The Cartoonist Who Cried Wolves! Wolves!

wolf cartoon
"Thanks to Obama, we're not ENDANGERED in Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, UT, OR, WA, etc. We're target practice." ©D.Barstow 2009

Right after Obama took office he cancelled Bush’s plans to rewrite the Endangered Species Act, affecting wolves, among other animals. I took note of that, knew I wanted to do a cartoon on it, but then put it aside because I wasn’t sure if the EPA was already done, or just thinking out loud. Once you have to write about the news – and believe me, as an editorial cartoonist I’ve become a better journalist – you notice how much of the news is really stuff that might happen, or will happen. Then they report it all again when it does happen, as if it’s fresh meat!

So as I was saying, it actually did become law last Friday. Only Obama RESCINDED his protection promises for wolves, and turned them over to the lawless states, not the Federal government any more! So Bush’s original plan succeeded.  

The LA Times reported this in a very neutral, uninteresting, boring tone. In a blog there, not in the paper. Oh, and they left some things out. The NY Times gets it:

Jenny Harbine, a lawyer with Earthjustice in Bozeman, Mont., which has sued to keep the federal protections, said, “We’re disappointed.” She added, “Idaho has shown an eagerness to kill as many wolves as possible, and they are drawing up plans for killing wolves as we speak.”

In 2007, Gov. C. L. Otter of Idaho said he favored reducing the number of wolves there to 100 from more than 800. He also said he would be the first to buy a wolf hunting license.

In most of Wyoming, the wolf is designated as a predator and could be shot on sight if it were to be delisted. Controversy erupted last year when people chased wolves down on snowmobiles and killed them from planes.

Don’t you wish you lived in Idaho or Wyoming, too? And wouldn’t the LA Times have done well to keep ALL the facts in the article?

I believe, as do most biologists, that delisting on state lines is about as unscientific as you can get, which virtually guarantees the greens will win again in court and keep the Big Dog on the endangered species list

That’s how describes it, in hunting-friendly terms. The idea, I guess, is that a wolf is a big dog that it’s fun to kill. (and they can’t claim the old “IT’S FOOD” excuse with wolves!)

The Defenders of Wildlife Yellowstone Wolves blog says:

In particular, the rule ignores contemporary scientific research on what constitutes a recovered wolf population and allows wolf populations to be reduced to the point where they could not achieve the natural genetic connectivity thought by scientists to be essential to the species’ long-term survival in the region.

Secretary Salazar reissued the Bush plan without any response to conservation groups.

And who appointed him Secretary? One guess. And it’s not Bush.

The Cartoon This took a long time to draw! I have to admit, as I drew the little one with a potted plant on his head, I got tears in my eyes, he was so cute.

(Gocomics also has comments and discussion.)

11 thoughts on “The Cartoonist Who Cried Wolves! Wolves!”

  1. See? This is a perfect example.

    Your artwork (labored as it may have been) is just not good. and you political point is confused at best.

    So Obama didn’t do what he said he would do and instead did what Bush had planned to do, and somehow that makes Obama a bad guy and Bush a good guy.

    I’ll agree that Obama is a bad guy. In this particular case he is bad because he agrees with another bad guy, Bush.

    And let’s not even get into the Sarah Palin Helicopter shootings of wolves that are absent your outrage.

    And wouldn’t the Endangered Species Act be the ESA, not the EPA which is generally regarded to be the Environmental Protection Agency. See what I mean about lack of depth?

    Just like the idea that reading the papers and keeping track of what they already said doesn’t make one a “journalist!” And I daresay that calling yourself one ticks serious journalists off.

    As to the cite from… they’re agreeing with YOU. They may not want to but what they are saying is that the wolf will most likely be relisted (which is what you want right?)

    Point being that you don’t show any deep thought about this issue. You want to have something negative to say about Obama, for whatever reason you may have, and you show zero intellectual curiosity or honesty in blaming him for doing what Bush wanted to do.

