Mad Magazine was fact-checked by Snopes in the wake of a (rare) article making fun of Joe Biden, or his memory problems, coming to light on its website.
It was rated Mostly False by
spokesperson Bobby Snopes Jr, who explained that "Every one in America cannot
be expected to know that Mad Magazine is, or was, a satirical
The issue was brought to the attention of mainstream media outlets like the New York Times and the Washington Post, who decided to let fact-checkers rummage through the history of the monthly.
This only worsened the scandal, as one of their number uncovered the publication of a series of problematic articles in the 1970s called "Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions."
Appalled by the negativity, the scorn, and the hatred displayed by one Al Jaffee, The Times decided to show the articles to a select group of college students at Columbia University.
The responses turned out to be almost universally negative, if not devastating: Mr. Jaffee makes us feel unsafe, said one female student who preferred to remain anonymous. It is judgmental, testified another who is majoring in gender studies, it is unsafe and triggering, said a third, while a fourth asked, "Where is the room for dialog? Don't you understand? This is precisely the reason why we need safe spaces."
Asked why anyone would write hurtful comedy like that, Mr. Jaffee, who turned 100 last March, said that that was a question that it was probably safer for him not to provide an answer to.
Amazon chimes in
to limit the distribution of, and demonetize, the periodical founded by
Bill Gaines and its website, an Amazon spokeswoman requested the censure of 290 articles or so while demanding "an apology from Mr.
William Gaines, from his heirs, or from whoever is in charge of the
One example given of a problematic story was a 1980s James Bond 007 spoof because "in today's #metoo environment, a number of people might be triggered by Mort Drucker's hot chicks or be offended by the title, 'For Your Thighs Only'."
One e-bay fact-checker who has been going back and looking through old Mad magazines for the past two months was asked if he at least enjoyed reading the compilations as well as the vintage issues.
"Honestly, it was more of a task — a noble one at that — so I haven't really had time to laugh, although I did chuckle a bit when I read spoofs of both Bushes, [Ronald] Reagan, and [Richard] Nixon…" (Like most humor outlets then as today, at least 70 to 80% of Mad's most acerbic comedy was directed at the right and at conservatives.)
Facebook and Twitter join the crowd
At this point, Facebook joined the fray, saying it would deplatform Mad Magazine because the descriptive of the periodical's group of artists is, or was, "the usual gang of idiots", which is a synonym of "retards," which in turn is poking fun at cerebrally-challenged individuals, as seems to be the face of the periodical's tooth-missing mascot, Alfred E. Neuman.
Besides, added a Twitter spokesman, Norman Potrzebie, who brought up the subject of compassion, "doesn't this Alfred fellow turn out in reality to be an icky conservative spewing Republican propaganda?!"
When it was bemusedly pointed out that Alfred E. Neuman rarely says more than three rather uninspiring words, Mr. Potrzebie exclaimed:
Precisely! What is that motto of his, 'What, me worry?' That is it! A talking point! A GOP talking point! If he had any brains, he would know that there are many many, many things to worry about if we want to save humanity and the planet: the coronavirus, sexism, homophobia, transgenderism, #metoo, the patriarchy, toxic masculinity, racism, systemic racism, the deplorables, global warmi — I mean, climate change — the possibility of a Republican in the White House, Pépé Le Pew, and, worst of all, the fact that in 1619, a solitary white male in a tiny Virginia hamlet 150 years prior to the foundation of the United States decided to buy 20 slaves who had been bound for Brazil.
What may be worse, actually, added Twitter's Mr. Potrzebie, is that "the very word [i.e., Mad] means insane but it also means Angry, and what kind of people get angry?"
The Haters, he snarled, answering his own question, also known as the heinous members of the Republican Party; the Haters! he reiterated as he grew visibly distraught over people he barely considered members of the human race, but monstrous beings with no brotherly love for their fellow humans. The HATERS! Mr. Potrzebie repeated once more, as his eyes started bulging and his mouth began frothing.
The whole issue turned somewhat moot when it appeared that the magazine was no longer published
and that Bill Gaines had been dead for close to 30 years.
As we went to press, a group of Social Justice Warriors had jumped into the fray, convening a meeting on Madison Avenue, in which complaints were voiced that the "usual gang of REDACTED" at Mad Magazine (a prime example, they pointed out, being the aforementioned Mr. Jaffee) were all white artists, and that there was not a black face among them.
"Did Don Martin ever showcase an LGBTQ person?!" asked one of the participants, Fester Bestertester, pointedly. "In a respectful way, I mean."
The issue was dropped when it was discovered that two of the artists were of Latino heritage.
issue was resurrected when it was pointed out that Antonio Prohías
seems to have been a Cuban who left the tropical island as the valiant
Fidel Castro and the mesmerizing Che Guevara were fundamentally transforming their nation and were gloriously bringing a
bright new future to the Cuban people — so didn't that mean that the
artist of Spy Vs. Spy (which in any case is far too violent) was some kind of icky (alt) right-winger from Little Havana?
The matter was dropped again when it emerged that the artist had been dead for over two decades.
The matter was resurrected once more when it was pointed out that Prohias had been replaced by a white artist.
The matter was dropped again when it turned out that, besides drawing Spy Vs. Spy, Peter Kuper is a valiant left-winger doubling as a rabid anti-Trumpist behind many Orange-Man Bad drawings for The New Yorker.
We will bring you updates to this article as they arise…