Way back to the times when corrupt party bosses like William Tweed of New York's Tammany Hall, American politicians have known to beware of cartoonists lampooning their greed and missteps. And while nowadays, constituents are more literate and able to read probing newspaper articles than they were in the nineteenth century, the power of editorial cartoons remains: as proved by routine imprisonment of cartoonists in some places of the world, as well as the grim killings at the French satirical weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris last January. And since then, there's been greater global attention and awareness to the role political cartoons still play and the controversy they spark. And this week in the Granite State, New Hampshire Humanities is taking up the topic this week at an event called "Can't Take a Joke?" that explores editorial cartoons, and the subjects of artistic freedom, first amendment rights, and censorship.
- Victor Navasky, former editor and publisher of The Nation, and author of the The Art of Controversy: Political Cartoons and Their Enduring Power.
- Joel Pett, Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Kentucky. He is also a board member of Cartoonists Rights Network International.