Guilt! Gulty! Guilty! Post-Post-Irony

Back in 1973, as Watergate was just starting to break, Garry Trudeau, in his three-year old comic strip Doonesbury, weighed in:

Doonesbury, April 21, 1973

Doonesbury, April 21, 1973

In those early times, the strip was pretty controversial, and a number of newspapers, including the Washington Post, refused to run the comic.1 Never mind that Trudeau was mocking the left for pre-judging Mitchell.2 Mitchell was found guilty in 1975, or course, sentenced to four years in jail and disbarred. So, yeah, Guilty! Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!

Like a lot of us, Trudeau’s fictional Mark Slackmeyer is experiencing flashbacks as a result of the Trump Administration. Which leads to this past Sunday’s cartoon.

Doonesbury, October 22, 2017

Doonesbury, October 22, 2017

WC thinks you will agree that’s pretty good. An ironic use of a 43-year old cartoon.

But we live in a post-ironic world, apparently. So on the Doonesdbury website, Trudeau runs the actual tweet stream of his fictional reporter, Roland B. Hedley, Jr. – an ardent Trump supporter – to bring a post-ironic comment on the ironic comment in the Sunday cartoon.

Because irony still matters

Because irony still matters


WC thinks there are far worse ways to understand and appreciate modern American political history (and, obviously, current events) than binge-reading old Doonesbury.

Although Gary Trudeau would probably have something ironic to say about that.


  1. in fact, it took the Post forty-one years to get around to running it. You can read the newspaper’s pretty lame explanation here
  2. Trudeau had the last word in another way, too. That cartoon provided the title to the paperback collection of early Watergate cartoons 

2 thoughts on “Guilt! Gulty! Guilty! Post-Post-Irony

  1. For what it’s worth I’m often impressed by how well you research your posts, WC. This is another example of that. Not surprised but still impressed.

  2. WC, thanks for reminding me to check Trudeau’s on-line site for today’s new cartoon strip. The Fairbanks News-Miner stopped carrying the Sunday cartoon months ago.

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