Newspaper Exploits Texas Tragedy To Hammer Perry

Newspaper Exploits Texas Tragedy To Hammer Perry

The Sacramento Bee published a political cartoon exploiting the tragic explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, TX as a means to attack the state’s governor, Rick Perry.  

The Associated Press says Perry is “disgusted” and demands an apology: 

Gov. Rick Perry said Friday he’s disgusted a California newspaper ran a cartoon that depicts him boasting about booming business in Texas, then shows an explosion, a week after a fertilizer plant explosion killed 14 people in a Texas town.

Perry said he wants an apology from the Sacramento Bee on behalf of the town.

The cartoon in Thursday’s edition shows Perry crowing that “Business is Booming,” flanked by signs saying “Low Tax!” and “Low Regs!” It’s a play on the Republican’s often-repeated mantra that his state’s low-regulation, business-friendly climate has its economy humming.

The next panel reads “Boom!” as a blast engulfs the area behind the governor and his signs.

Over the years, Perry has travelled to economically moribund states like California and Illinois and has successfully wooed companies to pick up their stakes and relocate to the more business friendly environs in the lone star state.  

The Sacramento Bee’s response? Naturally, they blamed Rick Perry and new media for their unfortunate “interpretation” of the cartoon:  

The Bee’s editorial page editor, Stuart Leavenworth, responded Friday that the artist, Jack Ohman, “made a strong statement about Gov. Rick Perry’s disregard for worker safety, and his attempts to market Texas a place where industries can thrive with few regulations.”

“It is unfortunate that Gov. Perry, and some on the blogosphere, have attempted to interpret the cartoon as being disrespectful for the victims of this tragedy,” Leavenworth said. “As Ohman has made clear on his blog, he has complete empathy for the victims and people living by the plant.

In the aftermath of recent events in Newtown, Boston, and now West, it’s fair to ask: “Is there a horrible tragedy that happens in America that left-wing journalists aren’t willing to politicize and blame on conservatives?”