Archived Letter – 857

Re: Dan Hammond’s Omar Khadr editorial cartoon

Years ago, I was a member of the Toronto Press Club and used to enjoy the odd lunch in the Club’s smokey, second-floor Wellesley Street digs. The walls were festooned with the clever sketches of some pretty famous doodlers.

Beneath one of them, somebody had scrawled words that ran something like this: “There’s more journalism on these walls than there is in a dozen newspapers.”

Confucius said it equally well: “A picture is worth ten thousand words.”

Dan Hammond’s rendering of Elizabeth May and Omar Khadr said much, too, about Mr. Hammond’s regrettable lack of journalistic research and the value of his cartoons. Had he done his homework, before picking up his sketch pad — as his better informed antecedents at the long-gone press club always did — he would have learned that Omar Khadr is more to be pitied than hated, more to be protected than pilloried for acts committed as a fifteen-year-old kid under orders from a domineering, hate-filled father. Mr. Hammond draws well, but he needs to sharpen his journalistic skills if he intends to invest his sketches with anything approaching editorial value.

Bob Cooper