Washington Post Depicts Republican ‘Collaborators’ as Rats: ‘Nazi-Style Propaganda’

washington post depicts republicans as rats
Washington Post

In a Washington Post cartoon published on Sunday, Ann Telnaes, the editorial cartoonist at the Post, depicts Republicans who “collaborated” with the president in contesting the 2020 election results as gruesome rats.  

The image, which appeared in the Sunday issue, bears the headline, “All of the state attorneys general and U.S. Congress members who collaborated with President Trump in his attempt to subvert the Constitution and stay in office” and includes well over a hundred named Republicans.

The depiction was met with harsh criticism.

“Today’s Washington Post depiction of Republicans as ‘rats’ was reprehensible,” wrote Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ).

“Democrats and their allies in the media can’t win the war of ideas, so they resort to dangerous and despicable personal attacks that purposefully endanger the freedom of their political opponents.”

“The Nazi-style depiction in today’s paper is a foreshadowing of outrageous attacks that will endanger our liberties and incite violence against the Post’s chosen political enemies,” he added.

“Shame on the Washington Post for publishing this cartoon depicting Republicans as rats,” wrote Republican Congressional Candidate Bryan Leib. “These types of cartoons are the same way Nazi Germany started to lay the groundwork for their all out assualt on Jews. It’s unacceptable behavior from the Washington Post”:

Fox News commentator Steve Milloy noted the glaring resemblance to known antisemitic propaganda:

“According to researchers, comparing people to rodents is the language used before a Genocide happens,” wrote journalist Mike Cernovich. “The top ‘story’ on the Washington Post is a cartoon comparing Republicans to rats”:

“So much for unity,” wrote the Free Telegraph.

Media Research Center (MRC) Vice President of Business and Culture Dan Gainor blasted Telnaes, referring to the cartoonist as a “demented bigot.”

In 2001, Telnaes became the second female cartoonist and one of the few freelancers to win the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning.

In 2002, Telnaes won Planned Parenthood’s Maggie Award for Media Excellence for her “editorial cartoons in support of reproductive rights.” The award is named after the abortion business’ founder, eugenicist Margaret Sanger.

This was not the Post cartoonist’s first controversial depiction.

In 2015, Telnaes drew a Christmas-themed cartoon where Senator Ted Cruz’s five and seven year-old daughters were portrayed as monkeys on a leash while Cruz himself is portrayed wearing a Santa Claus suit holding a crank music box to which the girls’ leashes are attached. 

President Trump, a presidential candidate at the time, weighed in on the controversial cartoon, criticizing it as “nasty” and “bad.”

“The Washington Post, which is the lobbyist (power) for not imposing taxes on Amazon, today did a nasty cartoon attacking @tedcruz kids,” Trump mused on Twitter. “Bad.”

Trump’s tweet was part of a growing number of Republicans who rallied to Cruz’s defense after the cartoon’s publication at the time.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) called the cartoon “off limits” in an interview with Fox and Friends while Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) described it as “disgusting.”

Telnaes argued that Cruz’s children were “fair game” for parody after they appeared in a campaign video. Despite her attempt to justify the work, the Post editorial staff pulled that cartoon.

Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.


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