Wednesday 1st of December 2021

cartoon controversy...

leunigleunigA renowned Australian cartoonist has said he lost his prime spot in a Melbourne-based newspaper after he drew parallels between the Tiananmen Square protests and Covid-19 vaccine mandates in a new cartoon.

Cartoonist Michael Leunig, sometimes referred to as Australia’s “living national treasure,” has revealed that he was forced out of his position on the editorial page of The Age daily newspaper after publishing a political cartoon criticizing the government’s push for mandatory vaccination.

Speaking to The Australian on Monday, Leunig said that while the editorial team has censored about a dozen of his works this year, the last straw appeared to be an anti-mandate cartoon which was a play on the iconic 'tank man' photo. Leunig's cartoon shows a man staring down a tank, with its main gun being replaced by a syringe.

The original photo depicts a lone Chinese protester standing before a line of tanks during the 1989 pro-democracy protests at Tiananmen Square.

While his cartoon was rejected by The Age, Leunig published the drawing on Instagram, triggering backlash from the proponents of vaccine mandates.

Shortly after the controversy erupted, Leuning, who worked at the newspaper for over 20 years, was told that his services as a political cartoonist were no longer needed. The Age’s editor, Gay Alcorn, reportedly told the artist that he was "out of touch" with readers before notifying him of his dismissal. While Alcorn praised Leuning as “brilliant” in a comment to The Australian, he confirmed that his works would no longer appear on the editorial page. The newspaper still plans to commision lifestyle cartoons from Leuning, however.

Leuning accused the newspaper of “wokeism and humorlessness,” defending the cartoon as an accurate reflection of the times.

“The Tiananmen Square image is often used in cartoons around the world as a Charlie Chaplin-like metaphor for overwhelming force meeting the innocent powerless individual. In my view, it is a fair enough issue to raise in the most locked-down city in the world,” the cartoonist said, referring to Melbourne, which set a record for the longest cumulative Covid-19 lockdown after shutting down for 262 days.



Australia’s second-largest city began relaxing its sweeping Covid-19 restrictions on Friday. The much-awaited move sparked celebrations across the city, with residents seen cheering from their balconies as the clock struck midnight.


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Great to see Voltaire alive in Melbourne...


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fauci's dogs...

A group of lawmakers, including prominent members of both parties, has signed onto a letter calling on Dr Anthony Fauci and his agency to answer questions on funding for experiments involving canine testing.

The letter, first obtained by the right-wing Daily Caller, was spearheaded by Rep Nancy Mace of South Carolina and joined by some of her fellow Republicans as well as Democrats including Ted Lieu of California and Eleanor Holmes Norton, representative for the District of Columbia.


It calls for Dr Fauci and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to detail the federal government’s involvement in experiments that use dogs to test new drugs before they reach the market, despite, as the lawmakers note, “the Food and Drug Administration [clearly stating] that it does not require dog testing for new drugs”.


The letter comes on the heels of an investigation led by conservative group White Coat Waste, which highlights instances of cruelty towards animals as it advocates for a complete ban on federally funded research that involves animal testing. 

The group’s messaging has focused its ire on Dr Fauci personally as conservatives have sought to demonise the US health expert relied on by both the Trump and Biden administrations for public health policy.


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leunig's genius...

The Melbourne Age’s declining band of readers are being deprived of the principal reason many of them buy the paper, its veteran highly-opinionated doodler Michael Leunig. He says he’s been sacked and is wailing to anyone who’ll listen about being “censored”. Well boo-hoo. It had to happen of course; all leftists fall out with each other sooner or later, like Lenin and Trotsky or Mao and Deng Xiaoping, over disagreements about the purity of their thought.   

In this case the breach is over Victoria’s Premier Dan-Xi Andrews and his compulsory vaccination mania. The Age is a slavish supporter of this, so when Leunig drew a cartoon making a rather forced comparison between vaccination refusers and the Chinese dissidents crushed by a tank in Tiananmen Square in 1989 – it showed one of Leunig’s standard funny little men staring at a huge syringe like a gun on a tank – the Age declined to run it and dispensed with Leunig’s services. He had lost touch with their readers, editor Gay Alcorn explained


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This piece of “journalism” has been written by Christopher Akehurst, a “journalist”, at that great right wing refuge for right-wing “journalists”, The Spectator, a place that hate anything that has a tinge of social value. Of course contrary to this little site that keeps reminding its readers that “democracy isn’t a spectator sport”, The Spectator is the epitome of crowds on the sideline shouting “bash his head in” “kick him in the balls”… and such…


One does not have to dig deep to see the stupidity of thinking from Christopher Akehurst. For example, when the Royal commission into “institutional sex abuse”, he was poopooing the process claiming that the Churches were cleaner than Heaven itself. 


Writing in Spectator this month, Christopher Akehurst managed to pull together no facts and a lot of ignorance in Touting for abuse, an attack on the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse.

Akehurst is quite alone with this “the royal commission is a stunt” rhetoric. No one who understands anything about the work of the commission would dare to hold that view any longer, although some did when the commission was first announced. Among the many royal commissions and inquiries currently running, this one is unique in the overwhelming support for both its purpose and its conduct.


Akehurst’s view is that the commission is a conspiratorial witch hunt out to bash the Roman Catholic church launched by former prime minister Julia Gillard as a last ditch attempt at creating a legacy. His main argument is that two years on, the commission is running out of victims and has to resort to telemarketing to find some.


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So please don’t feel the obligation to call someone like Christopher Akehurst, a “journalist”. He may have all the equipment, the affiliations and the credentials to claim such title, but he has no more the understanding of issues than a dried turd on the pavement of fair and balance ideas. I guess this is why he has a job at The Spectator, an organ resembling a sphincter, presently still proud to reject any decent concept of global warming of the planet. 


Christopher Akehurst's understanding of Leunig’s genius is more pitiful than his other misconceptions… Actually, I believe that Christopher Akehurst is more in tune with the cartoon because it bashes "Victoria’s Premier Dan-Xi Andrews”… who of course The Spectator hates… But Christopher Akehurst would not go as far as praising Leunig for his effort. No, Leunig is still on the left of Lenin as far as Christopher Akehurst is concerned… So he has to concoct a dispute between “leftists”. Here a reminder that The Age, in Melbourne, like the Sydney Morning Herald in NSW is part of right-centre Channel Nine “balanced” blancmange that of course has little teeth compare to the ultra rightwings The Spectator and the Murdoch media…


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