Times editorial cartoon wants you to get your priorities straight

politicalcartoon.jpeg If you were wondering whether the sleazy and contemptuous culture at Murdoch's tabloids extended to his "decent" newspapers, today's editorial cartoon in The Times should clear that up for you. Speaking of priorities, here is its top item today. thecurseofthecelebrityinterview.jpg On the day The Times ran a cartoon attacking others for prioritizing trivia such as corruption and criminality at The Times' parent company instead of the plight of starving children, it splashed a load of celebrity stock photos over its own masthead and ran an article about the curse of having to write about them. What do people think of this cartoon in the Times? [Katherine Viner]


  1. Human Rights, reaching out to fellow man, and global compassion are pretty much always front page news at The Times, right?

    If not, then screw ’em right in the ear.

  2. Oh poor me! I’m such a victim! If only I weren’t wasting my valuable time in a courtroom for no good reason, I could be reviewing the budgets of the editors who assign news stories to reporters. But nooooo, there are people starving in Africa because I have to spend the day avoiding answering questions. You should be ashamed of yourselves, really.

  3. The UNICEF chap on the Today Programme a couple of days ago made exactly the same point as this cartoon. It may be ill-advised for the Times to be running it, but the fact remains that the hacking scandal needs to give way to the eurocrisis and the Horn famine.

    Nicholas W 99

    1. I don’t see it as either-or. There’s plenty of space in ‘the news’ for all three issues.

  4. “Nothing to see here, folks, just keep moving. Pay no attention to the elderly Australian billionaire behind the curtain or the sleazy business practices of his companies.”

  5. speaking as someone who draws cartoons from time to time THIS IS HORRIFYING. It’s like a parody. This cartoon should be in the Onion, it’s so wrong. But I’ve come to expect such from tabloid newspaper editorial cartoons. NY Post drops awfulness bombs of editorial cartooning daily.

    And yes I’m sure if we just all forgot about the phone hacking thing, the Times would get back to it’s usual occupation of feeding starving children. Cause that’s what they’re known for right?

  6. Man, fuck that cynical exploitation. Bastards.

    A quick trawl through their archives would turn up how many articles those humanitarian muckrakers have devoted to actually covering crises like poverty, starvation, displacement, resource wars, etc., in the Third World/developing world. I bet it’s rather a small percentage of the whole. . . .

  7. come on, people, a guy steals info from his personal enemies and redefines the meaning of “electronic espionage” and you jump all over him! Can’t we just put aside our quarrels and fight what really matters, which isn’t information totalitarianism?

  8. Reading this post and the accompanying link I find am missing key info like: What newspaper is being discussed? There are lots of papers called the Times. The masthead print is too small and is not linked. Is the paper in question part of newscorp? Thanks!

      1. Anon #49:

        “None attacks me with impunity” – thus speaks a thistle.

        Wikipedia has a good write-up:


        Of note, and taken from cited article, American connections:

        “The motto also appears (spelled “Nemo Me Impune Lacesset”) above an American Timber Rattlesnake on a 1778 $20 bill from Georgia as an early example of the colonial use of the coiled rattlesnake symbol, which later became famous on the Gadsden flag. The phrase also appears on mourning bands worn over the badges of law enforcement officers in the USA.”

  9. Personalization of their logic: “There are children in Afghanistan being fire bombed therefore I shouldn’t be concerned that my boyfriend is abusing me.”

    Something doesn’t seem quite right.

  10. Now that it suits them, they want to act like humanitarians. That’s rich coming from one of Murdochs papers.

    Most people that give a fuck about human suffering read the Independent or the Guardian. They campaign and give towards humanitarian crises and still find time to be outraged at Murdochs ethics.

  11. Oh no you didn’t. That’s some f*&ked up s#$t. Are they seriously trying to exploit poor Africans to direct attention away from their parent corporation’s illegal and immoral behavior. How seriously am I supposed to take Murdoch’s apology when Fox News and now The Times have tried to minimize this? These people really are completely lacking in any moral compass.

  12. Bonus! The motto on The Times’s masthead there is Honi soit qui mal y pense , which may be translated to “Shame be upon those who would shame others.”

    1. It may be translated thusly in the same way that it may be translated as “I have the most tenuous understanding of French grammar imaginable”.

  13. If Rupert were a starving Third-World child instead of a power-mad multi-billionaire, he would have eaten that shaving cream pie.,

  14. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honi_soit_qui_mal_y_pense

    This statement supposedly originated when King Edward III was dancing with his first cousin and daughter-in-law, Joan of Kent. Her garter slipped down to her ankle, causing those around her to snigger at her humiliation. In an act of chivalry Edward placed the garter around his own leg, saying “Honi soit qui mal y pense”, and the phrase later became the motto of the Order.

    The irony of this being the masthead of a Rupert Murdoch rag, is left as an exercise to the reader.

  15. I was going to get all pedantic and inform everyone that that’s not the masthead there, it’s the nameplate. However the WP masthead article says the terms are a bit different in the UK (and Oz) so Rob’s usage is actually okay.

    Something new every day.

  16. Honi soit qui mal y pense – shame be on him who thinks evil of it.

    It’s on the British royal coat of arms, you can see it all over London.

