The Morning Line: Arizona cartoonist apologizes for Tucson tragedy remarks on CNN
(Cartoon: David Fitzsimmons / courtesy of cagle.com)
Within hours of the tragedy, Arizona Daily Star editorial cartoonist and columnist David Fitzsimmons apologized for his politically charged remarks.
Fitzsimmons reportedly told CNN in the aftermath: "I'm pretty shaken frankly. This is a very surreal, dream-like experience. As a columnist who's covered politics in this state, it was inevitable from my perspective." According to the Daily Star, the cartoonist "viewed the shooting as inevitable in a state with an intense gun culture and politics that are to the rabid right."
Fitzsimmons -- who within hours posted a cartoon about the day's violence -- was among those commentators who immediately reached to put the shooting within a larger political context. "The right in Arizona, and I'm speaking very broadly, has been stoking the fires of a heated anger and rage successfully in this state," he reportedly told CNN. "It's stunning because Congressman Giffords was a centrist, a moderate, and I don't know who the shooter is, but what could possibly motivate an individual to be enraged enough take down a moderate centrist."
In his apology Saturday, Fitzsimmons -- who considers Giffords a friend -- said in a statement:
"Today I have offended many with my emotional, partisan and inappropriate remarks, broadcast on CNN, regarding the horror of this day. As Congresswoman Giffords battles for her life let us join in prayer for her, for the dead and for the injured. Reflecting on the moment, I know my remarks would have disappointed Congresswoman Giffords, a public servant who is admired for her nonpartisan, gracious and intelligent approach to public discourse."
In issuing the apology, the Daily Star wrote: "Columnists are human and have strong and immediate reactions to awful news, but those are best kept private until facts are known. As Fitzsimmons acknowledged on CNN, he wasn't reporting and didn't know at the time who the shooter was or his motivation."
ELSEWHERE: In response to the shooting, a Heavy Ink comics retailer who blogs as "TJICistan" posted about targeting other members of Congress, sparking heated controversy reports Bleeding Cool.
| January 10, 2011; 8:30 AM ET
Categories: The Morning Line, The Political Cartoon | Tags: David Fitzsimmons
Save & Share: Previous: 2011 RIFFY AWARDS: Vote now for Best Comic of the Year...
Next: TUCSON TRAGEDY: Nation's cartoonists respond to the shooting [UPDATED]
Posted by: boxbrown | January 10, 2011 10:13 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: seismic-2 | January 11, 2011 1:37 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.