Banchy seems to live in a parallel universe where pundits like Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh speak in calm, rational and factual voices about the issues and people they disagree with. In his universe, mockery, paraphrasing and hyperbole are apparently not legitimate tools of satire.
Banchy also wrote, "Honest, decent people respect critical thinking skills when they communicate." One aspect of critical thinking is doing research and getting the facts. So let's look at each panel in the This Modern World cartoon in question and see what the pundits themselves have to say:
Cartoon character Scary Blonde Pundette: "The mainstream media sure do hate America!"
Coulter in real life: "My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times building."
Cinnamon Stillwell, writing on FrontPage.Com: "The mainstream news media is doing all it can to defeat the United States abroad."
Cartoon characters Pundette and Drug Addled Host: "And feminists certainly have hairy legs!" "No one wants to sleep with them!"
Limbaugh in real life: "Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society."
Cartoon's Pundette: "We should just nuke the entire Middle East!"
Coulter: "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren't punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That's war. And this is war."
Cartoon's Pundette: "Homosexuals fill me with revulsion!"
Conservative radio show host Michael Savage: "Oh, you're one of the sodomites.
You should only get AIDS and die, you pig. How's that? Why don't you see if you can sue me, you pig. You got nothing better than to put me down, you piece of garbage. You have got nothing to do today. Go eat a sausage and choke on it."
Cartoon's Pundette: "I'd like to kill every liberal I see!"
Coulter: "We need somebody to put rat poison in Justice Stevens' crème brulee."
And here's a classic example of Limbaugh's ad hominem attacks, the very thing that Banchy accuses the cartoonist of doing: "Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?"
By Banchy's own standard of respecting critical thinking skills when communicating, it's abundantly clear that neither Coulter nor Limbaugh could be described as honest, decent people.
-- Paul Green, Northside
Satire Is Only Weapon Remaining
Bil Banchy's letter ("Not Impressed with 'Hypocrisy'," issue of July 5) convinced me that I'm not even safe from his political rantings in CityBeat, because the man's letters are ubiquitous.
Banchy lives on my street and is a respected senior who goes out of his way to be friendly and helpful to his neighbors. From the number of times his missives are published in The Enquirer and The Forest Hills Journal, he really spends a lot of time writing to these various news outlets -- and he's great at staying "on message" about accusing liberals of cowardice and hypocrisy.
Though Banchy might not like the way This Modern World used mocking satire, he seems to not understand that Tom Tomorrow's exaggerated ridicule of pseudo-pundits like Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh is one uncensored, unbugged weapon the liberal media can still use to criticize the political party in power.
Say what you want about Banchy's attack on This Modern World as hate-filled, but Bill is a good neighbor: I always know whom not to vote for when I see the signs in his yard before elections. Among his other good deeds, I consider that a fine public service!
-- Tim Rogers, Anderson Twp.
Blackwell Feeds Our Political Cynicism
After every election, local pundits roll out the rage against our inexcusably low voter turnout. To understand this voter cynicism, one need look no further than the pending Ohio governor's race.
One of the candidates in this election, Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, is also the state official who certifies the vote totals. This is an absurd situation -- exactly the kind of politics that's recently cast a stench over Ohio that will take years to remove.
We have to wonder if being known for crude partisan political stunts would affect manufacturers' location decisions. Maybe we should ask the folks in Greensburg, Ind., about how to make a favorable impression -- they certainly won over Honda.
Gov. Taft should have demanded that Blackwell resign his Secretary of State position the minute he announced his candidacy for governor.
-- Joseph Herald, Clifton
A column in last week's edition (Media, Myself & I) incorrectly identified Greg Couch of the Chicago Sun-Times as the target of a sexist slur by White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. Couch was the source for the details of the slur, not its target, who actually was Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti, a former Cincinnati Post sportswriter.