On Friday, USA Today ran a cartoon about the Supreme Court deciding the fate of Obamacare by South Florida Sun-Sentinel cartoonist Chan Lowe. The cartoon features all nine Supreme Court justices along with the text, “The future of Obamacare now lies in the hands of… nine employees covered by the federal health insurance plan.”
Unfortunately, there was snafu that slipped past the editors at the paper – the cartoon only featured two women. Visible in the cartoons are both Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, but Lowe left out Elena Kagan, who took over the seat vacated by John Paul Stevens back in 2010.
I e-mailed Chan about the cartoon, and here is what he told me:
I remembered having drawn the cartoon, dug it out and posted it on our paper’s website last week to illustrate a news story, and suddenly it was being run on sites and blogs all over the Internet. I found that amusing, since it didn’t get picked up all that much when I first posted it a year ago. I guess its moment hadn’t arrived yet.
As for the Kagan snafu, yes-I mistakenly used a reference photo that pre-dated her accession to the court, and what with deadline pressure, it slipped my mind that she had been confirmed. I heard about it from a few people then, and now I’m hearing about it all over again. I particularly hear from people who don’t agree with my politics, the message opening with something like, “Hey, Dummy!” I would have to agree that it was a stupid mistake. Once it’s out there on the Internet, you can’t call it back and correct it.
I suppose I should be pleased that people study cartoons so carefully.
I emailed USA Today editorial page editor Brian Gallagher, but haven’t heard back. I’ll post his reply if he decides to comment.
Correction: In my initial post, I wrote that Chan Lowe is the staff cartoonist for the Orlando Sun Sentinel. Chan Lowe draws cartoons for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.