So I walked into the newsroom this morning to find an editorial cartoon sitting on my desk.
It was called "The Ignorant Vote" and, at face value, looked like the one I chose to run as a complement to my column in The Times Herald Sunday.
But it was one intended to mock, or counter, the one we ran.
No one knows -- or wants to admit -- how it got to my desk. I suppose it once had legs and walked here.
Despite the similarities on the surface, there are two major differences.
The cartoon that ran in the paper was based on a real poll of voters in the only state that has four eyes but can't see: Mississippi.
-52 percent of Mississippi Republicans say President Obama is a Muslim (even if he was, so what?)
-12 percent say he is a Christian (52 plus 12 equals 64, so I would suppose the other 36 percent believe him to be Jewish, Hindu or Buddhist).
Following those numbers, again gleaned from an actual poll, the cartoonist from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch did a series of six boxes portraying a pollster talking with a yahoo.
The cartoon followed with six squares showing a Mississippian in overalls repsonding with the following:
-"Obama? He's a Muslim."
-"He's that feller that attacked us on 9/11!"
-"And you say he's the president?!?"
-"You must think I'm pretty stupid."
-"I know for a fact he is not the president."
-"Obama is dead! They buried him at sea last year."
Not hilarious, but it worked -- particularly in the context of a point I made in my column that you can judge a candidate, Rick Santorum, by the company he keeps (or gets votes from).
The intended "gotcha" on my desk was based on a conjured, hate-mongering "fact": 90 percent of city dwelling urban voters pull 'D' lever because they are told to or just want free money.
It then follows with the following responses (not altered, meaning the yahoo -- not an urbanite -- is doing the answering):
-"Obama? He's on the Iggles, right?"
-"Ya, I'm votin' for him. Free money man!"
-"He hangs out with Clooney and Jay-Zee -- cool, dude."
-"Democrats are always for us working guys."
-"Job ... no man, it's too much like work, dude."
-"Got to go, girlfriends in a bad mood and big game's on."
Before I had chance not to laugh, I read the writing below:
"Reality check ... People who live in glass houses ..."
Shouldn't throw apples?
Certainly not when we're not talking apples to apples.
One cartoon was founded in fact, the other -- if it counts as a cartoon -- on prejudice.