I’ve tried to keep this a Rall-free zone, but Jane Skinner on Fox News just had on the publisher of the magazine who ran the latest outrage about the greedy firefighters (I think it was Bob Guccione? but I’m not sure), and he was of course defending the stupid thing.
a) Good satire sometimes offends;
b) He found it very funny;
c) He had no intent to offend anyone by running it;
d) We must draw a distinction between depicting greedy firefighters in the present, and those same firefighters projected ten years into the future, and anyone who can’t do that is hypersensitive.
I agree with (a).
I believe (b) (or at least I have no reason not to believe it–there’s no accounting for taste or sense of humor). To me, it was utterly humorless, and anyone who found it funny is warped, but then there’s no reason, based on that interview, to think that he’s not.
I don’t believe (c)–I think he’s lying.
But the real crux of the issue is (d). In addition to being utterly unfunny, it was utterly pointless.
Good satire has a germ of truth. If his point was that the money flowing into charities is being misspent, there are many appropriate targets at which to aim satirical barbs (like the Red Cross, or United Way). But I’m not aware of any misappropriation or inappropriate expenditures of funds by the NYFD, past, present or (especially) future.
If in ten years, there are some activities by the NYFD that even vaguely resemble what are described in the cartoon, then it might be funny then (or at least as funny as it’s possible for a Rall cartoon to be, which is, if history is any guide, not at all).
But to run it now is not only pointless, it is obviously meant to be simply iconoclastic and cruel, under the thin guise of satire.
But then, consider the source.