From being a daily reader of Letters to the Editor and a sometimes (such as this morning, Jan. 21) listener of Michael Jackson's radio show, I realize, more than ever, how many false and absurd criticisms The Times must receive regarding Conrad's political cartoons. Currently, Conrad is once again being labeled "anti-Semitic" because he dares to point out the irony of a historically oppressed people being the oppressors--something that many Israelis, themselves, find an agonizing, soul-wrenching issue.
But the flak of passionate outrage goes with the territory of being a political cartoonist and only serves to show, of course, that he's doing his job. In fact, it's a rare individual, who, by virtue of identifying with some particular group or conviction, hasn't at least been stung, if not lashed, by Conrad's pen. He's been labeled "blasphemous and anti-Christian" because he has used the cross symbol, "unpatriotic" because he derided "heroes" such as Ollie North, and "chauvinistic" because of his views about the sanctity of life. And that's just a small sampling.