devastated to find that his drawing had been entered into an anti-Semitic competition run by the Iranian newspaper, Hamshahri. In an opinion piece, Leunig says has "had more than a gutful of hostility and hate mail in the past three years, all because I have resisted the rise of fascism - the idea of war."

But the cartoon was sent to Tehran by a writer from the puerile ABC program, The Chaser, and although that individual has apologised to the cartoonist, whether he will still have the police pursue this "malicious", "dark" and "sinister" perpetrator is to be seen. You see, The Chaser is not usually lumped in with the fascist conspiracy that obsesses The Age, its stellar cartoonist and its readers.

Curiously, the most obvious fascism around, Islamofascism, does not appear to have made an impression on Leunig nor do the suicide bombers who target the innocent. Maybe the cartoonist, like the Organisation of Islamic Countries which has for the past nine years refused to let the UN define terrorism, doesn't know a terrorist when he sees one.

As for his cartooning, he told an ABC audience in Perth earlier this week that he would never do a cartoon about the prophet Mohammed and neither would he do a cartoon about a deceased Aboriginal because it was offensive to indigenous people, nor cartoons which depicted racial stereotypes, for fear of causing offence. As for lampooning Jesus, however, he enthusiastically said he would, because it was important to do so.

The young Leunig was one of my colleagues and friends on Victoria's now-defunct Newsday newspaper and I still have a couple of caricatures he drew of me which bring back fond memories of those heady days. His selective sensitivities now leave me cold. That his cartoons could slot so easily into an anti-holocaust competition run by a newspaper under the control of a regime headed by a lunatic who has pledged to wipe Israel off the map and who dismisses the deaths of some six million people as a "myth" is something he should be really concerned about, not whether his drawing was sent off without his permission.


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