Premier political cartoonist reacts to French magazine attack

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Bob Englehart is one of the nation’s premier political cartoonists. He’s been the editorial page cartoonist for Connecticut’s largest newspaper, “The Hartford Courant,” for the past 35 years.

Friday, Englehart talked about cartoonists’ reactions to the attack on French satirical magazine “Charlie Hebdo.”

“We’re all a little bit shocked,” said Englehart. “I think this is a terrorist attack and the reaction was typical of a terrorist attack, I felt the same way when I read about this or heard about it on the radio. I felt the same way as I did on 9/11.”

Englehart says that the French magazine does go way over the top by American standards, but that European satire has always been much more ferocious. Cartoonists here and overseas are having the same reaction.

“I felt vulnerable,” said Englehart. “I felt sick to my stomach and then, as it sinks in, I feel, well, not going to change anything I do.”

His cartoon this week, in reaction to the attack, was simple and to the point, that freedom and the pen are the “two most dangerous weapons on earth.” Other cartoonists from around the nation and around the world are expressing similar messages, that the jihadists are not going to stop the freedom of expression so cherished in most all of the western world.

“You can’t stop us,” said Englehart. “You can kill us, but that’s not going to stop us. You can’t. We’ll continue. We’re going to do what we do. We’re going to do what we think is right.”

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