Saturday, March 23, 2024

2024 Kesterton Lecture with Michael de Adder

From YouTube.


Comics DC transcribes the part of Michael de Adder‘s lecture that involves his parting from The Washington Post:

[Starting at 1:01]

When I was hired by The Washington Post, I was hired to take over Tom tole's job. Now the most celebrated cartoonist in one of the most celebrated cartoonists in the world used to work for the Washington Post, a guy named Herblock. He changed cartooning. He was one of the people who modernized cartooning and made cartooning what it is today. 

The funny thing is this was the era of Ben Bradley and Watergate and when they were going to replace Block, they announced that they were going to give Tom Toles the job. Tom Toles is an excellent cartoonist. He's nothing like Herblock but that's a good thing. I was there on the day that it was announced he was taking over and Ben Bradley said this to him in front of a whole room of cartoonists, "You have big shoes to fill." What a terrible [thing to say]. It is true he had big shoes to fill, but don't say that in a room full of cartoonists.

He did great though. I thought he was one of the best, but a year later they hired Ann Telnaes to also work online and I thought they produced some of the best cartoons in America. Not the best in Canada -- we're really good cartoonists here.

So when Tom Toles decided to retire, and he retired the day after Trump lost which I thought was a classy thing to do, I told my manager that I wanted to show interest in getting that job. I didn't expect to get it, and I got it, and it was great at first. I think I started off a little slow.

Fred Hiatt, the guy that hired me, in 2022 at Thanksgiving he had a heart attack and died. It was a massive heart attack and I think he died something like within two weeks.I always felt like I only had one person on my side at the [Post]. I probably had 10 people on my side at the Washington Post but I really only felt like I had one person. 

Now it happened to be the main person so he's the person you want to have on your side, but when he died, I knew that it's possible that my career with them was going to end. The new guy came in and I do believe that he had a mission to make things a little more conservative and and I don't know if that came from the boss or if it came from or where it came from -- all I know is that the first conversation I had with him, all he talked about was all the cartoonists he liked and he didn't mention me. That doesn't bode well, but anyways you know these things happen. The paper wanted to go further right and I'm clearly not on the right.

At 1:12 when being questioned about being fired four times, he returns to the point, saying it wasn't about the money:

[At] The Washington Post, it was purely point of view. In fact they were paying me twice what they should have for one cartoon, just to keep me there so that they could quietly let me out the door.

No comments:

Post a Comment