Barack Obama is not the only person I know who is accepting major international awards these days.
My fellow unemployed journalist Robert Ariail just became the first American to win the Ranan Lurie United Nations Political Cartoon Award in the award’s 10-year history. He won out over 1,500 applicants. For that he picks up a check for $10,000 (which is the important part of the news to us unemployed types), and will receive his prize from the U.N. secretary general.
One can find a lot of distinquished company in the unemployment line these days. Anyway, now that we have something to celebrate, I need to get Robert to join me in the Ariail/Warthen memorial booth at Yesterday’s for a beer. We keep meaning to do that, and this is a perfect excuse.
You ask whether I’m proud of Robert? Go read the column I did about him when we left the paper, and then ask that question. I couldn’t be prouder if I were his papa.
Just FYI, some of the other awards that sit in the cardboard box Robert used to keep under his drawing board at the paper (I helped him carry all that stuff out back in March, and I’m guessing it’s in his attic now): the Overseas Press Club of America’s 1997 Thomas Nast Award for cartoons on foreign affairs; the Society of Professional Journalists’ Green Eyeshade Award five times, in 1991, 1997, 2001, 2004 and 2007; the 1992 National Society of Professional Journalists Award and the 1990 National Headliner Award. He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1995 and 2000.
The cartoon above — which I agree is one of his best from his last year at the paper — is the one that won it for him.