The Washington Post is taking heat for posting a cartoon caricaturing Sarah Palin speaking in tongues and God telling St. Peter "All I can hear is some dam' right-wing politician spouting gibberish."
The Washington Post Ombudsman Deborah Howell wrote on Sunday that 350 readers have complained since the cartoon was posted online September 9, saying the cartoon lampooned their faith.
Cartoonist Pat Oliphant depicts John McCain saying, "She's a Pentecostal and speaks in tongues, and only God can understand what she's saying, but it gives my campaign a direct line to the almighty."
"Readers were right to complain; I will deal with political cartooning in another column," Howell writes. "Political cartoons and comics aren't selected at washingtonpost.com the way they are for The Post in print; they are automatically posted."
Universal Press Syndicate, which distributes Pat Oliphant's cartoons, writes: "No one is safe from the acid brush of Pat Oliphant. Oliphant is acknowledged as the nation's most influential political cartoonist. A master of what he calls "confrontational art," Oliphant spares neither the liberal nor conservative, sinner nor saint."
Ken Gurley, who blogs for the Houston Chronicle, is outraged and demands an apology. He writes:
"Had Oliphant mocked the Muslim faith in a similar manner, the response would have been loud and strong. (Anyone remember the Danish cartoonist who tried that?) Or, should the cartoonist have ridiculed the Catholic faith of the Democratic nominee for Vice President, the response would again be swift and profound. But, lampooning Pentecostals is fair game for certain segments of the media who view intolerance as the only mortal sin - unless the intolerance is toward a person's particular faith."
Other Pentecostals who have been central in the 2008 election include Leah Daughtry, Democratic National Convention CEO, and Joshua Dubois, Barack Obama's religious outreach coordinator.