The element of live television adds a welcome wrinkle to creating political cartoons in real time.
Mike Luckovich, the Pulitzer-winning cartoonist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, makes no claims to being the most tech-savvy artist around — yet he liked plugging in during the House Intelligence Committee impeachment inquiry Wednesday.
As he sketched, Luckovich listened to the “hearings live on one browser, while checking out the various websites I follow on another browser.”
“It’s fun and challenging,” the famously fast artist notes, “to come up with something live as it’s occurring."
By contrast, Jack Ohman, the Pulitzer-winning cartoonist for the Sacramento Bee, isn’t watching the hearings live — but he is listening to them. And though he says he has been “amazed by the composure” of George Kent and Ambassador William B. Taylor Jr., Ohman is struck by historical contrasts.
“I’m sorry to say I have vivid memories of watching the Watergate impeachment hearings as a 13-year-old, but I do,” says Ohman, noting that the Nixon-era proceedings first sparked his interest in political cartooning. “Back then, there seemed to be more attention paid to it and more discussion about it. Now that we live in a fragmented information culture … [the televised inquiry] seems like the usual background noise."
Plus, “now that we are living in an up-is-down political culture,” he adds, “it’s increasingly difficult to satirize the satirical.”
Here is how some other American cartoonists are doing their best to satirize the 21st-century inquiry: