BY: Sonny Bunch
I realize that Doonesbury is nothing more than liberal pap designed to make Baby Boomers feel good about themselves—yes, yes, Garry Trudeau, Republicans are squares and warmongers, we get it, you’re from the 60s, get out, back to the 60s, there’s no place for you here in the future!—but even still, this weekend’s strip is pretty egregiously terrible. Check it out, it’ll only take you a couple of seconds to read.Read More
I realize that Doonesbury is nothing more than liberal pap designed to make Baby Boomers feel good about themselves—yes, yes, Garry Trudeau, Republicans are squares and warmongers, we get it, you’re from the 60s, get out, back to the 60s, there’s no place for you here in the future!—but even still, this weekend’s strip is pretty egregiously terrible. Check it out, it’ll only take you a couple of seconds to read.
If you don’t want to read it, allow me to describe it to you. One of the characters, a mom, is telling her daughter than she’s not allowed to go to UVA. This young girl is not allowed to go to UVA because, like many other olds, the mom just received, via snail mail I presume, the issue of Rolling Stone featuring Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s thoroughly discredited piece about a gang rape at the University of Virginia. And, like many other olds—like even Garry Trudeau, perhaps—this mom is so out of touch, so completely ignorant of the Internet, she has no idea that the piece fell apart within weeks of publication because it looks like the central anecdote, about a girl who claimed to have been gang raped by a pack of young men as a fraternity initiation, is in all probability a pack of lies concocted by a (likely troubled) young woman who was trying to win the attention of a boy she liked.
So, look: comic strips have long lead times. He probably filed this bit of drivel weeks ago. Possibly he even filed it before December 2, when the piece had begun to fall apart and little-known news outlets such as, um, the Washington Post, were calling into question the central narrative.
However, even if he had filed it weeks and weeks and weeks ago, that means he had plenty of time to watch the whole thing fall apart right in front of his eyes. Even the CJR has decreed Rolling Stone‘s story among “the worst journalism of 2014.” Dozens of outlets have picked apart the piece for days, weeks, almost a month. He couldn’t recall the strip? He couldn’t sub in a panel or two hedging his bets a little. Not even a “Perhaps this specific story isn’t true, but THE NARRATIVE is so important that blabbity blah blah”? He doesn’t have a friend, an editor, an agent who can convince him that he’s going to look like an out-of-touch hack? Here we are, almost a full month after the story has completely and utterly collapsed, Garry Trudeau has a character in a comic strip asking “Who is this frat boy monster who tells the victim he ‘had a great time’?” Well, that’s a tough one to answer, Garry. It’s a tough one to answer because, if we’re being honest with ourselves, he doesn’t exist. He’s a figment of a disturbed young woman’s imagination. A figment that you’re helping to propagate in your dreadful little cartoon that should’ve been put out to pasture 20 years ago.
Anyway, hopefully Garry Trudeau is embarrassed. I’d add to his embarrassment by sending him a piece of snail mail, but who knows how long it will take to get there. By the time he receives it, he’ll probably have penned a horribly out of date comic strip about the evils of Duke lacrosse or the travails of a poor young woman named Tawana Brawley.Read Less