    That makes sense – shame on you if you think ill of the kingdom, the coat of arms, or the monarch. On a newspaper it’s somewhat vague and spitlicking of them, unless it’s referring to the freedom of the press, which isn’t clear.

    Has it always been the masthead?

      1. I respectfully submit that it’s a stylised version of the Royal Coat of Arms. (stylised as the original is copyright – any heraldic experts out there? are there subtle differences in the messages conveyed between the offical version and the Times version?)

        If you google “the times masthead” (sorry to those who say it’s not the masthead) you can see the images

        A warrant is used on product packaging / stationery to announce the custom of the monarchy, and adds a circular border around the coat of arms with the words “The Royal Warrant Holders Association”. http://www.royalwarrant.org.

        The coat of arms itself is used by the monarch for queenly purposes – wikipedia “royal coat of arms”

        If the Murdochs carry on, they’re going to diminish the public’s love of freedom of the press. Rotten lot.

        This cartoon defiles the nation.

    1. Dagwood’s been pretty depressing to read since he became a 99er. And I think the comic is named after his wife, “Blondie.” The initial attraction between the two was based on how stupid their names were.

  17. To hell with Times and every other Murdoch construct.

    That said, everyone reading this should immediately donate as much as you can to the most effective organization you can find that works to alleviate the largest human starvation catastrophe and impending MASS DEATH. There is a difference between causing the death of a fellow human being and passively letting it happen. But that difference is not so large that those much better off (i.e. everyone reading this) should send money to help. It is the human thing to do.

  18. Last time I checked, investigating corruption and abuse of power was in no way mutually exclusive with helping the destitute. Or can we only ever do one thing at a time?

  19. If I cared about accomodating the intended meaning of a medieval French quip to an accurate transliteral presentation of its grammar in contemporary English, I’d still be writing for Maxim.

    1. Nemo me impunie lacessit, in other words?

      And a common translation of Honi soit is “evil be to him who evil thinks,” which is damn close to yours.

      1. Écoutez, s’il vous plaît, écoutez!

        Honi soit qui mal y pense!

        Un coup d’état? Qu’est-que ce, un coup d’état?

        Tous le monde, écoutez!

        1. Formidable et feudroyante! Cette video m’a donné beaucoup des LOLs et un peu de Hon Hon Hon! Hein? (Excusez mon mal, eh, spelling. Il y a longtemps que je parle cette langue tres joli!)

  20. True, but the “phone hacking story” IS more important than the stories that the criminal phone hacking enabled them to write in the first place.

  21. On the radio this morning I was told that David Cameron (prime minister of the UK) was interrupting a foreign trip to fly back and deal with the greatest crisis of his administration, this scandal.


    I mean sure, its important and disturbing because of the police corruption in particular but the greatest crisis of his administration? Has anybody been looking at the world?

      1. David Cameron was “looking at the world” after Murdoch’s papers made him Prime Minister by incessantly attacking Gordon Brown for years — and even then, Cameron couldn’t even win an election.

        The Times is garbage, and has been for years; the move to a tabloid format was quite apt.

  22. I do believe they forgot panes 2 and 3 of it…

    Exit right 2 workmen carrying out wooden prop picture of starving children with eyeholes and mouth hole revealing Rupert Murdoch. Enter Left 2 servants carrying lunch and champagne for Mr. Roberts followed by executive assistant of some sort

    Pane 3: Mr Murdoch eating while talking to executive assistant:
    EA: What should we do about this problem in Africa.
    RM: Bribe some of their policemen, that should improve things.
    RM: Oh and see in any of those children have messages on their cellphones.

  23. Surely the editor of the newspaper is the one who sets the tone, operational ethics etc of a paper. The chief executive should not be involved.

    If you live in the UK, the saturated coverage of the scandal has pushed more pertinent issues (like the famine, eurozone problems etc) off the main pages and this is what the cartoon is trying to get across.

  24. I’m having trouble deciding whether this is actually an attempt to downplay the scandal, or just someone who was delighted at the excuse to draw racist caricatures.

  25. Substitute in the cartoon balloon: “I’ve had a bellyful of celebrity interviews…” and shoot it back at them.

  26. Do ya think that the Somali pirates could chip in a few millions
    from their hostage loot? I doubt it, but open to be surprised.

  27. Er..hang on. What exactly is the point you’re trying to make?

    All the cartoon is saying is that there are other issues also in the news (and, you know, starving people is a pretty big thing).

    It’s not saying lets all ignore the phone hacking in any way.

    What’s on the guardian today? above the title – “off taste, the new rules of fashion” and one for “my life among Hollywood royalty” then followed by actual stories (as any other paper). Their cartoon is on the Euro – another big story that’s being squeezed out by the hacking stuff

    and what’s on the Times (website at least) also actual stories, “PM: Murdoch ‘has questions to answer’ on phone hacking”

    The Times has been pretty good on the whole story, obviously enjoying digging into their red top chums (I don’t think they ever liked being under the same NI banner).

    True, they’re not faultless (and go a little quiet at times) and get things wrong (like the guardian do too) but then news will always be a little biased – it’s up to you to make up your own minds really

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