  2. As I understand it, the EPA is the agency which enforces the ESA.

    Part of journalism is reflection on the issues: that’s why you have “Opinion” sections in the paper. That’s where I fit in. Never claimed to be a journalist, although as it happens, I have to do investigative research on every topic I draw about. It’s only right.

    And I would have loved to take down Sarah Palin re her wolves shooting. That would be another cartoon, since it’s a totally different issue.

  3. “and believe me, as an editorial cartoonist I’ve become a better journalist – ” Donna

    “I can’t very well have more tea, when I haven’t had any yet!” Alice

    Meanwhile you sidestepped the observation that your position is pro Bush in that it is anti Obama… For continuing what Bush did.

    There is no urgency to this message. There is no inner philosophical light that you up are holding the situation to so as to expose its flaws.

    There is only rhetorical sophistry.

    1. What is your point? Both Bush and Obama got this one wrong. I hated Bush’s anti-natural history and anti-environment actions.
      And the fact that wolves are being shot on sight in some states IS EXTREMELY URGENT.

  4. Also, No.

    Journalism and opinion are supposed to be two distinct areas. That is why there is an editorial section in the paper. It is exactly the merging of opinion into journalism that has brought the craft to such a low low.

    Journalists that inject bias into their reporting should be shunned by readers, but thanks to the “Infotainment” of the news and the fragmentation of the market along political lines(exemplified in the print media by The NY Post v. the Village Voice, or the Washington Post v. the Washington Times, in the magazine arena by US News & World Report v. Time/Newsweek and then it spread to electronic media CNN v. Network, then V. Fox, then it was Fox v. MSNBC, meanwhile Rush wing radio v. everybody)we are stuck with would be pundits who say “Part of journalism is reflection on the issues: that’s why you have “Opinion” sections in the paper.” without knowing that this shows a BASIC misunderstanding of the intended function of the “Forth Estate” and the rigors that function entails.

    1. The news is separate from opinion – in the paper, anyway. TV has always been different.
      And there’s nothing wrong with being a pundit. :)

  5. “Part of journalism is reflection on the issues:…” DB

    “The news is separate from opinion…” DB

    “And there’s nothing wrong with being a pundit.” DB

    “Pundits never admit they are wrong, especially when presented with the evidence proving them wrong!” DPR

    “TV has always been different.” DB

    “Your ‘always’ is apparently a lot shorter than mine.” DPR

  6. I grew up in Wyoming about a four hour drive from Yellowstone where the wolves were re-introduced. As a rancher, naturally I was concerned about the possible endangerment of my livestock and as a hunter, the possible irradication of the local fawna. We were assured federally that the wolves spread would be slow and that they most likely would never leave the Yellowstone area. In one year there were packs across Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and Idaho. The wolves introduced have never been native to the area and are much more aggressive than the native species that had been hunted to extinction ever were. They have killed countless cattle and sheep, attacked people, and eliminated herds of both deer and elk. Not to mention, they have been seen snatching small dogs and hauling them off for dinner. Wyoming has the right idea with kill on sight. They cause more grief than they are worth. Let them stay in Canada. Everyone is so against killing the wolves and that it’s a crime against nature but if you kill one wolf you’re savings 24 elk/deer a year. What about all the deer and Elk that are dying every year by not killing wolves? You do the math, one pack of 18 wolves kill how many deer yearly?

    1. Hunters use the same old arguments all the time, and that’s why thinking people don’t respect you.

      1. You kill livestock, much more than they do.
      2. Why do you care how many deer or elk they kill??? You’re just jealous because you want to kill them! At least they kill for food. You kill for sport. We know you don’t need the food, because you’re a rancher.

      And, duh, the whole point of a good ecosystem is that bigger mammals keep the others in check. Wolves kill the easiest animals to catch: sick or old, or sadly, the young. But they make the herds healthier, unlike hunters.

      Your point about dogs is what? Do you know how many dogs and cats are killed in shelters each year? I am very sorry that someone lost their pet, but they sound kind of stupid to me. Before I moved to LA, the VERY first thing I was told was, watch out for coyotes if you have a dog or cat. If your friends don’t take care of their pets, they’re bad pet owners.

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