Wednesday, August 24, 2005

# Posted 1:39 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLES: Would a newspaper ever hire just one columnist to write the entire op-ed page? No, of course not. Then why would it hire just one cartoonist to produce every single, last cartoon on the editorial page?

Well, I guess in the case of the WaPo, the precedent set by Herblock suggests that having just one cartoonist isn't such a bad idea. But Tom Toles is not that cartoonist.

Now, I must admit that on occasion Toles hits one out of the ballpark. For example, today's sketch serves as a very clever illustration of a point made by Fareed Zakaria on yesterday's op-ed page, i.e. that higher oil prices are good for evil dictators across the globe who either hate or pretend not to hate America.

But in general, all Toles really has to offer is the same set of liberal cliches over and over again. Visually speaking, I think his cartoons are first rate. His standard caricature of Bush as a goofy little elf with big pointy ears is actually quite endearing.

But when it comes down to politics, Toles has basically nothing new to offer. So here's a very simple idea for the Post: rotate your cartoonists. After all, you rotate your op-ed columnists in order to provide the reader with multiple perspectives. Why not give Toles two days a week and find some original thinkers for the rest?
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