In a stunning article that originally appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, Jesse Sunenblick describes how Big Media has effectively killed off political illustration for being “too controversial.” With the exception of the provocative and often hilarious political artwork that appears on the cover of the New Yorker, Sunenblick describes how this form of editorializing has been banished from virtually every other major magazine and newspaper.
Over the next few weeks, I will be featuring the work of illustrators who have been effectively blackballed out of the business (along with the illustrations–if I can find them–that got them into hot water with editors).
In the article, Sunenblick mentions Steven Brodner, who recently tried, unsuccessfully, to pitch a spoof on Ronald Reagan to the NYTimes after CBS dumped the Reagan miniseries. Brodner has a really nice illustration on his website depicting the Bush Administration as the Soprano family. It’s fitting from more angles than one can mention. It’s particularly dead on given the way the television family has begun to deteriorate just as the Administration’s prospects have turned south. The fact that, just today, Bush’s emphasis of support for Rumsfeld in the face of the Iraqi prison scandal couldn’t do more to conjure up a true “mob family.”