Times Free Press Defends DesJarlais 'Assassination' Cartoon



  • Clay Bennett/Chattanooga Times Free Press
Congressman Scott DesJarlais's office is objecting to this Chattanooga Times Free Press cartoon and vowing to retaliate by cutting off the newspaper's reporters covering his reelection campaign. In a proud moment for Tennessee's too-often timid news media, Free Press ME Alison Gerber refuses to back down in her column on this topic. She writes:

The DesJarlais staffer said it’s not appropriate to publish a cartoon depicting a sitting member of Congress with a gun in his mouth. He said he’d called the U.S. Capitol police about the cartoon.

Tossing the term “Capitol police” around in a conversation and insisting that officers will be calling me about the cartoon shows a disregard for the First Amendment. It also is a clear attempt at intimidation.

Clay Bennett's cartoon is definitely some seriously biting satire, poking fun at DesJarlais for accusing his political opponents of character assassination while it's his own actions that have gotten him into trouble. But what do you think, Pith Nation? Was the Free Press right or wrong to print it?

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