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William Safire’s Favorite New Yorker Cartoon

Chon Day
© Chon Day

In rememberance of political columnist William Safire, who died yesterday at the age of 79, we present his favorite New Yorker cartoon. Even though this cartoon by Chon Day was published in April 1945, the recent financial meltdown for which nobody seems responsible makes it timely today.



  1. FraNK wrote:

    I don’t get it.

    What’s the implication? Corrupt cop?

    Monday, September 28, 2009 at 6:51 pm | Permalink
  2. FraNK wrote:

    Hmm, still no advice. Ok, maybe it has something to do with the cop not shooting the robbers outright. Instead he’s polite and asks for someone in charge. Likely they will all deny being in charge, thereby avoiding prosecution? Kinda makes sense. But they were caught in the act of robbery! Ok this is really perplexing. Someone please fill me in!

    Friday, October 2, 2009 at 7:01 pm | Permalink
  3. Iron Knee wrote:

    Sorry, I didn’t say anything at first, because I thought I had already given a hint.

    The policeman sees something going on that is clearly illegal. You would think he would just arrest them, but instead, he asks “who’s in charge here”. In the same way, our economy starts to melt down, and the banks are caught with their hands in the cookie jar. But instead of punishing them, we throw money at them in order to “save” the economy.

    That’s my interpretation of it, and it might not agree with Safire’s interpretation, nor with Day’s original intent. But sometimes, the funniest jokes are the ones that are subtle enough that many people don’t get them (which might be why nobody answered your question), or which different people interpret in different ways. I just like it, though.

    Friday, October 2, 2009 at 10:21 pm | Permalink