(UPDATE: A spokesman from NBC has commented, saying Meet the Press will credit cartoonists by name moving forward. Full quote at the bottom of the post.)
Does Meet the Press host David Gregory love cartoons but hate cartoonists? It sounds ridiculous, but it would at least explain why he has a fondness for showing their work without giving them credit.
"Here's a cartoon that captures the nexus between government and weather," Meet the Press host David Gregory said just prior to showing a cartoon drawn by Denver Post cartoonist Mike Keefe about the recent snowstorms that hit the nation's capital.
However, viewers left the show knowing none of that, since Gregory didn't bother to name the cartoonist, highlighting a large double-standard when it comes to political cartoonists as pundits. We're like Rodney Dangerfield; We get no respect!
Are they jealous of a cartoonist's ability to sum up their thoughts in a single, thought-provoking image, since generally it takes them nearly 700 words or 10 minutes of air time to say the same thing?
It's not the first time Gregory has failed to mention a cartoonist's name. Back in January, the Meet the Press host did the same thing with a cartoon drawn by Rob Rogers of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The cartoon featured Uncle Sam at a returns and exchanges window trying to return the last decade, only to face an employee that says, 'I'm sorry sir... we have rules against returning entire decades!" Unless you paused your TiVo and ran to your computer to look up the artist's name, you would have never known who created the cartoon, and where it appeared.
Cartoonists aren't the only artists slighted. A New Yorker cover by illustrator Barry Blitt, featuring 4 panels of Obama walking on water on water only to eventually fall in, was shown on the January 31 show without mention of who created it.
"Too many mainstream media folks treat cartoons like they're shells found on a beach or forwarded e-mail attachments," said John Cole, the staff cartoonist at the Scranton Times-Tribune. "They wouldn't reference a Kathleen Parker or Paul Krugman column without verbally identifying the author, and the same ought to go for cartoons."
(And just to give credit where it's due, brilliant editorial cartoonist Matt Bors came up with the headline.)
UPDATE: Moving forward, Meet the Press will give full credit to cartoonists, according to an NBC spokesperson:
"We love cartoonists and cartoons which is why we like to show them on 'Meet the Press.' So often they perfectly capture and get to the heart of the matter. Not mentioning the cartoonists by name has been an completely unintentional oversight and we promise we will give them all the credit they deserve moving forward."